As you know, Thai dishes traditionally carry a lot of exotic flavors since they use a lot of their authentic flavors. So, here we come up with such a flavorful dish and its whereabouts- Thai pepper steak and its ingredients!
Generally known as Thai pepper steak, this dish comes in two main versions in Thailand: Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) and Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper beef stir-fry). Both dishes call for a common ingredient which is beef steak. Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) is flavored with fresh Thai chiles, while Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper beef stir-fry) is glazed with a black pepper sauce.
Interested in learning more? Keep reading as we wish to share everything we know about this delicious Thai dish!
What Is Thai Pepper Steak?
Thai pepper steak is a popular Thai meat stir-fry dish that can be made without too much work. As the name suggests, its primary ingredient is beef steak. There is no standard recipe to prepare this dish, but there are two main types common to Thai cuisine.
Neua Pad Prik, which translates to “Chile Beef Stir-fry” is steak mixed with vegetables, spices, and mainly a combination of mild to hot fresh Thai chile peppers. In the meantime, there’s another popular type, Neua Pad Prik Dum. which translates to “Black pepper Beef Stir-fry”. This dish is made with steak, mixed with vegetables and spices but with black pepper as the main flavor component.
Thai pepper steak, in general, is considered a nutritious dish that can be served as a side dish with rice and food items. Each chef and home cook has their own way of making this dish. However, the main flavor components remain unchanged to bring out the base taste and texture of the recipe.
Thai pepper steak is popular for many reasons. The main thing is it is very easy to make within a matter of a few minutes. Second, it calls for a few basic ingredients, nothing fancy. And the other thing is it is very versatile and you can adjust the ingredients and flavors according to your taste preference.
What Ingredients Are Used To Make Thai Pepper Steak?
As mentioned earlier, Thai pepper steak is one of the most uncomplicated dishes in authentic Thai cuisine. The classic recipe requires only a few basic ingredients, while spices create the base flavor of any recipe. The ingredients in both main varieties slightly vary and let’s first address the common ingredients used in both types.
Common to any recipe for Thai pepper steak, beef steak is the main ingredient in this dish. Typically raw, a piece of tenderloin or filet is cut into very thin slices and mixed with the spices and vegetables of this dish.
If not, some also use pre-cooked steak, dry/wet rubbed or marinated and cooked to a preferred doneness. Pre-cooked steak can be refrigerated, kept outside for a while before making this dish, and cut into thin strips as required.
If beef is taken raw, the pieces are usually marinated with a splash of soy sauce and a dash of sugar before incorporating them with the vegetables in the recipe. However, even though cutting the steak requires a specific standard, preparing it calls for no standard method and it depends on your preference.
Garlic- Pungent, aromatic, and intense fresh garlic is the base of any Thai pepper steak recipe. Usually, fresh garlic cloves are slightly pounded or crushed and added to heated oil to infuse their flavor and aroma into the entire dish. When making Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry), garlic is crushed together with hot Thai pepper. At the same time, a few cloves are [pounded alone and sauteed in oil when making Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry).
Thai chile peppers- This ingredient is a staple when making Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry). However, sometimes, Thai chile peppers are also used in Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) to get an extra punch of flavor, heat, and color.
Thai chile peppers usually score about 50,000-100,000 SHU on the Scoville heat scale. Therefore, most of them are quite hot when compared to regular chile peppers. While the Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) dish typically contains a combination of mild to hot chile peppers, Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) includes mild chiles.
Bell peppers- Apart from Thai chile peppers, vibrant bell peppers are a common addition to any Thai pepper steak dish. This acts more as a vegetable in the dish, blending in with the onions. Red, green, and yellow bell peppers are diced and added to this dish to make it more visually appealing and wholesome. Bell peppers are usually milder in taste, sweet, and impart a lovely balance to the dish.
Trinity of Sauces
Whatever the type of Thai pepper steak and regardless of the recipe, there are three types of sauces used to make the foundation flavor of the dish. They are light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce.
These three types of sauces are very common cooking ingredients in Thai culinary applications. Oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce are typically used in a ratio of 3:1:1. But these amounts can be adjusted according to one’s personal preference.
Typically light soy sauce is used in this recipe along with the other two sauces. The umami and salty flavors of these sauces are typically balanced out with brown sugar. Meanwhile, the thickness is thinned out with the help of water or stock. Thus, the flavor trio of these ingredients is critically important to the overall taste of the dish.
Black Pepper in Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry)
A decent amount of powdered or freshly crushed black pepper makes the most delicious base for this dish. Black pepper is usually allowed to be sauteed for a while with garlic and oil before adding the sauces and the rest of the ingredients.
This spice gives a strong, pungent, earthy, peppery, and piney kick to Thai pepper steak to make it more appetizing when accompanied with other main dishes like rice. Sometimes, young green peppercorns are also added to this to make it more flavorful and colorful. Young green peppercorns can be found as a very common spice in Thai cuisine.
If you’re interested in learning more exciting facts about the spices used in authentic Thai cuisine and how they help to make their dishes stand out from the rest, click and refer to our detailed post!
Other Ingredients Used in Thai Pepper Steak
In addition to the ingredients we have listed and explained on top, there are a few other things added to this dish to make it more scrumptious. These ingredients include the following:
- Mushrooms (occasionally added)
- Different types of seasoning powders (depending on the recipe)
- Tapioca starch or cornstarch (as a thickener)
How To Make Thai Pepper Steak At Home?
Are you ready to make a restaurant-quality Thai pepper steak right in your kitchen? If so, we are ready to guide you with a simple yet delicious recipe to add to your dinner or lunch table the weeknight or weekend!
All you have to do is to pay a short visit to the nearest Asian or Thai store and collect some pretty, juicy, hot Thai chiles for this dish. We wish to share a classic Neua Pad Prik (Chile Beef Stir-fry) and you will find instructions to transform your dish simply into a Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) as well. So, let’s get started!
Traditionally, Thai pepper steak is made by using soy sauce and oyster sauce which are not gluten-free. This could make the entire dish not favorable enough to include in a diet of those who follow a gluten-free diet.
The Thai pepper steak dish usually contains very few amounts of carbs. Therefore, any of these recipes could be an excellent, tasty addition if you’re following a ketogenic diet plan. However, make sure not to include any type of flour or starch as additional thickeners.
Enjoy Your Thai Pepper Steak As The Perfect Weeknight Meal Alongside Rice!
Thai pepper steak, made as Neua Pad Prik Recipe (Chile Beef Stir-fry) or Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) is an excellent Asian twist to satisfy the spicy food craving of your family. We would suggest that Neua Pad Prik Dum (Black pepper Beef Stir-fry) is the best pick if you have kids to enjoy your meal. Bursting with warm, spicy, and hot flavors, this beef stir-fry dish will leave a lingering taste in your senses to cherish throughout lunch or dinner!
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