Cooking With Chef John Howie: Spicy Thai Beef With Grapes

Chef John HowieIf you’re a die-hard fan of the food we commonly get at Thai restaurants in America, you’ll be delighted to know that the Red/Green curries and Tom Yum soups we love so much are just the tip of Thailand’s culinary iceberg. The South-East Asian country has a bounty of more complex, aromatic and texturized dishes (with a lot of regional variations) that is known as “royal cuisine”.

This finely-refined, “royal” fare that the common peasant farmer will not have at his table, are carefully calibrated to perfectly balance the Thai ideal of sweet, sour, salt and heat.

And Chef John Howie has just such a fabulous dish for you to try at home and impress your dinner companions with!





•  Tenderloin: 12 oz (cut into ¼ ” x 1-1 ½ ” medallions)
• Red and Green Grapes: ¼ cup (sliced crosswise)
• Olive oil: 2 tsp
• Fresh lime juice: 1 tbsp _ 2 tsp
• Glass Noodles: ½ cup
• Cilantro: 1 sprig

Ingredients for the Garlic-Thai Chili Mix

• Garlic: 2 tsp (mined)
• Thai chili: 1tsp (fresh, minced)

Ingredients for the Coriander Rub

• Coriander: 1 ½ tsp (ground)
• Black pepper: ½ tsp (ground)
• Sea or kosher salt: 1 tbsp

Ingredients for the Thai Noodle Dressing:

• Ginger: 1 tsp (peeled and cut in thin slices)
• Garlic cloves: 2 tsp (peeled)
• Lemongrass: 2 tsp (chopped, tender parts only)
• Kaffir lime leaves: 1 ½ tsp (minced)
• Fish Sauce: 1 tbsp
• Sambal Olek Thai chili sauce: ½ tsp
• Rice vinegar: 1 tbsp + 1 ½ tsp (unseasoned)
• Sugar: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
• Peanut oil: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
• Salt: ¼ tsp


• Season the meat with the rub and garlic-chili mix.

• In a sauté pan, heat olive oil until just smoking. Add marinated beef and sear on both sides.

• Remove from heat and add the lime juice.

• Place noodles in center of plate, mounding high. Place beef medallions circling noodles.

• Drizzle the dressing over the beef and noodles. Sprinkle grapes around top of noodles and beef.

• Garnish with cilantro sprig on top. Serve.

Garlic-Thai Chili Mix Procedure:

• Mix ingredients until evenly combined.

Coriander Rub Procedure:

• Combine ingredients and mix well. If mixture has been sitting, re-mix before use.

Thai Noodle Dressing Procedure:

• Place the ginger, garlic, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves in processor and blend thoroughly.

• Add sugar. Scrape down the sides and process. Ingredients will start to become pasty.

• Whisk together the fish sauce, vinegar, sambal olek and peanut oil, then whisk in mixture from processor. Next whisk in the salt.

*** Want more of Chef John Howie’s signature recipes? Get his book Passion & Palate: Recipes For A Generous Table, and delve into an exciting new world of food that has been personally reciped by a chef who leads – and cooks – with his heart!