To find Vietnamese recipes that fit within the paleo/primal framework is surprisingly challenging. (See What is Paleo/Primal?)

As paleo/primal doesn’t allow sugar, grains, gluten, legumes, soy, nor dairy, while most Vietnamese food requires sugar, soy sauce (containing gluten), or peanuts, Paleo + Vietnamese is almost totally incompatible.

Until now!

In addition to being paleo, this recipe includes coconut milk; coconut being one of the recommend foods for its heart-healthy fat. And super healthy turmeric, which I’ve posted about a lot!

Beef in Coconut Milk Recipe

  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil) for fryingPaleo_Vietnamese_beef
  • 2     Cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1.1  Pounds beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 2     Small (green) onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1     Green pepper, sliced
  • 2 cm Lemongrass, cut from the bottom, thinly sliced (buy fresh from local Asian market)
  • 2     Tablespoons (or slightly more) canned coconut milk


  • 2  Tablespoons peanuts (substitute roasted cashews or almonds), crushed
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped


Wash, chop, and prepare all main ingredients. Heat oil in very large skillet or wok until very hot. Add garlic. When the smell is released, add everything except the coconut milk. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until the meat is cooked. Add the coconut milk and stir once.

Remove to a serving dish. Serve garnished with nuts and chopped coriander.

Can be served with stir-fried broccoli with garlic and/or lemongrass.

Photo (not of this specific beef dish) by flickr user: NickNguyen