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Thai Inspired Stir Fried Basil Chili Beef

Who says  spicy  treats are  not  for  weeknights ?   When it  is  as  easy as  this  Thai Inspired  Stir Fried  Beef  With  Basil And  Chilies  you will find  an  excuse  to make it  on a  weeknight.  Stir  fries are  a sure  way to make  an  easy meal.  These  get  cooked  in  no  time at all.   Usually a  bowl of  noodles  or  steamed   rice is  all you need  along  with it  make  it  into a  complete  meal. What  more  can you ask for  in a   weeknight  recipe ?

Stir Fried Thai Basil Chili Beef

There are many versions  of  this   Thai inspired   stir  fry.   This  is  the  simplest  one.   Add  a  few  slices of  red  bell pepper  for a  burst  of  color.

Thai chilies  are spicy, so be   careful   when you  use  these.  they look small but  do pack a  punch  when it  comes  to heat.  I often  leave  these  whole  to add the  flavor of  the  chili without  making  the  dish  extremely  spicy.

I use Italian  basil in this  dish because I usually have  it  on hand.  If  you   have  Thai basil  add  those.   Each of  these  have  slightly difference  aroma, but  either  will work  well in this  recipe.

Pretty much  any cut  can  be  used  to make  this  dish.   The  key is  to  slice the  meat  into thin  strips.   Thin cuts  gets  cooked  in a  few  minutes. It  also comes  in handy  when  marinating.   The  more  surface  area  that   gets exposed  to  the  marinade  the   faster  it  gets  into the  meat.

Often  times  you will  find  stir  fry slices  int the  meat  section –  these will be  tender  cuts  and  makes  the   job all  the more  easier.  If  not   get  your  own  and  slice  the  meat  thin.

Almost any cut  of  meat  can  be  used   in this   recipe.  Tender  cuts   like  as sirloin, tri-tip  or  ribeye  need  just  a   few  minutes  of  marination  while  the  not  so  tender  ones  like flank, top round, round tip, needs to be  marinated  a  little  longer  say 20  minutes.   The important thing   to  remember  is  to have  thinly sliced  meat.  And  do not   marinate  it  for long.

When you  slice your  own   remember  to  slice across  the  grain.
Making Thai Basil Chili Beef

Stir fries are  self explanatory .

  • Slice to  desired  sizes
  • Marinate
  • Fry in batches


Here are a  few  tips  to  get  your  stir  fry  right

  • Slice  the meat  thin.
  • Use a large  pan , you should  be able  to  toss  everything   in it  easily .
  • Do not  over crowd  the pan – fry in  batches  if  necessary .
  • No nonstick pans – preferably use an iron wok.
  • High Heat  –  most  homes  do not  have the   high  output  wok  burners.   This  means  that  even  with the largest burner on high  you are   a getting  about  a quarter  or  less  heat  than  a  wok burner.  As  soon as  the  meat  hits  the  pan the  heat  dissipates  faster.   To avoid a  soggy, tough  mess cook in small batches.
  • If at  any point  there  seem  to be  juices pooling  in the pan, stop ,   drain ,  remove most  of  the  meat  and   flash fry in  batches.

A stir  fry,  when  done  correctly,  is  juicy  tender  and  flavorful.

Here is  the  recipe  for  this  Thai  inspired  Stir Fried  beef  with  basil and  chilies .

Stir Fried Thai Basil Chili Beef

Thai Inspired Beef Stir Fry With Basil And Chilies

By Syama
A  quick  stir  fry  inspired  by  Thai flavors. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2


  • 3/4 lb Beef (300g)
  • 1 bunch Basil (About 15 to 20 leaves) Notes 1
  • 6- 8 Thai Chilies Notes 2
  • 6 Tbsp Neutral flavor oil Notes 3
  • 1 Tsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Thai Fish Sauce
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger Minced
  • 1 Shallot
  • ½ Tsp Lemon Juice To Taste
  • 1 Tsp Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • Salt If Needed

To Serve

  • Jasmine Rice


  • Wash and dry the basil leaves thoroughly. Take about 4 to 5 leaves and finely chop them to make about 2 Tbsp of chopped leaves.
  • If the beef is not sliced , slice it against the grain into thin strips. Mix together the fish sauce, brown sugar , lemon juice, corn starch and water. Pour over the beef and toss well to coat. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the wok with 6 tbsp of oil.
  • Fry the basil leaves until t turns bright green and crisp. Drain and reserve. Remove 4 tbsp of the oil and add the chopped ginger, garlic shallots and chilies. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Drain the beef from the marinade , reserving the juices. Stir fry the beef over high heat ( if needed do it in 2 to 3 batches.). It takes about 3 minutes for each batch to cook. As soon as the beef browns stop cooking.
  • Move the meat to the side (if smaller wok then remove from the wok ). Add reserved marinate to the wok . As soon as it boils toss the meat to coat and turn off the heat. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice.
  • Toss the fried basil leaves over and serve hot.


  1. Use  Italian  basil or  Thai  basil  - which ever  is  available 
  2. Thai Chilies  are  spicy.  Leave  them   whole to   reduce  heat or  slice into thin  rounds   for an added  kick.
  3. Oils  that have high  smoking  point  are preferred  while  stir  frying.  Use Peanut  oil or  similar.
  4. For a saucier version, mix 1 tsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water and a dash of fish sauce and add to the wok along with the reserved marinade.
  5. For a  colorful version add a sliced red Bell peppers or  other  crunchy vegetables  to the stir fry.  If  using  stir  fry them for  30 seconds  right  after  the  shallots  are  stir fried.   

Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.

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