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 ?
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.
Stir fries are self explanatory .
- Slice to desired sizes
- 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 .
A quick stir fry inspired by Thai flavors.
- 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
- 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.
- Use Italian basil or Thai basil - which ever is available
- Thai Chilies are spicy. Leave them whole to reduce heat or slice into thin rounds for an added kick.
- Oils that have high smoking point are preferred while stir frying. Use Peanut oil or similar.
- 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.
- 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.
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