How I love the flavour of Thai Basil.
The aniseedy taste and smell that it adds to a dish is wonderful. It’s funny that I don’t like fennel (my mum used to put it in salads when I was a kid…yuk!) which is quite aniseedy but I love Thai basil. I love Thai food in general and am lucky that I have a Thai friend who has her own little cafe where I get to indulge in my Thai food cravings when I visit her.
However, I can’t go there every day so I decided to grow some Thai Basil in my garden to add to my own dishes. It’s not that difficult to create a pretty awesome tasting Thai Basil Beef at home.
I went online and searched for Stir Fried Chicken Chilli Basil and found a recipe from BBC Good Food website by Ken Hom that I liked the sound of. I originally made this recipe with chicken. However, one day – I didn’t have any chicken and decided to use beef instead.
The original recipe is not much different from the one below. What usually happens for me is a find a recipe and will put my own twist on it (I also don’t measure ingredients to the exact amount- unless it’s for a cake!) If the kids are eating this with us, I leave the chilli out of this dish. If no kids are eating it then I add the chilli because I like my Thai food spicy! (Not as spicy as the Thais like it though – I have been caught out before in Thailand)
Here is the recipe below – enjoy!
Thai Beef Basil
450g beef strips
3 tbs crushed garlic
1 medium red onion, sliced
Some chillies, seeded and finely shredded (I have found it depends what sort of chillies you are using and the heat you’d like as to the amount you add. I use little birds-eyes chillies which are very hot – I only use two)
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
Two large handfuls of Thai Basil leaves!
Plus any veggies you’d like to add – I use whatever I have available.
1. Heat some oil in wok and fry the beef till brown. I fry my meat in batches and find this works really well and is quick. The wok stays super hot and the meat gets that smoky wok flavour. For the amount of meat above, I usually fry in four batches. Each batch goes into a bowl.
2. Add a bit more oil to the wok and fry the onions and any veggies till cooked. If the wok is super hot, this process won’t take long.
3. In a small bowl, mix the chillies (if using), garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar.
4. Add the beef to the veggies in the wok. Add the small bowl of combined sauces and mix through.
5. Take off the heat – this is where you add your Thai basil! Mix the Thai basil through and serve.
Usually, with any Asian stir fry dish I serve – I have chopped coriander, fried shallots (available in Asian supermarkets) , cashews and wedges of lime on the table to add to your bowl. Yum-yum!
What is your favourite Thai Basil recipe? We would love to hear it. Please share in the comments below!