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Thai One On: Beef and Basil Leaves Recipe

Updated on July 20, 2015
Beef with Basil Leaves
Beef with Basil Leaves | Source

My hub, Thai One On with a Thai-Inspired Dinner Party, offered several Thai-inspired recipes that are accessible to the home cook. By popular demand, here's one more to include on the menu when you are ready to Thai One On with your dinner guests.

Some of the ingredients may seem strange, but don't worry. They're easy to find, either at Asian speciality stores or in the Asian-food aisle of your favorite grocery store. And in a pinch, you can substitute common ingredients without sacrificing too much of the authentic Thai flavor. See the glossary of ingredients for my suggestions.

Glossary of Ingredients

Kaffir lime leaves: Similar in appearance to bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves are used to flavor Thai soups and sauces. Unless cut into a fine sliver, they should be removed before serving. Fresh leaves may be difficult to find, even at Asian markets, but dried or frozen leaves may be used instead. While there is no real substitute for their delicate floral aroma and flavor, substitute lime zest in a pinch.

Oyster sauce: A thick brown sauce made from fermented oysters and salt that can be found in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets. Used as a flavoring in cooking and as a condiment. Refrigerate after opening.

Thai basil: This basil variety has leaves that are smaller and darker than regular sweet basil, with purple stems and blossoms and an anise flavor. It is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in stir-fried dishes with meat. If you can't find Thai basil, substitute regular sweet basil. Thai basil makes an attractive plant for a container garden.

Thai chilies: These tiny red and green peppers are no bigger than your pinkie finger, but make no mistake about it - they are among the world's hottest. They are used in a variety of Thai dishes, including salads, soups, and sauces. They are widely available in Asian markets, but if you can't find them, substitute another hot pepper variety like cayenne or serrano.

Beef with Basil Leaves

1/2 pound beef sirloin steak

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 kaffir lime leaves, cut into thin strips

1/2 cup straw mushrooms

1/4 cup bamboo shoots, shredded

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

4 red Thai chilies, seeded and chopped

15 Thai basil leaves

Cut beef into thin 2-inch strips. Heat oil in wok with garlic and kaffir lime leaves on high heat until oil bubbles. Add beef, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, oyster sauce, and red Thai chilies. Stir-fry for 5 minutes or until beef is cooked. Mix in basil leaves.

Serve with hot cooked Jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

How to Cook Jasmine Rice:

Jasmine rice is a long-grain white rice that originated in Thailand. When cooked, it has a flowery fragrance, soft and creamy texture, and nutty flavor.

Rinse 1-1/3 cups rice. Combine the rice, 2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, without lifting lid, let stand for 15 minutes. Uncover, and stir the rice to fluff.

Additional reading:

Thai One On with a Thai-Inspired Dinner Party.

Includes the following quick and easy Thai-inspired recipes:

  • Tom Yum Soup
  • Thai Beef Cucumber Cups
  • Fresh Spring Rolls
  • Chili Dipping Sauce
  • Pad Thai


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