Spicy Thai Basil Beef

I love when I have the time to decide what to make for dinner, shop for it that day, and then make it that night. It feels so fancy and Parisian to walk to the store to pick up a few fresh ingredients and then turn them into something yummy a few hours later. Pushing a giant cart overflowing with groceries through a Super Wal-Mart just doesn’t have the same appeal.

I made this on a Sunday, so I got to do just that. I cook with frozen vegetables a lot since it’s so convenient, but for this I got fresh green beans, fresh chilies, and beef straight from the butcher’s counter. I was tempted to get a baguette to stick haughtily out of my grocery bag, but I managed to avoid that temptation. Say oui!

SPICY THAI BASIL BEEF (recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well)

3 tbsp fish sauce (found in Asian section of supermarket)
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2-3 Thai chilies, finely chopped (can sub jalapenos or serranos, too)
1 pound ground sirloin
1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into one-inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup torn basil leaves
2 cups cooked rice

  1. In small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add chilies and cook for another minute.
  3. Add ground beef to the garlic and chilies. Break up meat as it cooks, browning completely. Once browned, add green beans and red peppers and cook for about 2-3 minutes until tender.
  4. Add sauce and mix until completely incorporated. Cook for about 30-60 seconds and remove from heat. Add the basil and mix well.
  5. Serve over cooked rice, garnishing with additional basil leaves if desired.

As you can probably tell from the picture, I used top sirloin instead of ground beef. I grilled it until medium rare, let it rest, then sliced it up and added it to the skillet in step three. To avoid overcooking the beef, I removed it from the skillet after a minute or so and added it back in once I turned the heat off. We really liked the finished product, although I am interested to try it with ground meat, too. Finally, three Thai chilies gave the dish a mild to medium heat – I think I could do as many as four or five.

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