Thai cuisine is so colorful, bold, and flavorful. It is fresh and can be as spicy as you want it to be. Spicy Beef with Basil is a favorite not only because it is delicious, but it also has few ingredients and can be on the table in under 30 minutes.
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What kind of beef should I use?
Flank steak is my preferred choice, but top sirloin would work just as well. You want to choose a cut that is somewhat tender because there's no marinating step in this recipe. If you choose a cut that is less tender, I recommend salting it about an hour early so that the salt tenderizes it a bit.
Another great tip for ensuring tender beef is to cut ACROSS the grain.
You can use a large red or yellow bell pepper, but I love these little snacking peppers. There's also a bit of garlic, and the spice comes from a red Thai chili or a jalapeno. A teaspoon or two should get you started, but if you like it really spicy, feel free to add more and to leave the seeds in.
The sauce is simple.
What kind of basil?
I love to use Thai basil in this recipe, of course. But you can use regular basil if you wish or mix the two.
Dinner's on in ... 3-2-1!
The key to success with this dish - as with most stir-fries - is to have everything cut, seasoned, and ready go before turning on the heat under the wok (or skillet). The beef cooks in less than 5 minutes!
Then add the peppers, chilis, and garlic. Again ... it takes less than 5 minutes for the peppers to get tender.
Add the sauce, stirring constantly to coat the meat and peppers, then take it off the heat and stir the basil in.
How to serve Spicy Beef with Basil
Steamed rice is, of course, the right choice. And you might offer more chopped chilis or some chili paste, like Sambal Oelek, for those who want more of a kick in the pants!
Other recipes you might like:
Spicy Beef with Basil
- 1 pound flank steak or top sirloin cut in thin slices across the grain
- 6 cloves garlic chopped fine
- 1 red or yellow pepper (or about 6 small peppers) sliced thin
- 1 small red Thai chili or jalapeno (1-2 teaspoons) chopped small (See notes)
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (use soy sauce if you want)
- oil for cooking
- 1 cup packed basil leaves Thai basil is preferred, but regular basil is fine, too.
- Steamed rice for serving
- extra chopped chili peppers or chili paste, like Sambal Oelek for serving
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, and coconut aminos. Set aside.
- Cut the basil by rolling the leaves together and cutting across the roll. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add enough oil to saute the beef. Add the beef and saute 3-5 minutes till almost cooked through.
- Add the sliced peppers, Thai chili or jalapeno, and garlic. Saute another 3-5 minutes until the peppers are just tender and the meat is thoroughly cooked.
- Stir the sauce to remix, then add it to the wok or skillet. Stir everything together so that the sauce coats everything and starts thickening. This will happen pretty quickly so keep an eye on it. Remove from the heat and stir the basil in.
- Serve over rice and with more chilis or chili paste if desired.