Stir-Fried Minced Beef with Chiles and Thai Basil

Bad pictures, sorry. Thanks so much daylight savings, for ruining good natural light dinner photos… I’m still blogging this sucker, bad photos aside, because: hellloooooooo, yummy. Also: SPICAAAAAY – we used 4 chiles, and we still had mouths afire (and you didn’t want to be in the kitchen when the chiles hit the hot skillet; the air was like pepper spray). It’s a good kind of mouth fire though, and you could still taste all the amazing flavors in the dish which is proof-positive that this recipe is a keeper. We just might reserve it for when we are all wallowing in dead-of-winter colds and need some sinus clearing, though.

We didn’t feed this to Pete, he likes spicy but we worried it might be too spicy for a toddler. He just had the rice with a small pat of butter and a fried egg on top, and he couldn’t have been happier. Plus it meant more meaty goodness for us adults 🙂

Original cook’s note: “The way this would be done in Thailand is to fry the eggs in the wok, either before or after cooking the rest of the dish. Whenever I fry an egg in a wok, however, I always break the yolk.”. We did the same, frying our eggs separately in a small nonstick pan. This is a great meal for a busy weeknight, because it comes together in a flash.

Stir-Fried Minced Beef with Chiles and Thai Basil
(adapted from Roots and Grubs)

4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 to 10 Thai chiles, sliced (start with 4, my friends)
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
6 oz. ground chuck
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
Pinch of sugar
1/4 c. chicken stock or water
2 large handfuls Thai basil leaves
Cooked basmati rice

Stir together the garlic, chiles, and salt. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, and add the garlic, chiles, and salt. Stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the beef. Continue to cook until the beef is cooked and starting to brown. Season to taste with fish sauce and sugar. Add the basil and stock or water and stir just until the basil is wilted. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, fry the eggs in the other tablespoon oil in a skillet. The proper fried egg for this dish has a runny yolk but a browned and leathery underside. If you’re a white-bottom fried egg purist, too bad.

Top each bowl of rice with a scoop of beef mixture and broth and a fried egg. Serve immediately.

Maybe squeeze a lime wedge over the top if I have one on hand. Oh, and please eat it with a spoon.


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