Thai Beef and Basil

I keep a few well-wrapped packages of ground beef in the freezer for quick recipes like this. You could use any ground meat or tofu. I’ve tried it with both Italian and Thai basil. I like them both; the Thai basil is a little stronger. I have also used brown, Basmati, and Jasmine rice and I think I like the Basmati best. Again, this would have been another good recipe for when I first lived in New York and had nothing but a two burner hot plate and a toaster oven.

3 cups basil total

For this four person version, you’ll need:
1 to 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 cups Basmati rice
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup beef broth or water
2 cups basil leaves
1 tablespoon of canola oil (if cooking rice in pot)
1/2 cup rice wine
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of fish sauce or oyster sauce or hoisin
1 tablespoon of sugar

To finish:
1 cup basil leaves (torn if big)
2 or 3 carrots julienned or shredded (I use this Japanese julienne tool)
4 to 6 scallions
1 lime cut into four wedges
Chili garlic sauce

Cooking equipment I used:
10 inch frying pan for beef and basil
Pot for rice—I used a 3 quart saucepan, or use rice cooker

If using frozen beef, get that started in the pan, breaking it up as it browns. Then make the rice how you want. I usually heat the rice up in a tablespoon of canola oil, stirring to coat, and then add 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of rice. Here, I used two cups of rice and three cups of water. Add salt to water if desired. Bring to a boil and cover for 17 minutes before fluffing. Put your bowls on the stove to warm up.

While the beef is browning, julienne the carrots, remove stems from basil, finelly slice the scallions, and take skins off garlic cloves. Stir the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar together. When the beef is browned, add the garlic. You can slice, finely mince, or put the garlic through a press and add to the beef. Let this work together for a minute. Deglaze the pan with a half cup of rice wine and let that almost burn off. Then add the beef broth and two cups of basil. When the basil is wilted and the sauce is bubbling, it’s ready! Put some rice in the bowls, top with the beef and basil, then divide the the basil and carrots, then drizzle over the sauce, and finally, sprinkle the scallions. Serve with lime wedges and chili garlic sauce.

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