I’ve been to Thailand on a few occasions and have completely fallen in love with the place. It’s the one destination that we always long to go back to no matter how many times I’ve been there. To me, the perfect Thai holiday combines sipping an overly strong bucket of Sang Som in Koh San road, while sitting in the sweltering heat surrounded by the smell of overheated dumpster and drain water (for the full experience), balanced with the tranquillity of a beautiful beach adventure. These are the things that holiday photos can’t show you, but those who have been there will know all too well what I mean.
The cities have an indescribable buzz in the air and the beaches are generally overrun with influencers and tourist who are trying to get the perfect Instagram photo. But the local people are friendly, there are still quiet beaches if you know where to look, the massages are a cure for any travel back-pain and the food is exquisitely spicy.
Thai basil beef is one of my favourite easy and quick to make Thai dishes and can be found in most eateries throughout Thailand, but as with most local dishes, it can be quite spicy so be careful. If you make this at home it’s easier to control the heat, I personally don’t like a lot of spice when at home so have left the chilly out on occasion.
This is a beef heavy dish, so if you’re trying to follow a more sustainable and plant-based diet like we are, use this as your treat recipe.
Thai Holy Basil
Thai Basil Beef is traditionally made with Thai Holy Basil.
Thai Holy Basil can be found in some Chinese supermarkets, however, if you can’t find it nearby don’t worry. You can substitute Italian basil for the Thai Holy Basil, just add a bit of pepper to taste as Holy Basil is quite peppery. It won’t be exactly the same, but it’s still delicious.
Here is our take on Thai Basil Beef:
Thai Inspired Basil Beef (Pad Gra Prow)
- 2 tbsp good quality vegetable oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 organic onion, chopped
- 2-3 Thai chillies (optional)
- 1 green or red pepper sliced
- 500 g high welfare, pasture-raised, organic grass-fed beef mince
- 1 cup organic french beans, chopped
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 bunch fresh basil chopped use holy basil or Thai basil if you can find it
- Grind the chillies into a paste if you are using them, add them according to your personal heat threshold or leave out completely.
- Add the oil, chilly, garlic and onion to the wok, fry on medium heat until the onions soften.
- Once the onions have softened, add the beef mince and toss until it starts to brown. Then add the chopped beans and pepper to the wok.
- Just before it's ready to serve add the soy, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes until everything is combined and serve with rice.