This is a savoury dish to accompany a plate of rice. It is tasty, aromatic and herbal. A very appetizing and healthy dish.
minced beef 1 1/2 cups (if frozen, defrost before using)
fresh garlic, coarsely chopped 1 Tbsp
fish sauce 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp
soy sauce 1 Tbsp
sugar 1/2 - 1 Tbsp
Thai basil or sweet basil 1 cup
yellow or red chillies, sliced 1 - 2 for garnishing
pepper 1/2 tsp
vegetable oil 2-3 Tbsp for frying
1. Pick basil leaves and flowers from the stems, rinse with water to clean.
2. Put vegetable oil in wok. Heat the oil.
3. When the oil is hot, put in chopped garlic, stir until aroma comes out but garlic not browned (5-10 seconds), add minced beef and stir fry until beef is thoroughly cooked.
4. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, taste and adjust the taste as prefer. Add basil leaves, chillies, stir a few times, turn off cooker.
5. Put the finished stir fried in a serving dish. Serve with rice and chillies in fish sauce (optional).
- Use holy basil (Kaphrao) instead of Thai basil (Horapha) or sweet basil. Thai basil and holy basil are from the same family but they give different aroma and taste. The stir-fried with holy basil is actually more popular nowadays, however, I read somewhere that stir fried dish made with Thai basil (Horapha) is the original, and the use of holy basil is later adaptation.
- You can substitute minced beef with minced pork or other kinds of meat, or use eggplant instead of meat to make a vegetarian dish, in that case, use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
- Add a few chopped chillies (small chillies, the hot type) if you prefer it hot. Stir fry the chillies with garlic at the beginning before adding minced beef.
- Please do not omit the sugar if you like the real taste of Thai food. This dish should taste salty and aromatic, with a hint of sweetness. It is normal in Thai cooking to put sugar insavoury dishes and salt in sweets and desserts to balance the taste.
- You can use only fish sauce or soy sauce in this dish. The reason I put both in the recipe because I use both. The soy sauce help enhancing the colour of the dish, makes it look browner and richer.
- You can add some oyster sauce if you prefer. Don't forget to taste and adjust the amount of seasoning.
- You can add a little water before seasoning if you feel the dish too dry. For me, I like it dry so I don't add water, and I always soak basil leaves in water to keep them fresh until the time I put them in the wok, so the water from the leaves is enough to moisten the dish.
- Please do not take longer than 3 minutes in completing the frying process. The core concept of stir-frying is to use high heat and finish frying in as short time as possible. Frying too long will spoil the dish. So please prepare all ingredients close at hand and when the heat is ready ... GO!!!