This is very much inspired by Thai Basil Beef (a.k.a. Pad Gra Prow) but is not something that I would ever want to claim as being even remotely authentic for many reasons.
First, and probably foremost, is that Thai Basil is not something that can easily be found on the UK High Street. Yes, I know I could go to my local Asian supermarket (not that it’s especially local) and see if they have it available but if this is homecooking and if I wanted “real” Thai food I’d can assure you that I’d be eating out 😉
Secondly, you may recall that my husband is not a fan of spicy food and although he’s not totally averse to a hint of chilli we have very different tolerance levels! What I think of as being mild will often bring him discomfort and strip away his ability to enjoy a meal. For that reason alone I have chosen to steer clear of any chillis in this dish, which takes it even further from its South East Asian origins.
Finally, I’ve deconstructed the dish somewhat and have stir-fried the vegetables separately to the beef – itself marinated and cooked separately. I didn’t want to cut good quality steak up into thin slices that would end up being lost amongst everything else and as I was already well off-piste I thought I might as well keep going.
With those caveats in mind – I present to you my very own Basil & Red Pepper Beef.
Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed if you come to it with no preconceptions. It tastes amazing, probably because of the huge chunks of beef to be fair, and it looks good too. Although it might not be true to its roots it does make a really great bowl of food. The rich saltiness of the marinade and sauce work perfectly with the steak and are wonderfully balanced with the aromatic basil and sweet peppers.
This was originally inspired by a Thai dish, though without the heat. Rich flavoursome beef with the freshness of basil and sweetness of red peppers.
- 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 Rump Steaks 180g - 200g each
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Red Onion thinly sliced
- 1 Red Pepper deseeded and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tsp Light Brown Sugar
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 12 Basil Leaves
- 150 g Jasmine Rice cooked per packet instructions
Mix together the marinade ingredients. Put the beef steaks in a zip-loc bag (or shallow bowl) and pour over the marinade. Make sure the meat is well coated before putting in a cool place for 30-60 minutes.
Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle over a medium high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade and sear in the pan for 3-4 minutes on each side until warmed through but still pink in the middle.
Meanwhile, heat a wok over a medium high heat. Add the oil followed by the sliced onion and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until softened and starting the brown.
Add in the peppers and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until tender.
Add in the remaining stir-fry sauce ingredients, ensuring that everything is mixed and the vegetables are well coated. Remove from the heat then stir in the basil leaves, allowing them to wilt - don't overcook them.
When the beef is cooked remove it from the pan and keep warm. Pour the remaining marinade into the pan and add a splash of water. It should quickly reduce to a thickened sauce. At this point return the beef to the pan and glaze with the pan juices. Remove from the heat.
Divide the cooked rice between two bowls and top with the vegetable mixture, followed by the beef.