Thai Basil Beef

Thai Basil Beef

When our friends Thomas and Leah showed up at the house a weeks ago, the first thing they said was they had been thinking about getting Thai food for dinner. This was accepted with a round of “Oo, great idea!” and “Yesss,” comments, until someone remembered it was Sunday: our favorite Thai restaurant is closed on Sundays. This is something we typically remember when we are already halfway there.  

But it was settled, in my mind at least: we would have Thai for dinner. I would just have to make it myself. I’m no stranger to making Thai Curry — we have it at home all the time. But for this dinner I wanted to 1) use up some ingredients already in the fridge and 2) learn to make something new.

I came up with a list of four options and then made everyone vote. My mom always said I was “very diplomatic.” 👩🏻‍⚖️ When the votes were in, I got to work: garlic, Thai basil, and even a few Thai chilies. 

Thai Basil Beef
Thai Basil Beef

The one place I cut corners when making Thai food is the fish sauce: it’s just not an ingredient I have in the house, and as someone who didn’t grow up on it, I don’t miss the fishy notes when they’re not there. That’s just me— feel free to use fish sauce in place of the Worcestershire sauce in this recipe for a more traditional experience. 

Besides, my favorite part is the basil. Plenty of basil, and I’m all smiles. This summer I’ll be growing a BUNCH of Thai basil. I just love how fresh, sweet, and complex the flavor is.

Serve this Thai Basil Beef over the Instant Pot Coconut Rice published in the blog last week!

Thai Basil Beef
Thai Basil Beef

Thai Basil Beef

Published April 24, 2018 by
   |     Print This Recipe

Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef, 90% preferred, but 80% will work
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce OR 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2-5 Thai chilies, depending on spice tolerance, minced (if you really don’t like spicy food, skip these all together)
  • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves 
  • Lime wedges, for serving 
  • Green onions for garnish
  • 2 cups coconut rice for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat until it glistens. Add onion and garlic to the pan, and sauté until onion is transparent. Then, add beef to the pan. Cook beef, breaking it into crumbles with a wooden spatula, until browned evenly.
  2. NOTE: If you are your 80%/20% or other high-fat percentage beef, you may want to pour off the excess fat at this time, as it does not emulsify with the sauce super well.
  3. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce, and maple syrup, and stir. Then, add minced Thai chilies. Cook for 1 more minute, and then add basil, allowing basil to wilt. Stir into beef mixture.
  4. Serve hot over coconut rice, garnished with sliced green onions and lime wedges.

Comment

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

This is my new favorite thing: poke bowls. Which I know is super "trendy" of me, but have you tried them?! Finding sushi-grade fish around these parts was a feat, so perhaps they also taste a bit like a well-deserved victory to me.

I called three grocery stores, none of which said they had sushi grade fish. I went to two, one were the lady said I "could" use the tuna, but the look on her face told me not to. Another where the only sushi-grade fish they had came in an vacuum-sealed, freezer package of small (too small) fillets. 

Finally we visited the Pacific Ocean Market, which is in the next town over. The woman on the phone said they had tuna and salmon for sushi, which was promising. All faith we had in the Pacific Ocean Market dropped to rock-bottom when we actually got there though, and the un-filleted fish were unlabeled, and the guy behind the counter only spoke Chinese. He made a motion, showing us to just point at what we want. How were we (two people that have never been into fishing or lived by the sea) supposed to know what was what? Let alone which was ok for sushi? (I have since learned that none of those would've been ok for sushi, so I'm glad we didn't just point at something random).  

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

Another customer saw we were struggling, and tried to help (she spoke Chinese). But we were pointed over to a freezer case where some mystery white fish was wrapped up in cellophane and was probably best suited for a fish fry. 

We went to the front counter and found two ladies, who between themselves could piece together some English, but they spoke Vietnamese, not Chinese, so couldn't help with the fish situation. Finally, someone found the store manager--the lady we had originally talked to on the phone- who directed us to the right deep-freeze case of fish. (Sushi fish, in a place like Colorado where it has to be shipped and stored, should be frozen to a certain temperature and for a certain amount of time in order to kill off any parasites). 

We rustled through the unorganized case: Eel, Tuna, Shrimp, Halibut. Our confidence in the quality of the fish had dropped to rock bottom when we had been pointed to the fry-fish. 

In the end I went back to store number two, and bought several tiny packages of salmon in vacuum-sealed plastics, and a box labeled "Sushi and Sashimi." At least I could read it. 

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

Night one we ate sushi, but when we had one packet left the next day I jumped on the poke train. AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT! Can we all just go to Hawaii now? 🙋🏻✈️

(I spent the first week calling this "poa-kee," which confused everyone. Oliver started calling it "pokemon" just to make fun of me, and finally I looked up the pronunciation: "poa-kay"). So take note and avoid looking like a fool like me! 😉

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl

Published September 5, 2017 by
   |     Print This Recipe

Serves: 2   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces sushi grade salmon
  • 2 cups mixed greens 
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced mango
  • 1 diced bell pepper (I used 1/2 of a red and half of a green for color)
  • 1/2 of an avocado, sliced
  • 1 green onion, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds 
  • Pickled ginger
  • Optional: 1 cup cooked rice
  • Optional, for serving: wasabi, soy sauce, hot sauce such as Sriracha 

Directions:

  1. Slice salmon into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Arrange bowls: If you desire, place a half cup of rice at bottom of bowl. Then arrange mixed greens, shredded cabbage, sliced cucumber, diced mango, bell peppers, and sliced avocado in bowl. Divide salmon between both bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion.
  3. Serve with pickled ginger and any other accoutrements of your choice: wasabi, soy sauce, Sriracha, etc.

Comment