Thai Beef with Chilies and Basil over Coconut Rice

So here we are again at Thursday. I need some quick. I need something that doesn’t cluck. I need something that will satisfy 2 hungry boys and one hungry though trying to be healthy man.

I pulled my stack of Everyday Food Magazines from the shelf, searching for inspiration.  I have passed this particular recipe dozens of times. I have it saved on my iPhone. I have it printed in a pile of recipes I am dying to try.

Well, this is it… JUMP IN …

  • 1 1/4 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 long hot peppers or red jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving

NOTE: I had a terrible time finding the peppers. I used a plain old green jalapeno pepper and it was fine. It was requested, however, that I use a little bit more pepper next time so the kick was a little bit bigger.

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

NOTE: Doesn’t really get much easier than that! The rice isn’t overly coconutty in flavor. It has a subtle behind the scenes taste that you can’t quite put your finger on, but is perfect with the beef.

When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds.

NOTE: I used a skillet. I didn’t want to fuss with my cast iron. I was tired. I t was after work. I didn’t want to clean it. Truthfully, the skillet goes straight in the dish washer so occasionally the skillet wins!

Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice with lime wedges.

NOTE: I drained a lot of the liquid (fat) from the skillet before I added the soy mixture. There was a substantial amount of liquid in the pan already and I didn’t want the soy mixture to be diluted.

NOTE: I didn’t think this was going to be substantial enough just over the rice. I had 2 Romaine lettuce hearts. I separated them into leaves and piled them on a plate. The beef and rice went side by side on a platter. Turning this into wraps somehow stretched it a bit and made it seem more substantial. The lime wedges really add a layer of flavor. We also used a sprinkling or 2 od sweet chili sauce for some sweet heat.

I wasn’t sure that this dish was going to be a winner. It certainly was – so much so it has already been requested as a do-over. I am going to try this with ground turkey or chicken. I think the sauce is flavorful enough to fool the feather haters.

10 Responses

  1. Well it looks delicious! Although I could do without the Jalopeno chiles, but they probably make the dish. I’d be willing to try this! Thanks for sharing!~Ames

    • The first time I made this I used half a jalapeno. It had a tiny sense of heat to it, not much at all. It’s necessary against all that saltiness. The second time I made it – with ground chicken – I used a whole jalapeno. This time you knew there was something there, but still not burn your face off hot. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Did you cook it in a wok? That would be a super W theme.

  3. Looks great! I love these fast Thai dishes on a busy night.
    You never know with Jalapenos…sometimes they can be mild and then another in the same batch can burn your hair off. I always taste a little piece before adding.

    If you can get serrano chiles they are consistanyly hot and one small one is usually enough for the right amount of kick! I used two the last time I made a Thai dis hand it was almost too much! I can not get Thai chiles here unless I go to the Asian market…

  4. Lovely flavor combinations you have going there….

    I bet the lime was just perfect with it….

  5. oh yum! I saved the recipe and i’ve already added ingredients to my shopping list! Can’t wait to try it!

  6. what a pretty plate! looks delicious! {:-Deb

  7. wow.

  8. Oh my. This looks delicious. And it’s GF as well. I like the idea of making wraps with it, too.

    So far in my Alphabe-Thursday visits this week I’ve gotten two recipes to try!

    I’m printing this out now…

    And I had to laugh at your ‘doesn’t cluck’ remark!

    Thanks for linking!


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