I love to cook me some Asian food. I don’t know what it is about. I love the flavors, I love the variety of vegetables, proteins, and spices. I like to use fish sauce, soy sauce, hoison sauce, lime juice, sriracha, etc. I like to add peppers. I like to use a wok and a very high heat stove. And I have found some good dishes to add to my repertoire. The pad kee mao and pad thai were already winners that I had found and tried. The chicken and cashew stirfry from my cooking class is one not to let go of. And the latest is spicy Thai basil beef. I made it on Monday and it was very, very good.
I think what Bryan and I like about Thai food are the complex flavors that Thai food has, which I am learning come from just a few common ingredients. These would be:
- Soy sauce (obviously, but Thai is not as heavy on soy as other Asian cuisines which reduces the sodium a little bit too)
- Fish sauce (distinct flavor but good)
- Lime juice (freshness)
- Basil (omg)
- Peanuts (still speaking my language)
These ingredients are in almost every single Thai dish that I have made so far. The Thai basil beef was served as a stirfry alongside rice. It starts out with slicing the beef thin and marinating the beef in a quick combination of 2 garlic cloves and equal parts rice vinegar and soy sauce. While the meat was getting good I prepped the vegetables. This included:
- One red bell pepper
- 4 green onions
- 1/2 jalapeno (called for serano but I had a 1/2 jalapeno on hand)
- 1/2 lb green beans cut to 1″ and steamed for 5 minutes (I of course probably doubled it)
- some red onion (just had it already diced on hand)
- 2 garlic cloves
Then you brown the beef for just a few minutes, working in batches as my wok is not very big. I used my new rice bran oil which I am already very please with. Once the beef is browned and removed you cook all of your vegetables together for about 6 minutes or until the peppers or tender but I still like a good crunch. Then you add your beef and a sauce of lime, soy sauce, and fish sauce. At the last minute you stir in the basil and tada. Fabulous!