02 August 2011

This is an adaptation of a recipe I saw Lucinda Scala Quinn make on Everyday Food.  I made it once and felt it needed some adjustments, so last night I made it again and was pretty happy with the results.  Here's my version.

Thai Beef with Basil Over Coconut Rice

1¼ cups jasmine rice
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
¾ cup water
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp Bangkok Seasoning
¼ cup water
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbs vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 lb. ground beef 
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, water, and 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.

When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, Bangkok Seasoning, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch is dissolved and set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Turn heat to high and add seasoning mixture.  Cook 30 seconds, then turn heat down to low. Add basil. Serve immediately over coconut rice.

Makes 4 servings.

The original recipe calls for whole Thai chiles, but I thought that might make it too hot, so I used red pepper flakes and Penzey's Bangkok Seasoning instead.  Bangkok Seasoning is a really tasty Thai spice blend.  I use it in my Thai Fried Rice also.  You can add more red pepper flakes if you like things really spicy.

The first time I made it, it came out really dry and crumbly.  And way too salty.  I like salty probably a tad bit more than the average person, and it was way too salty for me.  It originally called for 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp each of fish sauce and soy sauce.  Even with using reduced-sodium soy sauce it was too much.  So this time I cut back on the fish sauce a tad and the soy sauce by more than half.  It was much better, but it's still on the salty side, so consider yourself warned!  The water and cornstarch were my additions to try to address the dryness issue.  I was wanting it to be a little bit more "saucy".  That certainly did the trick.  If you can't serve it right away (for instance, if your rice isn't quite done yet), then you might need to add a little more water to it before serving.

I also cut back quite a bit on the amount of basil called for.  The original recipe called for a cup.  Wow, that's alot!  I thought a quarter of a cup was just fine.  The basil really does lend a lovely flavor to this dish.  If you can find Thai Basil, you should use that, but my store only carries the regular Sweet Basil.

The coconut rice is the perfect compliment to the beef.  It's cool creaminess balances out the salty spiciness of the beef perfectly.

This dish really comes together very quickly.  I served it with broccoli that I seasoned with a little extra Bangkok Seasoning.

This recipe was included in a ground beef recipe blog hop on Savannah's Savory Bites.

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  1. Jennifer, thanks for linking up with me this week. Make sure and come back to the page and vote for your favorite dish. The dish with the most votes will be the feature recipe on Monday. Thanks again! -Savannah

  2. Sorry I missed the voting, Savannah, but I was out of town all weekend. BTW, I'm Lesa, not Jennifer. :)