Monday, January 7, 2019

Thai Beef with Basil

I've been buying  a lot of Thai takeout later and decided that it would b much better if I made it myself at home. So today I decided to make Thai Beef with Basil. I've discovered that Thai food is fairly easy and quick to make, as long as you have some basic seasoning ingredients in your pantry - in this case Tamari (Soy Sauce) and Fish Sauce. Other than that, this dish requires some Thai Basil, Brown Sugar, Garlic, Shallots and a Chili - all things I had. A quick note: Thai Basil keeps best at room temperature. I added Red Pepper for Color and Green Beans too. Another trick, is to slice the Beef when it is partly frozen, so place it in the freezer for a while first or unthaw it just until sliceable. This dish was done in less time than it took to cook the Jasmine Rice and it was wonderful!  An easy weeknight meal and in my opinion, better than takeout!

Thai Beef with Basil

3/4 pound of Flank Steak or other Beef steak, sliced into thin strips
1 large or 2 small Shallots, peeled, trimmed and sliced thin
3 Garlic Cloves, minced.  
1 Red Pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into thin strips
a handful of Green Beans, ends trimmed and snapped in half
1 small Red Chili (Thai Bird Chili or Red Jalapeño) sliced into rings
1 1/2 Tablespoons Tamari (Soy Sauce)
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (divided)
a handful of Thai Basil Leaves

Blanch the Green Beans in a small pot of boiling water, cooking for about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside

In a small bowl, mix together the Tamari, Fish Sauce and Brown Sugar. Place Beef in another bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the sauce mixture, mixing well with your hands.

Then heat a wok on high heat and add 2 Tablespoon of OIl. Add in the Beef and smooth into one layer with the spatula , cooking until one side is browned and turn to brown the other side. Remove to a serving bowl. Then add in the additional 2 Tablespoon of OIl. Put in the Shallots and Garlic, stirring quickly. Then add in the Red Pepper and Green Beans. Cook until the Red Peppers soften.  Then add the Beef back in, then toss in the Basil and Sauce, stirring to wilt the Basil. Serve immediately with Jasmine Rice. 

Five Element Analysis

With such a colorful dish, it is likely that many Elements are involved. The Beef contributes the Earth Element, as does the Brown Sugar. The Red Pepper and the Red Chili bring in the Fire Element. The Green Beans make sure that the Wood Element is present and the Fish Sauce and Tamari add the Water Element. The Metal Element is represented by the Shallots, Garlic and Thai Basil. So, this ends up being a very balanced dish!  

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