Thai Basil Beef

Thai Basil Beef is a super easy one-skillet meal loaded with tender, juicy beef and absolutely bursting with flavor! This easy dinner recipe is perfect for a healthy weeknight meal the whole family will love.

Looking for more Thai recipes? Try my Pad Thai, or my Thai Chicken Satay. Both are ready in less than 30 minutes!

Thai Basil Beef | chefsavvy.com

The first time I had this Thai beef and basil dish I instantly fell in love with Thai basil. It’s not as sweet as regular basil and has a minty / licorice flavor to it. It’s absolutely delicious!

The sauce that the steak and peppers get tossed in is rich, sweet, salty, and very flavorful! It’s quite a simple sauce, made up of light and dark soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. It really ties this whole Thai Basil Beef recipe together!

This Thai Basil Beef recipe comes together in minutes. The beef gets marinated for 30 minutes while I am prepping the rest of the ingredients. You can marinate for longer if you have time! This can also be marinated the morning of! When I’m ready to cook, I fry the flank steak in a hot pan over high heat. This cooks the steak quickly and provides a nice sear on the outside. Then, I remove the steak from the pan and sauté the red bell pepper, green onions, and garlic until they are just starting to get soft. I return the steak to the pan along with the sauce, and lastly, fold in the Thai basil so it doesn’t wilt too much.

Authentic Thai Basil Beef | chefsavvy.com

Ingredients

The full ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.

Stir fry

  • Flank Steak: I like using flank steak in this recipe however skirt steak or ground beef can also be used.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to sear the steak and thicken up the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: This adds saltiness and seasoning to the steak, as well as helping to make it tender. Make sure to use low sodium soy sauce so you can keep the saltiness down.
  • Vegetables: Red bell pepper, green onion, and garlic: These vegetables add flavor as well as a pop of color!
  • Thai basil leaves: The star of the dish! Thai basil brings a herby freshness to this recipe. You can find thai basil at Asian Grocery stores. I typically purchase mine from the local farmers market. Feel free to substitute mint or regular basil if you cant find fresh thai basil.

Sauce

  • Soy sauce: I used both dark and light soy sauce to add seasoning and richness to the dish. If you can’t find dark soy sauce simply substitute regular low sodium soy sauce.
  • Fish sauce: This is used in all kinds of Asian cuisine! It adds a hint of fishiness, along with sweetness and some acidity, as it is fermented.
  • Oyster sauce: Despite the name, it doesn’t actually taste fishy! It’s salty and sweet, with a hint of earthiness.
  • Brown sugar: A touch of brown sugar adds a caramelized sweetness to this Thai basil Beef recipe and really brings all the flavors together.

How to make this Thai Basil Beef Stir Fry

  1. Marinate beef: In a medium bowl add the sliced beef, water, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Toss to coat. Marinate the beef for 30 minutes. This will help make it SUPER tender!
  2. Sear beef: Secondly, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and sear the beef until just browned, 2-3 minutes. When it’s ready, remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Saute veggies: Add the red pepper and green onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender, and then add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Simmer: Return the beef back to the pan along with the sauce. Cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Fold in the Thai basil: And cook until it’s just wilted. Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

Step by Step Pictures of Thai Basil Beef | chefsavvy.com

What to serve with Thai Basil Beef

Here are a few tried and true side dishes that I love:

Where can I buy Thai Basil?

I get Thai basil from my local Asian grocery store. Some grocery stores also sell it, and if you have a green thumb, it’s pretty easy to grow at home!

I can’t find any Thai basil. What can I use instead?

If you can’t find Thai basil, fresh mint or regular Italian basil would work in this Thai Basil Beef recipe. It won’t be the same flavor but will still be delicious!

Storage and Reheating

  • Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: To heat up the leftovers, simply add everything into a saucepan on the stove and heat it over a medium heat until it is warmed through.

Is it freezer-friendly?

Yes! I love making a double-batch to freeze for later. Freeze this Thai basil beef dinner for up to 4 months in the freezer. Then, when you’re ready to eat, thaw the frozen food completely before heating it up on the stove.

Beef with Thai Basil | chefsavvy.com

More take-out inspired beef recipes you will love:

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Thai Basil Beef

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Thai Basil Beef is a super easy one-skillet meal loaded with tender, juicy beef and absolutely bursting with flavor! This easy dinner recipe is perfect for a healthy weeknight meal the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound flank steak sliced in thin strips against the grain
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 whole red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 whole green onion sliced (green and white parts)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves can sub mint or regular Italian Basil if you are in a pinch

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar

Instructions

Images:
  • In a medium bowl add beef, water, cornstarch and soy sauce. Toss to coat. Marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and sear the beef until just browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the red pepper and green onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the beef back to the pan along with the sauce. Cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
  • Fold in the Thai basil and cook until it’s just wilted. Serve immediately with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Thai Basil Beef
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 1101mg48%
Potassium 513mg15%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1280IU26%
Vitamin C 40.3mg49%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Beef, Easy Dinner, Stir Fry, Sweet and Spicy, Thai Basil

 

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  • Fern

    I had purchased a Aerogarden and one of the plants I grew was Thai basil. Not knowing what to do with it I googled it and came across this recipe. I had to use green pepper as that is what I had, shallots rather than green onion, (didn’t have) worcestershire sauce in place of fish sauce (didn’t have) and I only used low sodium soy sauce and no dark soy sauce (again, didn’t have). Into the stir fry I added cooked organic ramen noodles that I had found at Costco. We enjoyed it very much. I would make this again. I would recommend the Thai oregano as it does have a distinct flavor. Very delicious.

    • Linda ODwyer

      We did the EXACT same thing!!! Aerogarden, shallots, Costco organic ramen noodles, what a kwinkie dink!!

  • Paul and Jaci from MO

    Double crop of Thai Basil in the garden this year. This is on our menu tonight. Thank you for the great recipe.

    • Nathan

      Hi Monica,

      The Nutrition Facts
      Thai Basil Beef
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 237 Calories from Fat 81
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 9g 14%
      Saturated Fat 3g 15%
      Cholesterol 68mg 23%
      Sodium 1101mg 46%
      Potassium 513mg 15%
      Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
      Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
      Sugars 8g
      Protein 26g 52%
      Vitamin A 25.6%
      Vitamin C 48.9%
      Calcium 4.3%
      Iron 13%
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

      I hope you enjoy!

      Nathan

  • Stephany Looper

    This recipe was one of the most delicious meals we have ever eaten! It was so simple we will definitely be eating it again! We did add two Tai chili’s (de-seeded) for a little more spice but otherwise used the recipe exactly !!!!!

    • Nathan

      Hi Stephany,

      Thank you so much for trying it out! We are so glad you like it and appreciate your comment!

      Nathan
      @chefsavvy

  • Just made this – with a few modifications – and love this recipe and the meal. The recipe allows easy adjustment for individual tastes and what is in the pantry. I don’t like garlic, so just used 1/8 tsp of garlic powder instead of cloves. Had no oyster sauce, so added a bit more fish sauce. Added about 1/4 tsp. of pepper flakes for a bit of heat and substituted Maggi Seasoning for the dark soy sauce, which our store didn’t have.
    When I finally threw the fresh picked Thai basil in at the end the aroma was incredible.
    An easy recipe. A delicious meal.

    • Nathan

      Hi Carol,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for trying it out!
      Have a great day!

      Nathan

  • Kathy

    Faster and fresher than a trip to our favorite takeout place. Beautiful and light like so many of your recipes. Thanks!

  • Config

    I made this last night and it was fantastic! A few modifications were needed cause I didn’t have exactly everything listed, nor do I have the opportunity to go to the store cause of the pandemic… BUT I had most stuff on hand, and some decent substitutes on hand.

    Since I didn’t have flank steak, I used boneless beef rib meat strips from Costco that I defrosted and sliced into nice, 1/4″ thick pieces. I used the same suggested marinade method while prepping everthing else, but I added the garlic during this phase to impart some of that garlicy goodness into the meat. I didn’t end up growing any Thai basil in my garden this year, but I have a TON of regular Italian basil, so I used that and rounded out the flavor with a sprinkle of dried mint and a died keffir lime leaf in the sauce, which I pulled out once it was ready to serve. Those additions really did a great job to align the flavors a lot closer to that Thai basil taste. I also had to substitute fresh bell pepper with some frozen bits I had in the freezer. I just rinsed them with warm water, patted dry, and tossed in right at the last minute of cooking just to warm them up (cause being frozen and thawed they were already soft and a bit mushy and did not need to be cooked). Lastly, I didn’t have any fresh scallions/green onions, but I tossed in a small handful of freeze-dried ones I have in my spice cabinet.

    Finally, I served this all up on a bed of jasmine rice that I cooked up with coconut milk, and it was a heavenly combo to say the least! Looking VERY much forward to having the leftovers for dinner tonight as well!

    A++ recipe! This is definitely going a new and welcome addition to my standard rotation recipe list! THANK YOU for sharing this! 🙂

  • Lori T Muir

    I had 2 leftover ribeyes from a grilled meal 2 days ago, I wanted to do something different with the beef, so this recipe was a great inspiration! I did make some changes due to dietary restrictions and ingredients on hand, but it still turned out delicious!

    We have to do GF and low fodmap due to his celiac and my fructose intolerance. (I can’t eat garlic or sweet onion, as it will sicken me for days which took me years to figure out, as these were staples in my cooking for years)

    So instead, I used one sliced poblano pepper instead of red peppers, I used shallots instead of garlic, and I used GF soy sauce. I also used a dash of rice wine vinegar, hot chili oil, and sesame oil, about a tbs each, and I did not have the clam or oyster juices, but it was not needed to make this dish OMG good.

    I first sliced and trimmed fat and gristle from the cold medium rare grilled steaks and set them aside. Then chopped the poblanos, tops of green onion, and shallots, what little fresh basil I had, and I sauteed them first in a little olive oil, sesame oil, and chili oil, about a tsp each. I saved the green onion tops for garnish.

    I have a basil plant, but could not harvest a cup of fresh leaves, so I pinched off a 1/4c and used 2 tsp dried basil instead, it worked just fine.

    I put on a pot of boiling water for my rice noodles, of course, rice works as well, but we love the noodles with this dish. Never boil your rice noodles for more than 7 mins. That’s the trick, rice noodles will get mushy and sticky if boiled too long. Just strain and set aside if done before the entree. (pro tip, rice noodles will also dry out like cardboard if stored alone, always top them with your entree before storing for leftovers).

    In my glass measuring cup, I make my sauce; 1/4cup GF soy sauce, 2 tbs rice wine vinegar, 3 tbs light brown sugar, 2 tsp corn starch, 1/4c water. A dash of sesame oil and red chili oil never disappoints! Whisk and set aside.

    When poblanos are still crisp but cooked about halfway to limp, toss in the sliced beef, just to warm, 2 mins, then pour in sauce mix another 2 min, then the green onion garnish! O M G it’s SO GOOD!

    Serve over wide rice noodles. Beware, your man will not take you out for dinner as this is better than anything he will ever get and pay 4x the price for!

    Thanks for the inspiration Chef Savvy!

    • This sounds fantastic Lori!! I would not want takeout either if I had this! Thanks so much for sharing so glad you enjoyed this!

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