Thai basil beef (aka pad graw prow). The dish I order almost every time I set foot in a Thai restaurant, and one of my favorite things to cook at home. While we’ve posted a recipe for Thai Basil Chicken in the past, this beef version has a more intense flavor that comes from the darker, richer sauce used here.
As I sit here writing this post at 12:17 AM on my couch, I’m seriously thinking about getting up and making some thai basil beef right now. And if I gave into my weaker impulses and did end up going to the kitchen right now to start preparing it, I’d be back on the couch within fifteen minutes with a piping hot bowl. That’s how easy it is to make. It’s a fifteen minute recipe from start to finish and has been one of my go-to weeknight meals just for that reason.
If you’ve never tried Thai basil before, you can find it in some grocery stores nowadays, as well as Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute regular Italian basil. You won’t get quite the same cinnamon-y flavor, but you’ll be in the same ballpark at least. On with the recipe!
(Note: I’ve been told by a couple commenters from Thailand that pad gra prow is actually made with a different kind of basil, called holy basil. If you can find it in your local Asian grocery store, by all means use it! But Thai Basil or, as I mentioned, regular Italian basil, can also work for this dish. At that point, it might not be a true pad gra prow, but it will still be good!)
Thai Basil Beef: Recipe Instructions
Heat your wok over high heat, and add the oil. Sear the beef until just browned, remove from the wok, and set aside. For more complete information on preparing beef, see Bill’s post on How to Slice and Velvet Beef for stir fries.
Add the garlic and red pepper to the wok and stir-fry for about 20 seconds. Add the onions and stir-fry until browned and slightly caramelized.
Serve your Thai Basil Beef Pad Gra Prow with jasmine rice, and garnish with cilantro!
Thai Basil Beef (Pad Gra Prow)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 12 oz. beef (340g, sliced thinly against the grain and mixed with 1 teaspoon oil and 2 teaspoons cornstarch)
- 5 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ½ of a red bell pepper (sliced thinly)
- 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup thai basil leaves (packed)
- cilantro (to garnish)
- Heat your wok over high heat, and add the oil. Sear the beef until just browned, remove from the wok, and set aside.
- Add the garlic and red pepper to the wok and stir-fry for about 20 seconds. Add the onions and stir-fry until browned and slightly caramelized.
- Toss the beef back in, along with the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir-fry for another few seconds, and then fold in the Thai basil until it’s just wilted. Serve with jasmine rice, and garnish with cilantro.