A white plate with white rice and Thai basil beef on it, chopsticks on the side and another plate of food behind it.
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5 from 1 vote

Thai Basil Beef

This authentic tasting Thai Basil Beef recipe is made with ground beef (or steak) and a homemade thai basil sauce that's easy to customize to your preferred spice level. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots , thinly sliced
  • 7 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger , minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce*
  • 6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons oyster sauce*
  • 2 Tbsp Asian garlic chili paste , more or less to taste, for heat*
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup basil leaves**
  • Cooked Jasmine rice , for serving


  • In a wok or large skillet over medium high heat add the oil, shallots, garlic, ginger and bell peppers and fry for 3 minutes.
  • Push the veggies off to the side. Turn the heat to high and add the ground beef, breaking it up into small bits with a spoon. (I like to spoon the cooked ground beef into my food processor and pulse it barely a few times to break it into really small pieces).
  • In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch beef broth and water and add to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the basil, and stir-fry until wilted.
  • Serve over hot cooked rice.


*The fish sauce, oyster sauce and chili paste can be found at most regular grocery stores in the Asian food aisle. The chili sauce could be substituted with sriracha hot sauce
**Thai basil is traditionally used is this recipe and can be found at your local asian market.  However, regular sweet basil will work as well.

More ways to make it your own:

  • Meat: Use ground chicken, ground pork, or extra firm tofu (and vegetable broth) to make it vegetarian. Flank steak would also taste delicious in this recipe. Slice it thinly, against the grain.
  • Oyster Sauce: You could substitute more soy sauce.
  • Vegetables: Use any color bell pepper and add more vegetables if you like, like shredded carrot, thinly sliced zucchini, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots or mushrooms.
  • Chili Sauce: Substitute sriracha hot sauce in place of the Asian Garlic Chili Paste
  • Rice: Use any kind of rice you like, or skip the rice and serve it in a lettuce wrap!


Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1765mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 333IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 4mg