Beef with chilli and basil

Adam Liaw
Thai-style stir-fried beef with basil.
Thai-style stir-fried beef with basil. Photo: William Meppem

Substituting the traditional spicy bird's-eye chillis with a mild bullhorn chilli or even capsicum puts this Thai favourite within reach of any kid. Just take a bite of the raw chilli first to make sure it really is mild.


6 cloves garlic

1 red bullhorn chilli (or 1 red capsicum)

4 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying the eggs

500g beef mince

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp castor sugar

2 cups loosely packed basil leaves

steamed rice, to serve


Roughly chop the garlic. Remove the seeds from the chilli (or capsicum) and roughly chop it into pieces about the same size as the garlic.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat until hot, then add the oil. Add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for about two minutes until fragrant. Add the beef and stir-fry for about five minutes, until the beef is browned and cooked through.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and castor sugar and stir-fry for a further minute or two, then stir through the basil leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with steamed rice and consider topping with a fried egg.

Serving suggestion: This beef dish is delicious topped with a fried egg. For authenticity, cook the eggs Asian-style by cracking each into a bowl, then sliding it into very hot oil in a wok or deep frying pan.

Also try: my kid-friendly Japanese curry recipe

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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