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Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil Over Coconut Rice


This popular spicy Thai dish in restaurants is very easy to make at home.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Source: Everyday Food, September 2009


  • 1 1/4 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 long hot peppers or red jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

  2. When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice with lime wedges.

Cook's Notes

Cast-iron skillets and woks are both great for stir-frying. If using another pan, cook the beef in batches. Find fish sauce in the Asian-foods aisle of most supermarkets.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10700367
    4 JAN, 2016
    This was so boring. I try to follow recipes to the letter. I want to see what the author had in mind. I can only think they must have been having a slow day at MS. Not enough flavor.
  • Lily-11
    2 OCT, 2014
    Hi! I want to tell you that the title of the recipe is with beef and the video shows it with porc.
  • MirToni
    19 AUG, 2014
    Easy and satisfying meal! A few minor changes to the ingredients-peanut oil instead of vegetable oil, light coconut milk for coconut milk, low sodium soy sauce for soy sauce. Drained the meat after browning and before adding the sauce (as another reviewer suggested). Squeezed the lime wedge over the beef and rice just before serving. All the favors worked together perfectly!
  • MS12127993
    8 AUG, 2014
    WOW! Excellent recipe! I added some green bell pepper for contrast and freshly grated ginger because it can be asian otherwise.... I also added the juice of a lime before serving instead of serving with pieces of lime. Great leftovers fot lunch tomorrow.
  • MS112583616
    10 APR, 2014
    The family loved this! More importantly, the 5-year-old loved it--she didn't even complain about the coconut milk, which is always a problem for her. I left out the chiles but included a pinch of red pepper flakes. I reduced the fish sauce because I was afraid it might overpower the flavors (and smells).
  • Flavorfulandfit
    9 JAN, 2014
    I used flank steak and trimmed the fat off and diced it into small bites, I replaced the fish sauce with Thai Red Chile Garlic Paste and a can of green chilies because that is what I had on hand. I cooked it covered and slow to not dry out the lean flank steak. Also, use reduced sodium soy sauce, (I saw the salty comment.) When it was almost done, I added about 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder to thicken up the excess liquid to create a sauce since I didn't drain the beef after it was brown. Amazing
  • Mims Smith
    6 NOV, 2013
    This was extremely salty. I will not be making this again. The flavors were drowned out by the extreme salty flavors from the soy and fish sauce. I am going back to my favorite basil pork recipe, this is going in the trash.
  • TabbyHill
    6 SEP, 2011
    This is a house favorite-the coconut rice really makes it. To get more veggies in the dish, I stir fry 2 carrots cut in short matchsticks, a medium onion cut in thin crescents, 7-8 thinly sliced mushrooms then add about 1 cup of frozen peas - to avoid overcooking the veggies remove from the wok before cooking the beef. I also add 1 T grated ginger with the garlic and peppers. Proceed with cooking and seasoning beef per the recipe, add the veggies back in at the end. So delicious and satisfying.
  • kgibson9
    2 SEP, 2011
    would cilantro be good in this instead of the basil? i want to take this to a more citrusy level rather than traditional.
  • MarisainBKK
    26 JUN, 2011
    I don't mind if people like fusion food.... but claiming to something which is not correct, I don't think it is right way to learn about other nationality. I do cook fusion food at home too.... but I would not claim that I cook french or Italian when I use Thai noodle rather than italian pasta to cook pasta dishes. Also, we don't eat every dish with Lemon... (in fact we don't use lemon at all... we use lime. If you are good cook, you would know the difference....