Thai Basil Beef with tomato and red bell pepper. A quick meal to use Thai Basil which is in abundance right now. A delicious meal the family will love.
Thai Basil Beef with Tomato and Bell Pepper
I am proud of myself. I have a pot of Basil Leaf in full bloom close to my window. This is the only plant that lived under my care and I feel like a proud mom. These Basil leaves have made their way to my menu too like the recipes Vietnamese Spring Roll, Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Homemade Vietnamese Char Siu Spring Rolls, Basil Pizza
Make a large batch of this and triple the sauce to drench on the rice Or, simply use it for later. This is an awesome budget meal.
The first time I had this was when I was in Chicago. I was new here in the US, so I grabbed an opportunity to visit a friend. It was also the first time I ate in a US-based Thai restaurant.
I remember that they were generous with the basil and the sauce was glossy and thick. It was so good, so I added extra rice- I may have 2 more cups of rice that time.
What I love about this recipe
- Cheap -if you are quick and observant, and if you are a mom on a budget, you’ll know the “DISCOUNT” days in your grocery store, so I buy my ground meat during those times. This ground meat was on sale for less than a dollar.
- Sauce- the sauce is really tasty and bursting with flavor from the mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. That is 3 different salty levels of the sauce, yet the combo is really good.
- Basil- since I have a basil plant at home, I am just so proud that the leaves don’t go to waste.
HOW TO MAKE GROUND BEEF TOMATO WITH BELL PEPPER
- Sauce: This recipe is very forgiving. You can add the sauce while you are cooking it, or you can make and season the sauce ahead. You can even make a huge batch for future use. Using a small bowl, add in the soy sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce and mix. Add according to your liking.
- Cook the meal: In a small pan heat oil and add in onion garlic, green onions, and bell pepper. Saute’ until wilted.
- Cook the ground beef: Add the ground beef and cook until it changes its color.
- Season the meat: Add the sauce and cook until the beef is cooked through.
- Add the basil: When the meat is cooked through, add the chiffonade basil and turn off the heat.
- Serve hot.
How to Store
Thai Basil Beef is very easy to store and is a “store friendly ” meal. Let it cool after cooking and place in an air-tight container or even in a ziplock.
- Store in the fridge- to store it in the fridge, put the meal in an air-tight container after cooling and put it in the fridge for 3 days.
- Store in the freezer – follow the step above and store in the freezer for 6 months.
- Sauce: in this recipe, we need 3 kinds of sauces: dark soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. These sauces are often available in a grocery store in the Asian section.
- Water – this neutralizes the saltiness level of the sauces, so add water according to your liking.
- Onion- add red or yellow onion.
- Red Bell Pepper -you can use yellow bell pepper if you have that available. Bell pepper adds a very distinct flavor to the meal, so this is a must.
- Green Onion: It further adds color. This is optional, but I highly recommend it.
What is Basil
Basil is an Asian herb that grows annually in a cold climate. It has distinct peppery, sweet, and smells almost similar to mint. It has various uses in cooking and good health benefits. When I was in the Philippines, my grandma usually add basil to our water for healthy kidneys. You can check out this site Basil Benefits. (check your doctor also).
How to grow Basil and keep it alive.
I am not an expert in growing herbs. To be honest, I tried planting basil before and I killed them quickly. Yes, I watered it too much, pruned it from its root, but hear this:
- Since I live in a place where there are 4 seasons, my only option is to plant basil indoors. You really need to put your basil plant when it can have nondirect sunlight the whole day.
- Just give enough water to keep the soil moist.
- Fertilize lightly- too much fertilizer will kill your basil, so don’t overdo it. In fact, I haven’t added any fertilizer since last year.
- Location – in the Philippines, you can plant basil outside where it’s exposed to direct sun, but you can plant it indoors too. You can grow it in the kitchen, in the living room, in my case, it’s in my bedroom. The most important thing is that there is sunlight throughout the day – so closest to the window.
This is the only way I did differently compared to the previous plants I raised. As you can see how bloomed it is- I can’t keep up.
How to Prune
Before, I am scared to prune my basil plant because I was worried that it may die or maybe stunt its growth. It took a lot of convincing and reading articles on basil pruning to bring myself to get the scissor and prune it.
Pruning your basil makes it bloom and grow healthy. Below are the steps to trim/prune your basil.
- Start when your basil has grown about 6 inches tall and has 2 or 3 leaves.
- Prune the top section of the stem.
- Use sharp scissors when trimming.
How to chiffonade basil
Chiffonade may sound so French, since it is, it just means that you slice your basil into small ribbon-like pieces.
- You can achieve this by stacking several pieces of basil leaves
- Roll the basil for slicing
- Slice the basil with a sharp knife.
- This is ribbon-like basil -chiffonade basil.
FOR MORE CHEAP AND BUDGET-FRIENDLY MEALS:
- Chicken Leg Oven Bake
- Budget Friendly Meal Plan # 1
- Homemade chicken Gyros
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Velveeta Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
Thai Basil Beef with Bell Pepper and Tomato
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup bell pepper
- 1/4 1/4 tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Thai Basil leaf, I used a lot, so use more too
- 3 sticks Green Onion
- 2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Cooking the Meal
- Heat the oil in the small pan.
- Add the meat and cook until cook through. You can tell when the meat is no longer pink.
- Add the green onion, bell pepper and tomatoes and cook until they are wilted.
- Add the sauce mixture and the basil and cook until wilted.