Gosh I love a good stir fry and the simpler the better. There is absolutely no need to overload them with content, in my opinion less is more. The peppery, aniseed flavour of Thai Basil was was the perfect addition to tender beef fillet, lightly marinated in fish sauce and loaded with classic Asian aromatics of garlic, ginger, chilli and lemon grass. Exemplary mid-week fare!
Prep tim: 25 minutes Cooking time: 15 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
500gm of beef fillet, finely sliced across the grain
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2cm piece of ginger, grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you prefer)
1 stalk of lemon grass, finely chopped
4 Kaffir lime leaves, rolled and sliced very finely
1 brown onion, halved and sliced top to bottom
150gm of snow peas, topped and halved diagonally
1 cup of Thai basil leaves
1 cup of coriander leaves
4 tbs of fish sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
3 tbs of oyster sauce
1 tbs of rice wine vinegar
1 tbs of mirin (japanese rice wine)*
1/2 cup of roasted, chopped cashews
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced for garnish
Steamed rice to serve
Place the sliced beef in a bowl and stir through two tablespoons of the fish sauce. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Combine the oyster sauce, soy, miring, vinegar and remaining fish sauce in a jug or bowl.
Heat a wok to nice and hot and stir fry the beef in batches until golden. Place in a bowl and set aside. To the hot wok add the onion and cook until just starting to soften and then add the garlic, chilli, ginger, lemongrass and half of the shredded kaffir lime leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the beef back to the wok along with the pak choy. Keep the heat really high, tossing the contents of the wok with a wooden spoon so that everything cooks quickly but evenly.
Just before serving pour in the sauces and stir through the basil and coriander leaves. Divide the stir fry between four bowls on top of a good helping of steamed rice. Scatter over the remaining kaffir lime leaves, chilli and sprinkle over the peanuts. Serve immediately.
*Mirin is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the sharpness of the other sauces. You could use 2 tsp of caster sugar instead if you can’t find it.