Thai Basil Beef (or Portobellos)

I love the flavor of Thai basil.  A friend gave me some from her garden and I decided to make a marinade and all I can say is you gotta try this.  If you like Vietnamese or Thai food, you know this flavor but might not have recognized it as Thai basil.  The flavor is a blend of traditional sweet basil with a hint of anise.  It’s distinctive and delicious.  Please I beg of you do not substitute sweet basil in this recipe.  Sweet basil is the shy younger sibling to its more assertive in your face big brother, Thai.  The marinade made cheap, tough chuck steaks incredibly tender and flavorful.  I also tried it on Portobello mushrooms and as Guy would say winner winner chicken dinner.  Visit Li Ming’s Global Mart for the marinade ingredients – fish sauce, Thai basil, Thai bird chilies and ground chili paste. Freeze the leftover Thai chilies for future use.

This meat is so tender you'll be buying chuck all the time.
This meat is so tender you’ll be buying chuck all the time.

1 1b of chuck steak, about 1/2 inch thick
1 green onion, white and green part, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbs soy sauce
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c. tightly packed Thai basil leaves, chopped
4 Thai bird chilies or 1 large jalapeno, chopped

Place all ingredients into a Ziploc bag and marinate the beef at least 8 hours.

Remove from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.  Either grill the steaks to your liking or sear it on the stove top as I did.

To sear:  Heat a skillet over high heat.  Add enough oil, about 2 teaspoons, and swirl the pan or use a paper towel to lightly coat its bottom.  Add a bit more oil if the bottom isn’t completely coated.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the steaks.  Cook them, undisturbed, for 4 minutes then turn and sear the other side for 2 minutes.  The steaks are at about medium or a little under at this point.   If you prefer medium well add 1 minute more of cooking time.  Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

  • If you use Portobellos, broil them on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven for 2 minutes, turn them and then broil about 2-3 minutes more until they collapse.  You’ll be able to tell when they’re done as they flatten out so if they’re not flat give them 1 minute more.  I don’t recommend cooking them on the stove as they cook very unevenly and just don’t turn out as well.  Slice and proceed with the recipe below.

Noodle Bowl (1 serving): To assemble, simply choose the ingredients of your liking. The base is a generous handful of salad greens. Next add 2 oz of cooked noodles. I use rice noodles. Follow that with raw corn kernels shaved off the cob. They bring a bit of sweet crunch. Add sliced fresh jalapenos, cilantro, a dollop of Sriracha and 4 oz of sliced beef. Sliced cucumbers and carrots are also delicious additions. Pour 2-3 Tbs. of Vietnamese Dipping Sauce over, stir lightly and enjoy.


    • Thanks for checking my blog out. I love yours too. I have such wanderlust so it’s not helping with that. I’ll travel vicariously through you until my next trip.

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