Basil Fried Brown Rice with Beef (ข้าวผัดกะเพราเนื้อ)
Rice as the main part of Thai meal
I remember the conversation between my host family and me before I came to the U.S. as an AuPair. They asked me what I had for breakfast, and I told them “rice,” and it seemed like they did not understand Thai culture. I had to explain to them that rice is an important part of every meal. Thai people eat rice almost every meal; breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the other kinds of food during the meal. Thus it is not surprising to see several dishes of fried rice on Thai restaurant menus.
Why basil sauce?
I notice that in those menus, there are quite a few items that make from basil sauce such as Pad Kee Mao aka Basil Noodles or Drunken Noodles, Pad Kra Pow; the one that comes with steamed rice on the side, and Basil Fried Rice. I was introduced to the Basil Fried Rice when I was in college in Thailand. My friends and I always joked that the basil dish is the last choice food (like I do not know what I would eat, and I give up for trying to think of any menu hence I order the Thai basil.)
Combine the basil sauce into the rice
One day, I started to change from Pad Kra Pow to Basil fried rice because I loved the basil so much. It was enough for me to have a thought of licking the plate. I wanted to taste the basil sauce equally in every bite of my food, so I asked the chef to stir-fry rice with Pad Kra Pow sauce for me. If you love the basil sauce, you will fall in love with Basil fried rice too. Just thinking how good it would taste when every particle on those rice soak up all the spiciness, saltiness, basil leaves fragrance from the basil sauce makes me hungry.
Basil fried rice in my version
All kinds of Thai fried rice typically use white jasmine rice which is a simple carb. I changed it to a complex carb which is brown jasmine rice. Brown rice is unrefined carbohydrates, and it has more nutrients like vitamin, minerals, and fiber than refined carbohydrates. Whole grain rice also does not turn to sugar as fast as white rice. Although I used beef in this recipe, I chose to use sirloin cut which is a lean meat cut. I squeezed some fresh lime juice over my basil fried rice right before I ate it. It gave a nice fragrance and made the fried rice taste fresh and amazing.
- • 4 cups cooked jasmine brown rice
- • 8 oz. sirloin steak cut or your choice of meat, slice into small pieces
- • 2.5 oz carrot, cut into small cubes
- • ½ cup basil leaves
- • 5-6 garlic cloves
- • 6 Thai chili
- • 2 tbsp olive oil
- • 1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
- • 1 tbsp thin soy sauce
- • 1 tbsp seasoning sauce
- • 1 tbsp fish sauce
- • ½ Truvia sweetener
- • ¼ cup water
- Pound garlic and Thai chili together.
- Turn on a stove at high and add olive oil into a wok
- Add pounded garlic and Thai chili into the wok when the oil is hot and stir fry until the garlic turns yellow.
- Add sliced beef, cook, until it is medium rare then add carrot cubes and stir fry until the meat is cooked.
- Add oyster sauce, thin soy sauce, seasoning sauce, fish sauce, Truvia, water, and basil leaves in the wok.
- Cook it for 30 seconds and add cooked brown rice, break the rice apart so the rice would get the sauce equally.
- Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until the brown rice soak up all the sauce, and stir-fry for a couple of minutes after the brown rice soak all, so the rice is not too wet. But do not cook too long till the rice is burnt.
If you like this recipe, here is another fried brown rice recipe you would like.