Thai Basil Beef

Thai Basil Beef with fresh lime juice and herbs – basil, cilantro, and mint, crisp veggies and great flavor.

Grass-fed beef in this recipe is cooked till crispy and delicious. Thai Basil Beef is the perfect mix of salty, sweet, sour, fat.

Thai Basil Beef

A flavorful Thai beef dish that is 100% ageless and a staple in any food lover's repertoire.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 1 cup organic short grain brown rice cooked
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil divided
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 red chiles thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 pound 100% grass fed ground beef
  • 1/4 cup organic low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves divided, torn in pieces
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint torn in pieces, 4 sprigs reserved for garnish
  • 2 medium carrots julienned or coarsely grated
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • Juice from 2 fresh limes divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce such as nam pla or nuoc nam
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne plus more to taste
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste (1/2 teaspoon for the beef)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and 1 chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef, season with about a half teaspoon of salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown, until cooked through and nicely crisped in spots, 8–10 minutes. Add mixture of chicken or vegetable broth, half the lime juice, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and cayenne. Stir. Add 1 cup basil, 1 cup of cilantro, and most of the mint, and cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the rest of the lime juice, 1 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oil and remaining chile in a small bowl. Toss carrots, scallions, and celery with the sauce.
  3. Top rice with beef and slaw, drizzle excess dressing from the slaw over the mixture, and then add the rest of the fresh basil and mint on top. Serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over. Or if you prefer to skip the rice, serve this over romaine lettuce, drizzled with a little of the dressing. The lettuce adds a nice crisp freshness.

Recipe Notes

I didn’t have a big bunch of fresh basil one time I made this, but I did have vegan basil pesto that I had made earlier this year. I used 3 cubes (ice cube size portions) of the pesto, and it worked out really well. Because the fresh basil used in the pesto had been frozen immediately after preparation, it was very basil-y and flavorful. It was also a little saltier than earlier recipes because the pesto had added salt. But that didn’t bother me because I made the rice with no added salt. And I didn’t use any tamari on the rice once it was plated, as I usually do. In fact, all winter I’ll make this dish and use the basil in my vegan pesto. If you have the time, make a batch or two of the pesto and keep for dishes like this one. The added depth it gives to dishes is worth the extra bit of work.