Stir fried beef wouldn't be my first choice, my mum had a tendency to overcook beef when stir frying it and the chewy strips (sorry mum, you make some lovely food too) have haunted me since. Watching Jamie Oliver's show last week though the beef stir fry they were teaching each other caught the girlfriend's eye and a request was put in. Over the couple of days between the show and the weekend the request metamorphosed into a Thai beef dish and here's where we ended up.
This is a really simple dish and as much as it looked tasty I was slightly dubious before it went in the pan. The sauce contained a lot of palm sugar and I worried that without some lime to make this sweet-sour it would be a bit too much. I resisted the urge to alter the recipe though and was rewarded with a fantastic dish that wasn't at all overly sweet - hot and fragrant with Thai basil and garlic and the deep savoury Thai flavour only fish sauce impart. We destroyed the 450gr of beef (supposedly for 3-4 people) with no trouble.
Nua Pad Prik (3-4 people, or two maybe)
450gr of lean beef, I used rump
1 red pepper
4 birds eye chillies, less or more depending on how hot you like it
Big handful of Thai sweet or holy basil, chopped roughly
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of palm sugar
3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Slice the beef against the grain into thin slices then marinate with the cornflour, black pepper and one tablespoon of the fish sauce. It only needs half an hour and won't suffer a lot if you mix it and head straight into the cooking though.
Mix the remaining fish sauce with the oyster sauce, the palm sugar and water.
Slice the red pepper, garlic and chillies thinly then stir fry for a minute before removing to a plate.
Add more oil to the wok, allow it to heat till smoking then add the beef. Give it a minute or two cooking -just until the pink has gone - then add the peppers, garlic and chilies back in along with the sauce.
Mix it well and then cook for a minute, just until the sauce thickens, before adding the basil, stirring to combine before serving.
It went well with boiled rice and steamed bok choi.