Weeknight Basil Beef Stir-Fry. Full of fresh ginger, onion, and chili aromatics sizzled with minced beef until crispy and tossed together with sweet peppers and broccoli florets stir-fried with noodles and a simple sauce. This stir-fry is a weeknight dinner saviour. It’s super fragrant, a little spicy and very easy to make. Top if off with loads of fresh spring onions and basil for a beautiful pop of color and burst of fragrance.
What I love about this, is that it’s all made in one-pan and uses simple yet everyday common ingredients so you don’t need to scramble to gather everything. Stir-fry’s tend to be my go-to when I can’t figure out what to make for dinner and I haven’t been grocery shopping so the household is a little low on food. Usually, I’ve already got ginger, onions, some type of noodle and the sauce ingredients on hand, it’s just a matter of making up the fillings.
Using minced meat is a cost effective as well as saves on prep because you can just dump it straight into the pan and break it up as it cooks. Of course if you wanted to swap that out for any other protein or completely vegetarian those are some other options. For stir-fry’s you want to be cooking on high heat and stay within close range so you can keep an eye on it as well as give it a stir here and there. Once the vegetables are all in the pan, they don’t need to be cooked down too much so that they loose some of their shape and colour. we like to keep them crunchy and vibrant so stir-fry them just a couple of minutes. I like to stir in the basil in the end once it’s on my plate and mix it around so that it comes in contact with some heat but not too much and give off it’s fragrant aromas but really you can even do this in the pan at the end.
The great thing about stir-fry’s is that it’s the perfect vehicle for vegetables that you typically don’t enjoy eating as a side but you know you should eat them because their super healthy and good for you. You know the ones we’re talking about, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, sweet potatoes- yeah those ones. While they may not be the tastiest or prettiest on their own beside a big old pile of mash potatoes, they sure are tasty in a stir-fry. If you’re buying vegetables at the market specifically in advance for this dish and want to boost the healthy and feed the kids, this is where you can trick them. Otherwise using up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge is perfectly fine. They gotta get eaten and shouldn’t go to waste. We recommend not overloading the vegetables. Try and stick to two as we have here, broccoli and pepper. The ginger, garlic and onion are part of the aromatics and become smaller in size as they cook so these won’t overcrowd your pan.
For this stir-fry we seasoned it with a simple 4 ingredient sauce that we quickly wiped up as we were prepping our ingredients. It combines a mixture of brown sugar, oyster sauce, regular soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Just a little bit of each all mixed together is all you need. You don’t need to create about 1/2 cup worth of sauce otherwise the dish will end up being too saucy and mushy. Less is more here and as you stir the noodles with the sauce together with everything else in the pan, it will start to coat everything in the pan. If you are missing some of these ingredients you could use a different kind of sweetener to replace the brown sugar. We don’t recommend leaving it out as it helps to balance out those salty ingredients and will thicken up just a bit as when it touches the hot pan. Oyster sauce and regular soy sauce are generally found in all grocery stores and pantry staples, however dark soy sauce is not as common and found usually in asian markets or grocers with big asian sections. Don’t worry too much about this ingredient, it does deepen the colour of the stir-fry a little bit more than traditional soy sauce but it can be left out or even changed for fish sauce for a more Thai inspired dish.
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