Weeknight Shorts: Beef and Green Beans with Thai Basil

Quick meals are the rule for October. There's just too much going on to manage it any other way. But quick does not mean boring. Some of my favorite meals take 20 minutes to put together and are bursting with an abundance of flavors, textures, and culinary flare. This Korean-Thai inspired Beef and Green Beans with Thai Basil is just such a dish. If you have a rice cooker or instant pot, use that to make rice and you'll have the rest of dinner ready when you're done cooking.

The sauce for this dish comes in two steps - first, the ground beef gets browned with lots of ginger and fish sauce. Then, after veggies join the party, all of the remaining sauce ingredients get added and fresh Thai basil gets added after the pan gets removed from the heat. Presto! Layers of amazing flavor ready for your plate. Ground beef keeps this dish quick to make and green beans hold some bite into the final plating. You could use broccoli instead if you'd like, but the beans are a hit in my house.

Nestle a bit of this flavorful dish over steamed rice and dig in. Add a cucumber salad if you'd like, but I mostly just have a glass of iced tea alongside it and call it a day. Quick, delicious food is where it's at, after all.

Beef and Green Beans with Thai Basil

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 T. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • ⅓ c. thinly sliced red onions
  • 2 c. green beans, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 2 T. Thai chile-garlic paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 2 T. lime juice
  • 1 T. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup or honey
  • 1½ c. fresh Thai basil leaves

Brown the ground beef until the meat is no longer pink. Add the ginger and fish sauce; stir well to coat and sauté for 2 minutes to blend flavors.

Add the red onions and green beans; sauté for another 5-6 minutes or until the onions are softened slightly and the beans are crisp-tender.

Add the Thai chile-garlic paste, garlic, Thai red curry paste, lime juice, hoisin sauce, and maple syrup or honey; sauté an additional 5 minutes to blend flavors and further cook the green beans and onions. Remove from the heat and add the basil leaves. Stir to incorporate and wilt fully. Serve hot over hot cooked rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes