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Thai Stir-fried Minced Beef with Chillies Basil and Fried Egg

By the Thai master David Thompson in his “Thai Street Food” cookbook, this is my favourite recipe in the book as it is so quick and simple to make, I generally have the ingredients in my fridge and pantry and it serves 2 for a quick and satisfying adult meal once the kids are in bed.
This recipe also uses minced chicken or pork, whole prawns or scored squid. David Thompson recommends a coarse mince with some fat attached– using rump flank or shoulder and mincing by hand. The fat content directly affects the chilli kick so keep that in mind when choosing a low fat mince or seafood and the number of chillies alongside. The dish is meant to be hot though, and the egg yolk will help calm the heat too.
Pictured: Thai Stir-fried Minced Beef with Chillies and Basil and Fried Egg - the simple and few ingredients

4 garlic cloves, peeled 
4 – 10 bird’s eye chillies (scuds)
Good pinch salt
3 – 4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
200g coarsely minced beef
2 tbsp fish sauce – I recommend the “Megachef” brand
Large pinch of white sugar
¼ cup chicken stock, or water
2 large handfuls holy basil leaves
Chillies in Fish Sauce to serve –
¼ cup fish sauce
10 – 15 bird’s eye chillies (scuds), finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tbsp lime juice
Good pinch of chopped coriander

For the sauce – mix the chillies, fish sauce and garlic in a container to store – it will keep like this for some time and become richer and milder. When ready to serve add the lime juice and coriander.
Mince or roughly chop the garlic and chillies with the salt.
Heat a well-seasoned wok over high heat – I use an electric wok if I don’t have the correct set up for high temperature cooking on the stove top – add 2 tbsp oil, crack an egg in and fry gently, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom- shuffle it around and spoon over the oil as it cooks – I like it with a runny yolk and crispy edges. Carefully lift it out and place it on the warmed serving plate ready to top over the dish later. Fry the other egg and repeat.
Make sure all ingredients are prepped and ready for fast cooking .
Add more oil – you will need at least 4 tbsp in there based on what is left behind from the egg cooking. Once hot, fry the garlic and chillies for a moment without colouring, add the beef and fry a minute til just cooked. Season to taste with the fish sauce and sugar – watch  that it is not too salty.
Add the stock and simmer for a moment – do not let it stew too long or the meat will toughen and the liquid will evaporate too much. There should be a sauce.
Stir in the basil and once wilted remove from heat.
It should taste rich, hot, salty, and spicy all at once.
Serve on 2 plates with jasmine rice, an egg on top, and a bowl of chillies in fish sauce on the side.

Serves 2