Prepare this quick beef stir-fry with onion, fresh chili, and Thai basil under 20 minutes. The burst of flavor will let you experience the authentic Thai cuisine. Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Serve with jasmin rice.

Beef, onion, fresh chili, and Thai basil is stir-fried in savory sauce and served with rice.

I used to think Thai food was not an easy cuisine to master. The flavor balance and the availability of Thai ingredients was not always easy to achieve. But this Thai beef and basil stir-fry recipe has changed my mind.

For living in SE Asian country, I can’t be more happier than getting everything I need to make good Thai dishes. This Thai beef and basil stir-fry is the simplest and the most delicious Thai beef recipe I made. Plus you can cook it under 20 minutes. How wonderful is that?

I LOVE Thai basil. It is very fragrant herb and a must for Thai cuisine and other southeast Asian recipes. It is worth the trip to a specialty Asian grocery store to get this gorgeous herb if you can. However if you can’t find it, use any local basil. The fragrance will be a little different but still makes flavorful dish on its own.

A slice of Thai beef basil stir-fry is served over a bowl of jasmin rice.

With a very few ingredients, you can whip this Thai dinner within 20 minutes from start to finish. What a perfect dish to tackle when you crave for an Asian meal but not wanting to slave yourself next to a stove?

Make sure everything is all prepared and ready to jump in when you are ready to fire up your wok (or skillet).

Thai Basil

Thai basil has a purple color on the stem.

Here is the Thai basil. Unlike Italian basil, Thai basil has a purple hue on the stem. It has a stronger fragrance with more peppery taste.

Tear the leaves from the stems and set aside. You will need a whole bunch.

If you are looking for another authentic Thai beef recipe, try my classic Thai beef salad with mint and cilantro. You can add Thai basil in the salad for more fragrance and flavor. It’s super simple recipe sand so satisfying.

How to make Thai Beef and Basil Stir-fry

Oyster sauce and fish sauce is needed for this recipe.

If you like Asian food, you gotta have these bottles in your kitchen waiting to be picked up; the oyster sauce and the fish sauce.

Combine those two sauces and add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Mix them up and set aside.

Beef is thinly sliced on the cutting board.

Trim the major fat from your beef and slice thinly against the grain with an angle. I used strip-loin for this recipe.

Fresh chili and garlic are minced together with a knife.

Chop garlic and chilies together. Slice one onion and set aside. Now make sure everything is right next to you and ready to go.

Thai bird’s eye chili is quite spicy. If you prefer less spicy, use finger-long red chilies instead, which I used this time.

Chili and garlic mixture is stir-fried together.

Heat oil in a wok or a deep skillet, stir fry garlic-chilies for 10 seconds.

Beef slices are added to the chili garlic mixture to make Thai beef basil stir-fry

Throw in beef and quickly fry until they are just no longer in pink. Do not overcook your beef. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Quickly stir fry the onions and add the sauce, and stir again – busy, busy work for me. Stir frying and taking photos at the same time is not an easy task, I’ll tell ya.

Thai basil leavers are added to the beef stir-fry.

Add the beef, stir, and add the basil and remove the pan from the heat. The heat remaining in the pan is hot enough to wilt the herb.

Thai beef and basil stir-fry is ready to serve.

All done! Simple yet so flavorful!

I had it with a freshly cooked Jasmin rice and it was just w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l! So quick and easy to prepare, who needs Thai take out? Enjoy!

More Thai Recipes

This Thai beef basil stir-fry has a burst of flavor and delicious.

Quick Thai Beef and Basil Stir-Fry

this quick beef stir-fry with onion, fresh chili, and Thai basil under 20 minutes. The burst of flavor will let you experience authentic Thai cuisine. Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
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  • 1 lb beef sirloin or striploin, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 handful Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or canola oil
  • 3-4 Thai bird's eye chilies, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water


  • In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and water. Mix well and set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok (or skillet) over med-high heat and add garlic and chilies. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the beef. Stir-fry until the beef is no longer in pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the onion and the sauce. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until the onions are just soft.
  • Add the beef and heat through. Add the basil leaves and remove the wok from the heat and shake everything to mix well. Serve immediately with jasmin rice.


If you want this less spicy, use finger-long red chilies instead of Thai bird’s eye chilies
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.