Everyday Cooking

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

WHB#108 - Beef and Pumpkin Stir-fry

Stir-fries are wonderful as one can be as creative as they wish with them. A change in the marinade flavours, in the combination of vegetables or vary the herbs and you need not make the exact same dish twice.

We do at least one stir-fry a week in our house. This time, it's beef with lots of vegetables , lifted by the sweet, anise flavour of Thai Basil.

Thai Basil (Bai Horapa in Thai) is extensively used in Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisine for curries, stir-fries and salads. Just like the Meditteranean/Western Sweet Basil, this herb is best used fresh as cooking tends to destroy its flavour. When I buy these from the vegie shop, they always come in trays rather than in small bunches as do the other herbs. Apparently, this type of basil is more often used as a vegetable, rather than herb in Indochine cooking. They are thrown in with seafood, meat or in salads by the handful.

This herb is distinguished by its green leaves but purple stems and buds (which are also edible) . The leaves are smaller than those of Sweet Basil, are more pointy but narrower. They make quite a pretty potted plant. Last summer, I grew Thai Basil in one big pot along with the Sweet and Purple kind. The effect was quite lovely by mid-season.
Here's a picture of Thai Basil from a related article in Wikipedia:

Beef and Pumpkin Stir-Fry

300g Oyster Blade steak, cut into strips
200g pumpkin, cut into small pieces
1 medium red onion
1 bunch green asparagus, cut into 3cm pieces
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 c Thai Basil leaves
3 Tsp peanut oil

2Tbsp oyster sauce
1Tbsp soy sauce
2Tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Marinate the beef strips for at least one hour prior to cooking.

Steam or microwave the pumpkin pieces until tender, then pat dry with paper towels.

Heat up the oil in a wok or large non-stick pan. Toss beef into pan and stir-frequently until well browned and the marinade juices have dried up. Add the pumpkin and onion, stir around for two minutes. Add the asparagus and capsicum and stir around until vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.

Turn off the heat. Add the Thai Basil prior to serving.

*I quite liked this as a dry stir-fry. If you like yours 'saucy', double the marinade quantity, thicken with a bit of cornflour and add when the beef is cooked.

*The quantities served two adults and a toddler with a big appetite :-)

I am sharing this over at The Expatriate's Kitchen, who's hosting this week's round of Weekend Herb Blogging. Be sure to check out the round up for interesting ideas on using your favourite herbs, fruits and vegies!


Marvin said...

Hi Maybahay! This looks quite good and is perfect since it is pumpkin season over here. I've heard of Blade Steak before, but not Oyster Blade Steak. Are they the same cut of meat?

Kate / Kajal said...

The basil u have is quite different than mine. i GUESS URS IS SHARPER IN TASTE .
I'm also very lazy to cook dinner , can i pls just take this yummy beef n serve it to my hubby ...i know he'll love it !Looks delicious.

maybahay said...

hi marvin, i believe they are. this cut comes from the forequarter. any cut for stir-frying should do.

kate, i get days like that. sometimes i much prefer to make 'fun' food but feeding the family comes first :-)

Rachel said...

I do stir fry's too. This one goes into my list of stir fry's..
and in India..the basil is referred to as tulasi...I use dried basil....
Tulasi serves more purposes than just for cooking..

Gay Carrillo said...

Looks so tempting! And a good way to use all that kalabasa... I've been looking for some more dishes to use squash here, this gives me a good idea.

Dhanggit said...

Hello Maybahay, what a perfect timing i can try this recipe today! For i just bought an organic pumpkin in the market..and as for the basil i have plenty in my garden ..have a nice day

Kalyn said...

Sounds delicious! I just love Thai basil. I agree, it's a very pretty plant.