Matt's Recipe Book

Thai minced beef

Prep time10 minutes
Cooking time15 minutes

This is my attempt to recreate a specific chilli beef dish that's available from Busaba. It's pretty faithful – the most important thing is the Thai basil. This can be quite hard to come by, but specialist shops should offer it.

It's best served with jasmine rice and the fried egg on top. A regular fried egg is also fine, if you don't want the faff of deep frying!


  • A wok or large frying pan
  • A second frying pan for the eggs


For the beef

  • 400g minced beef
  • 6 Thai chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce / Nam Pla
  • 25g Thai basil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce / Nam Pla
  • 2 Thai chillies
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves

For the eggs

  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil


  1. First prepare the sauce - chop the chillies, slice the garlic very finely, then combine with the fish sauce, lime juice, and coriander. Mix and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the wok over a high heat. Finely chop the chillies for the beef, along with the garlic and a pinch of salt. Add to the hot pan and toss for a couple of minutes without letting it burn.
  3. Meanwhile, heat about 4cm of oil in your other frying pan for the eggs.
  4. Add the beef and stir fry for a couple of minutes until only just cooked. You don't want to overdo it.
  5. Add the sugar and fish sauce along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Turn the heat down and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Chop the Thai basil and add to the beef, stirring to combine.
  7. Fry the eggs – drop them into the hot oil. Just drop the egg straight in and fry until the white is crispy and the yolk is still runny. It should take less than 60 seconds.
  8. Serve the beef with jasmine rice, a fried egg, and with the sauce poured over.