Vegan Spicy Thai Basil Beef with Eggplant

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Here is another spicy Thai dish that is really simple to make.  My equally easy-to-make Vegan Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Kra Pao Gai) is also in some of these photos.  Both are delicious and bursting with flavor.  Neither dish uses ingredients that you should have any trouble finding as they are all pretty basic & available at most Asian markets.  But – Amazon is a great resource for hard-to-find ingredients – if you live in an area without much diversity. Like with the basil chicken – this comes together faster than the rice – so do not be intimidated.  I used one of these long Chinese eggplants but any eggplant will work.  I also used Beyond Meat because – I feel – it is the best brand of vegan meats on the market.  I used Thai bird’s eye chili peppers but serrano or jalapeno would work, too.  If you use the Thai ones – know they are really spicy & you might want to pick around them when eating this dish.  Finally – I used Thai sweet basil here but any basil will work.

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Vegan Spicy Thai Basil Beef with Eggplant

Serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan ground beef – thawed

1 Chinese (or other) eggplant -cubed

3 TBS olive oil

1 TBS fresh ginger (I used jarred)

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1-4 Thai chili (or other) peppers – chopped

1 packed cup basil

1 tsp cornstarch

Additional 1/4 cup water

for the eggplant

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1 tsp kecap manis (dark, sweet soy sauce) – or sugar

2 tsp chili black bean sauce

for the beef

2 TBS light soy sauce

2 TBS shaoxing (Chinese rice WINE – not vinegar)

1 tsp sesame oil (toasted or not)

1/4 tsp white (or black) pepper

2 TBS hoisin sauce

2 TBS oyster or mushroom-flavored sauce

2 TBS cornstarch

Cooked rice for 2

GARNISH – chopped basil, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Muddle the garlic & chili peppers to release their flavors.  In to different bowls – whisk together the ingredients for the eggplant sauce & for the beef.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Cook the garlic & chili peppers and the ginger for about a minute & then add the eggplant & the eggplant sauce.  Bring to a boil & cook until the eggplant is soft.

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Meanwhile toss the beef in the beef sauce.

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When the eggplant is very soft – add the beef & sauce & heat through.  Cook it until it thickens.  If it is too thick – add water.  If it stays thin – whisk 1/4 cup water & 1 tsp of cornstarch together & add to the pan.  It should thicken very quickly.

Just before serving – stir in the basil.  Serve with rice & garnish with chopped basil & lime wedges.

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