Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thai Beef Kabobs with Basil Rice

We made this one up last weekend when we had to stretch three fillets to feed four people. The flavor profile helps the beef tenderloin, which is amazingly tender but is generally regarded as lacking in the flavor department.

Thai Beef Kabobs
1 lb beef tenderloin, cubed in 1" pieces
2 T oyster sauce
2 T fish sauce
2 T lime juice
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1 t sesame oil
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t ginger, fresh grated
1 ea bell pepper, cut in 1" pieces
1 ea yellow onion, cut in 1" pieces

Marinade the beef, pepper, and onion in the remaining ingredients for 2-3 hours. Alternate pieces of the veggies and beef on skewers.

Place the kabobs on a 500f grill for one minute a side, four minutes total. Use oven mitts and tongs to rotate them because this is one hot fire.

TIP: The standard recommendation for bamboo skewers is to soak them prior to use to prevent burning them. Given the heat of the grill for this dish, I like to also wrap the exposed handles with foil.

You might get some charring of the onion and pepper but don't worry, that works here.

Serve with a simple basil rice. I took 2 cups of cold sweet jasamine rice and stir fried it in a wok. I added in 10 basil leaves, stemmed and halved and tossed for a minute longer, to wilt the basil.

FAIL: I tried to make an Asian brown sauce to go with it. I tried using the brown sauce that we liked so much in Stir Fried Broccoli with Oyster Sauce, but it came out WAY too salty since the broth reduced without the benefit of the veggies. I didn't serve it. Anyone have a technique or recipe for a good Asian brown sauce? I need to look more into that.

But overall (sans sauce), this dish was a big hit with the family. The spicy beef, crisp roasted veggies and rice made a nice meal, although a soup and spring roll would have made it perfect!


  1. Chris- You did good! Totally approve of flavors used, and charring sometimes looks burned, but really isn't! Could not have done better!

  2. Your photos are great! We must chat about cameras someday, over a cold one.

  3. Char is a word I use often when ordering my meat! Love this one with its flavors!

  4. You are FAR too hard on thy-self. The photos are fab. I know I asked a professional. "Char" means good inside but tasty outside. Yes– you are correct, fillet can be boring. But you addressed that! 'Nuf said.

    The brown sauce is indeed difficult. I can't say I have mastered it. But yours looks every bit as good as any I've seen.

    Lastly... This has developed into one of my fav blogs. Your personality, your love of cooking, your great family, your (faux) self-deprecation all make for a really great read. REALLY!

    What Food Buzz Blogger category should I NOM you for? I have a few good ideas. GREG

    PS I am so jealous that you fed Chef E!

  5. I can't do the fish or oyster sauce thing so I'm of no use to you. sorry dude. When I do asian sauce, its usually the ole soy, lemon, honey, ginger, onion, garlic thing.

  6. I. Want. This. Meal. Right. Now. Please???? I don't have any hints on the brown rice. I think the basil rice sounds fantastic! Love the marinade too.

  7. Kabobs are one of my favorite grilling items. Long ago I bought a dozen metal kabob skewers and really love the spontaneity of those. No soaking needed!

  8. Everything looks fantastic! I love the flavors of charred onions and pepper

    For an Asian Brown Sauce, try 2 tablespoons Hoisin, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspsoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced scallions(optional).

    Let the meat marinate in the sauce 10 minutes per side and then use it to baste while baking or grilling.

  9. This looks great. I love the flavors, they really bring something extra special to beef kebabs.

  10. That doesn't look like it even needed a sauce!

  11. This thai beef kabobs looks sensational and I'd love to add a touch with garlic to the sauce.
    The intercalated colors between the vegs and beef are making hungry!



  12. This is what I want for supper. Tonight. Now I'm dissapointed in what I'm going to actually have.

  13. Anything thai is fantastic in my book! Great way to stretch an expensive cut of meat.

  14. Does anyone know about sesame oil? Key to the flavors of the Orient... a small bottle will last a year!

  15. Those Kabobs look wonderful, Good work!


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