For the past weeks, my beloved and I were on a mission to build up our tolerance towards chilli.

Hold on a sec, what did you just say?

I know it is something trivial to bring to people attention but yes, I’ve said it. We somewhat lost our tolerance towards chilli over the years and it’s something we both are working on as a couple. I love a couple’s project. Okay I get it. It’s not your typical life-changing project like having a baby or building a dream home. But it is no less excited for us. (I admit, we are your typical goofy couple ha!)

When it comes to hot food, Thai cuisines come to mind. I used to have super crazy, perspiration inducing and tongue numbing Thai food back in Penang (in Malaysia). The seafood tom yum that I had was … let’s just say I needed a glass of water for every spoonful of soup. Now you’ll ask, why the torture? It may be hard for you to understand, but it is part of the fun. Getting all sweaty, burning sensation in the mouth and getting a temporary (and naturally) lip plumped was really shiok (a Malaysian/Singaporean colloquial term means “satisfaction”). If you are a spicy food lover, you’ll understand what I meant. 😉

You don’t have to embark the same journey as we do in the spicy department, which is why you can adjust the hot level of this Thai beef stir fry to your liking. I’d prefer bird’s eye chilli for this dish because not only the spiciness of this chilli adds to the dish, but also the “chilli aroma” that often lacks in the conventional chilli. However, if chilli isn’t your thing, it is okay to leave it out completely because you’ll still have garlic and fresh basil as the base flavours of the dish.

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Thai Beef, Vegetables & Basil Stir Fry

3 – 4 Servings with rice

What you’ll need:-

  • Vegetable oil
  • 500g (1 pound) of beef, thinly sliced or presliced stir fry beef you can buy from the supermarket
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2- 3 bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced (this amount is fairly spicy)
  • 1 packet of baby sweet corns (about 117g/0.2 pound), sliced diagonally
  • 1 bunch of broccolini (about 120g/0.3 pound), cut into 3 sections
  • A small pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce – to taste
  • 1.5 tbsps kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) – to taste (see here for the homemade version)
  • Freshly grinded black pepper (about 5 to 6 rounds)
  • A handful of fresh basil


Heat oil in a pan, brown the beef in batches (for me was in 3 batches) to 80% cooked and set aside on a plate. In the same pan, add garlic, bird’s eye chilli and baby sweet corns and saute over low heat until garlic becomes slightly light brown and aromatic and the baby sweet corns are slightly soften. Then add broccolini with a pinch of salt and saute until they are slightly wilted. Return the beef to the pan and stir in fish sauce, kecap manis and the black pepper. Toss to combine all the ingredients. Taste the beef and sauce. Add more fish sauce/kecap manis to achieve your desired taste. Turn off the heat, stir in basil leaves and add more pepper if you like. Serve immediately with rice.

Note – For 4 servings of rice, you’ll will need 2 cups of uncooked rice.

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