Asian Beef with Basil

Asian Beef with Basil Recipe
Photo: Anna Williams
This hearty, Franco-Asian beef stew gets a fresh kick from basil and hot chiles.


6 servings
Total time: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes

Recipe from

Food & Wine

Recipe Time

Active: 45 Minutes
Total: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes


3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 lemongrass stalks, lower third only, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups beef broth
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
3 star anise pods
1 whole lemongrass stalk, cut into 3-inch lengths and lightly smashed
Kosher salt
Cooked medium-thick rice noodles, for serving
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1 long fresh red chile, thinly sliced


In a mini food processor, mince the garlic with the lemongrass. Add the soy sauce, oil, salt, sugar and five-spice powder and pulse to combine. In a large bowl, toss the beef with the marinade to coat thoroughly. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add half of the meat; cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining meat.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the casserole along with the onion, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.

Return the meat to the casserole. Add the carrots, star anise and lemongrass. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 1 hour and 45 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 4 cups, 3 minutes. Discard the star anise and lemongrass. Return the beef to the casserole. Season the stew with salt and serve over noodles. Garnish with the basil and red chile.