The toothpaste is out of the tube, and there’s no putting it back. Not that anyone would want to.
Thai food has been in the US since long before I was born. It was largely introduced when Vietnam War soldiers were on R&R in Thailand and enjoyed local dishes, fell for the women who prepared them, and brought Thai brides back to the states who cooked their specialties to bring in money. And they weren’t the only ones– huge numbers of Thai immigrants settled in the LA area in the ’60s and opened up restaurants to offer a taste of home in their new country.
But it took a few decades of word-of-mouth recommendations, a comparison to Chinese food as the “healthier alternative”, and a global trend for exploring international dishes for Thai food to grow far more popular than the percentage of Thai-American population would suggest. Thai food is everywhere nowadays, getting every more ingrained into American culture, and even if my mouth wasn’t currently full with this 30 Minute Thai Beef Stir Fry with Sriracha Roasted Peanuts, you wouldn’t hear me voicing any complaints. Thai food is here and it’s here to stay for good reason, my friends.
One thing that happens when a cuisine gets as big as Thai food has is that people will start putting their own spins on it, and I’m guilty as charged. Because while I love an authentic Thai dish just as much as the next person, when the idea to include some sriracha-seasoned peanuts comes to mind, I’m not going to throw that gem away. Instead, I’ll throw some sriracha-tossed peanuts into the oven while I work on my stir fry and then lament the fact that I didn’t make a triple batch of peanuts so I could save some more for snacking.
Seriously, make extra.
The stir fry, by the way, is ready to eat by the time those peanuts are roasted, which puts this recipe (prep and all included) at 30 minutes from start to finish. As a woman who is always equal parts lazy, busy, and hungry, I can definitely appreciate a dish that takes up little time for big payoff.
The 30 Minute Thai Beef Stir Fry with Sriracha Roasted Peanuts is a weeknight meal that blows away any fast food alternative with sweet, spicy, salty, and savory flavors all in harmony, and at about 545 calories per dinner-sized serving (which includes 1/3 cup brown rice per serving), it’s not gonna mess up your beach bod. You can even add in some extra veggies if you want to up the healthy factor.
I keep thinking that it would also be great if served over zucchini noodles instead of including zucchini in the stir fry itself, too, if you’re so inclined. I almost went that direction but I figured that I’d give people options instead. Oh, and you could also use chicken if you prefer! Basically, you can get real creative with this one to suit your tastes, diet, and groceries, which makes it a great staple recipe, even for some of the pickier eaters out there.
One thing I do HIGHLY suggest is that you look for Thai basil, even if you have to go out of your way to swing by an Asian grocer to pick it up. I know, we’re all about saving time with this one, but if you can find it without too much effort you will be so glad that you got that spicy, anise-like herb to toss into the mix. If you absolutely can’t, Italian basil will do, but the flavor just ain’t the same.
I think Thai basil is my favorite herb, honestly, which is why I am constantly forced to remind myself that I can’t make Thai food for every post. No promises that there won’t be another dozen before the end of the summer, though. A girl’s gotta follow her heart, right?
Side note: I am now realizing that I can’t say “a girl” without thinking of Game of Thrones at this point. A girl is ready… for some Thai food.
When you try this 30 Minute Thai Beef Stir Fry with Sriracha Roasted Peanuts, make sure to take a picture and tag #hostthetoast on Instagram or Twitter. Let me know how you think it stacks up to your favorite Thai takeout!
- 2½ tablespoons oil, divided
- 1½ tablespoons sriracha
- ⅔ cup unseasoned peanuts
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 pound stir fry beef (thinly sliced tri-tip, sirloin, or rib-eye)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1-2 red finger hot chile peppers (or other hot red chile pepper), sliced
- 1 small zucchini, julienned
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves, plus more to top
- Rice, to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ½ tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of sriracha. Toss the peanuts in the sriracha mixture until evenly coated. Spread the peanuts out evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until dried, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool.
- While the peanuts cook, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over high heat. Toss the beef with the cornstarch to coat evenly. Add the beef to the wok and cook until browned. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and honey. Set aside.
- Stir-fry the garlic, peppers, zucchini, and onion until softened. Mix the beef back in and pour over the sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, for an additional minute, and then stir in the cup of Thai basil. Cook for 30 more seconds, until the basil is wilted, and remove from heat. Top with the sriracha roasted peanuts and additional Thai basil, and serve warm over rice.
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