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You guys! These spicy basil beef bowls are sooooo yummy. Recipe development consisted of me trying the recipe a few different ways. The first time I didn’t put enough veggies or sauce in it. (It was still delicious though!) Then another time I put one too many veggies in it. It may have a bit more sauce than you would think you need, but we like to scoop a little over the rice for flavor.

I just realized that I have a thing for basil lately. It started with my post for Copycat Mellow Mushroom Thai Dye Pizza. Then I decided to make pesto. These spicy basil beef bowls were just a matter of time I guess.

Remember when we went to my brother Steve’s in Texas not too long ago? In that post I told you how we went to the Mexican grocery. While we were there I picked up some Japanese hot peppers. I had to laugh because Rudy’s dad was Mexican and his mom is Japanese. I took it as a sign to get the Japanese peppers sold in the Mexican grocery. Then they just kinda sat for a few weeks before I figured out how I was going to use them. Holy Moly, this was the dish! I note in the recipe card below that you can eat them if you want. You can discard them if you want. They are kinda like a bay leaf in that they infuse their flavor (i.e., heat) while simmering in the sauce. I bit into one and it was like I instantly had some dental work done and was still numb. I couldn’t feel my lip while I applied lip balm. I don’t regret it though. But I’m a spicy girl.


Spicy Basil Beef Bowls


  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 2 lbs flank steak sliced thinly against the grain
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion cut into strips
  • 1 package snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 dried hot peppers I used Japanese
  • cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup basil julienned


  1. Warm a tablespoon of the oil in a large pan on medium heat.

  2. Add the beef in a single layer and dust with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on both sides until just done. Remove from pan and set aside. You will need to do a few batches.

  3. In a dutch oven or large pot, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat it to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, bell pepper, onion, snow peas, and red pepper flakes. Stir often and cook until veggies are tender.

  4. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce and brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add it to the veggies along with the dried hot peppers. Stir and heat until the sauce has a chance to get nice and warm.

  5. Add the meat and half the basil and stir. Turn heat down to medium low and allow meat to heat back up.

  6. Serve over rice and garnish with more basil.

Recipe Notes

You may or may not want to eat the hot peppers. They will reconstitute in the sauce. Plenty of heat will get into the sauce from them. They can be discarded if you wish.

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