20-Minute Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls


I recently started drinking this green tea that has a really delicious lemongrass aftertaste. Since then, I’ve become a bit obsessed with lemongrass. It’s SO GOOD! So I add it to everything I can now, including this Thai rice bowl. While there are an insane amount of flavor layers in this one bowl, it’s hard to say what my favorite is (lemongrass, lemongrass, lemongrass!). Did I mention I love lemongrass?

Kidding aside, this rice bowl rocks. The ground meat cuts down on the cooking time (as opposed to cooking another kind of meat) and the thinner you cut the carrots and peppers, the better the bowl will come together (I learned this after I cooked it all).

I think this deserves a medium difficulty level because you have to get the timing right on a few different moving pieces. If you can juggle it, you can easily make this in 20 minutes.

20-Minute Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Lemongrass Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemongrass chopped

Thai Basil Beef

  • 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lime plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, sliced or chopped, plus extra for serving
  • Toasted sesame seeds + chopped roasted peanuts for serving


  1. To make the rice. Add the coconut milk and water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, sesame oil and lemongrass. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered for another 15-20 minutes (don’t take any peeks inside!). After 15-20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork and stir in 1-2 tablespoons chopped peanuts if desired. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
  2. While the rice is cooking, make the beef. Add the carrots, peppers, green onions, honey, lime juice and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside.
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet/cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the garlic and ginger. Cook 15-30 seconds, then add the beef. Season the beef with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks (about 5 minutes). Once the beef is browned, add 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup sweet thai chili sauce and 1 cup of fresh basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the beef, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup fresh basil.
  4. Divide the rice among the bowls, top with equal amounts of beef. Add the carrots + pepper on top of the beef. Garish with chopped peanuts, fresh basil and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy! 
Adapted from: halfbakedharvest.com

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