Thai Basil and Ground Game Meat

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This recipe quickly climbed to the top of my favorites list. I love Asian cuisines and my garden, as discussed in Ep 18 of our Podcast, is rocking with Thai Basil. A lot of people are intimidated by Thai Basil and may not know what to cook using this awesome herb. Well… this recipe should be your first choice. You can use any type of basil for this recipe, but I HIGHLY recommend using Thai Basil. Also, you can use any type of game meat. I used some ground wild pork I had in the freezer. A traditional version of this recipe uses rice as the starch but I decided to go with pad thai noodles which I enjoy much more.

I will be publishing a similar recipe using rainbow trout and a method called “en papillote” later this week.

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Serves: 3-4

Special Equipment: Cast Iron Pan

Ingredients:

2 cups of fresh Thai Basil

2 carrots, grated

¼ cup thinly sliced chives

3 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp oil

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp honey

1 lbs wild pork (sub any ground wild game)

Salt and ground black pepper

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red chili, seeded and thinly sliced

¾ cup wild game stock (sub chicken stock)

Lime wedges

Prepared pad thai noodles

Chili sauce (optional)

Sesame seeds

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Preparation:

  1. Place 1 cup of basil on a cutting board and cut the leaves using the chiffonade method. See a how-to article. Add the sliced basil to a bowl. Combine with grated carrots, sliced chives, 1 tbsp of lime juice, and 1 tbsp of oil. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl, mix 4 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of fish sauce, 2 tsp of honey, and 2 tbsp of lime juice. Whisk until the honey is well incorporated. Split the sauce into two equal parts and set aside.
  3. Bring your cast iron pan to medium high heat.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of oil, garlic cloves, ground meat, and red chili. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook the meat until brown. Use the game stock to deglaze the pan. This removes the brown bits from the bottom to incorporate into your dish. Add the remaining cup of basil leaves. Cook for 1 minute then stir in half of the soy sauce mixture above.
  6. Allow to cook for 1 additional minute and then remove from heat. The basil should be wilted.
  7. Place your noodles in a bowl, top with the ground meat. Then add the basil slaw, sesame seeds, and lime wedge, and some of the soy sauce mixture. Add the chili sauce to your heat preference. Enjoy!

Justin Townsend

Justin is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passions for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, on podcasts, in print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard in Key West, FL.

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