- 100 g ground beef or other protein of your choice
- 80 g spaghetti, dry
- 2–3 cloves garlic
- 1 spur chili or other medium-to-mild red chilies
- 2–3 Thai chilies, to taste, (optional)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fingerroot or “grachai” (optional)*
- 3 pc baby corn, bite-seized pieces
- 2 stalks Chinese broccoli, stems thinly sliced, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup holy basil, regular basil or Thai basil
- A dash white pepper
- Chili vinegar for serving (optional)**
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ¾ tsp black soy sauce
* Fingerroot, known in Thai as “grachai,” is available brined in a glass jar, either whole or julienned. Some Thai markets may also have fresh ones available.
** This is called “prik nam som” and it’s commonly served with noodle dishes. Simply cut any chili peppers of your choice into thin rounds, then cover with white vinegar and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Set a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water (1 tsp salt for every 1 litre of water).
In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, spur chilies, Thai chilies and fingerroot (if using) into a rough paste. Alternatively, you can mince everything together.
Combine all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Once all your ingredients are ready to go and you’re ready to turn on the wok, add spaghetti to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente. (Cooking the spaghetti right before you’re ready to use it allows you to transfer the spaghetti directly from the pot to the wok, which is so much easier than draining it!)
In a wok, cook the ground beef in a little vegetable oil, stirring to break up any clumps, until fully cooked. Remove the beef, draining off any excess fat. Wipe the wok with paper towel to get rid of excess beef fat.
To the same wok, add a little vegetable oil and sauté garlic-chili mixture over medium heat until golden. Add vegetables, cooked beef, a teaspoon of the sauce and toss for 30 seconds. Your spaghetti should be a few minutes away from being done at this point, so turn off the stove and wait until the spaghetti is ready.
When the spaghetti is done, use tongs or a pasta scoop to transfer the spaghetti directly into the wok. Turn the heat back on to medium high, add all remaining sauce and sugar, then toss until all the sauce is completely absorbed. If you want the dish to be a little more moist/saucy, you can add a splash of chicken stock or the pasta water (keeping in mind that the pasta water is salted, so don’t add too much of it). Turn off the heat, add white pepper and holy basil and toss just to wilt the basil.
Serve immediately with the chili vinegar, if desired.