4 portions. Approximate cost: £7.20, 

Skill level: Medium (little technical skill needed, but balancing the sweet, salty and sour flavours will require patience) 

Total cooking time: 25 minutes, 

Prep time: 10 minutes, 

Cooking time: 15 minutes (assuming rice is pre-cooked) 

Equipment used: Pestle & mortar, 2 frying pans

Original recipe: No online version I’m afraid. 


11265447_10153426049845040_8321412403136776489_nAnother Recipease entry – Emily (my original partner in crime) and I cooked up a storm on Friday making a Thai inspired 3 course dinner.

This dish is so easy to make and so so tasty but I think a lot of the flavour comes from the good quality meat we used (a really dark reddy-brown, mince with a lot of white fat marbled in).  I wouldn’t recommend substituting for a cheaper type – use the best you can.

The base of this dish is a paste consisting of garlic, red chillies and garlic. The same paste is used in the  stir-fried rice and will stretch to an accompanying sweet and sour prawn soup.


To prep:

1: To make the paste, chop 1 clove of garlic, 1 small red chilli and a thumb sized piece of ginger. Add to a pestle & mortar and bash together until you have a spoonable paste. 

2: Slice the palm sugar as thinly as possible, set to one side

3: Quarter your tomato and then scoop put the fleshy inside part – you’ll only need the fleshy part for this recipe but the outside is used in the sweet and sour prawn soup if you’re making this as well. 

4: Prepare the accompanying veg; slice the spring onion into diagonal pieces, halve the pak choi and slice both pieces sideways (rather than lengthways) and slice your broccoli in half lengthways. Set to one side.


To cook:

Add a good drizzle of olive oil to a hot pan.

Coat your mince with the cornflour and crumble as best you can into the hot pan. Break up any big lumps of mince with a spatula, and add a teaspoon of your paste and give it a good mix.

After this point you want to avoid moving the meat around the pan too much, you actually want this to catch on the pan and really brown up, more than you would usually do if you were cooking a lasagne or similar. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, ensuring that the meat is dark brown all over.

Whilst the meat is browning away, heat a second pan, add olive oil and your veg plus another teaspoon of the paste. Cook on a high heat for no more than 5 minutes.

You can either use a third pan to heat the rice, or move the veg to the pan with the meat in and re-use the second frying pan. Add more olive oil, another teaspoon of paste and really turn up the heat before adding the rice – A lot of people have apprehensions about re-heating rice  but as long as it is piping hot, you should have no problems.

Just before you serve the meat, add the palm sugar, the chopped tomato and a lug of fish sauce and cook for one last minute.



  • 500g beef mince (£5)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of cornflour
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger (20p)
  • a thumb sized piece of palm sugar (or a teaspoon of brown sugar)
  • fish sauce
  • 1 tomato (inside only) (20p)
  • 120g cooked rice
  • 6 or so sprigs of tenderstem broccoli (50p)
  • 1 head of pak choi (50p)
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onions (50p for a bunch)
  • 1 lime (30p)