These colorful 20 Minute Thai Basil Beef Rolls are full of Thai-inspired flavor and made so simply. The beef (or use chicken or pork) is cooked in a spicy chili sauce until caramelized around the edges, then rolled up in tortillas with fresh cucumbers, cilantro, and Thai basil. Serve with extra soy sauce, chili paste, and toasted sesame oil. Each roll is spicy, sweet, tangy, and salty. Enjoy as an appetizer or serve alongside steamed rice for a quick dinner.
My brother Malachi’s girlfriend, Caitlyn, lives in LA. She’s been telling me about beef rolls she’ll sometimes get when she out to dinner. She’s been on me to make a spicy, sweet, salty roll with Thai-inspired flavors for weeks. I was so hesitant at first because a beef roll didn’t sound all that appealing.
But then I actually put some thought into it. I did some research on how beef rolls are made and decided I could make super quick beef rolls at home with delicious flavors. Most classic beef rolls are made using a homemade wrap and thinly sliced marinated beef. They often use a spice used in Vietnamese and Hawaiian cooking, called Chinese 5 Spice. It’s a blend of cinnamon, black pepper, star anise, cloves, and fennel.
Of course, all rolls are made differently, but the process is a bit lengthy. So I took some inspiration from the beef rolls Cait has been telling me about and created my own simplified version. And I love the way they turned out!
Since I like to serve these rolls as a dinner, the first thing I make is a big pot of rice. It actually takes longer to cook the rice than the rolls. It’s totally up to you, whether to add rice, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Especially since I know many of you need fast dinner options.
I like to cook the rice in coconut milk for a creamy, coconut flavor. Simply let the rice steam while you prepare the beef rolls.
For the beef, I used ground beef, garlic, and ginger cooked together with Chinese 5 Spice, Thai chili sauce, and green onions. You can easily use whatever you enjoy here, chicken or pork would both be great.
If you’re having trouble finding Thai basil, traditional Italian basil works in a pinch! Or just use extra cilantro or even an additional green onion.
Since most store-bought chili sauce is full of sugar, I like to make my own chili sauce. I use a mix of honey, chili paste, a touch of ketchup, and then some garlic, ginger, and lime!! It’s really easy to mix up if you’re looking for a healthier sauce option.
Then just put everything together. Layer your warm tortillas with the hot beef, cucumber, cilantro, basil, green onions, and peanuts. Then, tuck and roll the rolls up nice and snug.
I serve these warm, with extra Tamari, chili paste, and toasted sesame oil. Plus, green onions too.
These wraps come together so quickly and have so much flavor, which you know we love! And I really appreciate all the fresh colors – the best kind of recipe!
Looking for other quick weeknight dinners? Here are some favorites:
Lastly, if you make these 20 Minute Thai Basil Beef Rolls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
20 Minute Thai Basil Beef Rolls
Servings: 8 rolls
Calories Per Serving: 392 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or chicken or pork)
- black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger ( or 1/4 cup candied ginger)
- 1-3 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
- 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Thai chili sauce (homemade in notes)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped
- 2 cups cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup Thai basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 8-10 flour tortillas, warmed
- chili paste, for serving
- toasted sesame oil, for serving
- 1. In a large skillet, cook the beef with black pepper over medium heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and Chinese 5 spice, cook another minute. Add the tamari and sweet Thai chili sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the beef, 3-5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped green onions. remove from the heat. 2. Place one tortilla at a time in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spoon the beef down the center, then top with cucumber, cilantro, basil, green onion, and peanuts. Fold the tortilla over the filling. Then fold the sides and ends of the tortillas over the filling and roll forward. Repeat with remaining ingredients.3. Serve warm with extra soy, chili paste, and toasted sesame oil for dipping. To make this a dinner, serve with rice on the side.
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Homemade Sweet Thai Chili Sauce: Mix 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1-2 tablespoons chili sauce, 2 teaspoons lime zest, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, and 1 clove grated garlic in a glass jar. Shake or stir well. Use as directed.