Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
A simple, easy, yet delicious recipe for a family favourite.
Thai food has a special place in my 'foodie heart'. I love the how extensive the style of cooking is, the range of spices used and how it tends not to be too rich or offensive to the senses. However, what I find a tad frustrating when it comes to cooking Thai food, as with many Asian cuisines. is the complexity of sourcing the right ingredients, and frankly, attempting to cook Thai food 'local' ingredients just doesn't work. So when I came across a recipe for Thai Basil Chicken, I was inspired and tailored it my way. All the required ingredients can be bought at the main supermarkets - result!
Tips: ensure that all the sauce condiments are used to ensure authenticity. Thai basil is particularly important. Unfortunately, regular basil won't cut the mustard. Holy basil is even better, but very hard to source outside of Thailand. Waitrose and Sainsbury's sell Thai basil. Waitrose is particularly excellent for Thai specialist ingredients.
- Approx. 500g chicken breast or boneless chicken thigh meat
- 4 garlic cloves
- 5-8 Thai chillies (optional, to taste)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Handful of Thai basil
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 shallots
- Small handful of cooked green beans (optional)
- Fried egg on top to serve
- Basmati rice to serve
- 100ml chicken stock
- In a bowl, whisk the chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar in a bowl until well blended.
- Crush and chop garlic cloves and chillies
- Finely chop the shallots
- Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces
- Heat a wok or skillet on medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
- Add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked and browned on a medium-high heat.
- Add the shallots, garlic and chillies. Continue to stir-fry on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until some of the chicken juices start to caramelise at the bottom of the wok or skillet.
- Add no more than a tablespoon of the sauce mixtured, to the wok and continue to stir-fry on a high heat for another 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce beings to caramelise.
- Pour in the rest of the sauce mixture, continue to stir-fry on a high heat. Continue to stir well until the bottom of the pan de-glazes and the meat is fully glazed by the sauce mixture.
- Stir in the green beans and stir for 30 seconds.
- Remove the wok or skillet from the heat.
- Stir in the Thai basil. Leave for 30 seconds.
- Serve with steaming hot basmati rice and with a fried egg on top.
Ingredients like soy sauce, oyster sauce etc. can be easily sourced. Thai basil is a bit more of a speciality but Waitrose and Sainsbury's, for example, both sell Thai basil. Waitrose is excellent for specialist ingredients. It's really important to use all the required condiments to get it right. Regular basil is a reasonable compromise, but if you can, Holy basil is even better!
Marcel Da Silva Brito