This stir fry Thai Basil Chicken is delicious served with steamed jasmine rice. It takes only minutes to prepare and the heat level can be easily adjusted.
Thai Basil Chicken comes to mind whenever I have a whole lot of Thai or holy basil on hand. Holy basil is the preferred type of basil in this dish. It is is more spicy than it is sweet with small serrated leaves and slightly hairy stems. If not available, Thai basil is a good substitute.
Thai basil is sweeter with a hint of anise of licorice. It has purple stems and larger serrated leaves. Thai basil is available year round and is the most common type of basil found at the Asian markets here. It is also the same kind of basil used by the Vietnamese in their pho noodles.
Thai Basil Chicken is surprisingly easy to prepare and takes only minutes to cook once the ingredients are ready. Traditionally, ground chicken is used. Other key ingredients include basil, chilies, and fish sauce. The fish sauce should be discernible but not overpowering. The heat level can be easily adjusted to your liking. For a spicy “kick”, use 4 to 5 minced bird’s eye chilies in place of jalapeno or green chilies.
In my version below, I used bite size pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of ground chicken. I kept the dish mild with the use of just one jalapeno pepper but added a chopped red chili pepper for color.
- 20 oz (565g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1½ cup (45g) fresh Thai or holy basil leaves
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red fresno chili (red chili), seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno chili (green chili)**, seeded and chopped
- Combine chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Thinly slice 1 cup (30g) basil leaves. Leave the remaining ½ cup (15g) whole.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, red chili, and jalapeno pepper for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add chicken and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add sliced basil leaves and continue to cook for another minute.
- Turn off heat. Add remaining whole basil leaves. Stir to mix.
- Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
This tasty dish is perfect served with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice. Do give it a try.
NOTE: This post was updated on November 20th, 2016 with new pictures.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎