This Basil Chicken is my husband's favorite stir fry. I've also made it for guests who love it so much, they end up taking the recipe home with them. In order for this dish to come alive, you need plenty of fresh basil (preferably the Thai variety - darker green and narrower leaves), and also a bottle of Golden Mountain sauce (available at Asian food stores). For this basil chicken recipe, I've added yellow pepper as is sometimes done in Thailand. The result is a very flavorful stir-fry that is beautifully aromatic with both salty and spicy overtones. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: SERVES 3-4
- Approx. 1 pound chicken (thigh or breast), cut into thin strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly (or substitute red)
- 1 shallot (or substitute 1/4 cup cooking onion), minced or finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal, ginger, OR Thai ginger, grated or chopped fine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 oz. (1 cup or 2 containers/bags) fresh Thai basil (or substitute sweet basil)
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
- Garnish: few extra basil leaves, plus 1 fresh red chili, sliced (optional)
- STIR-FRY SAUCE:
- 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I use Golden Dragon brand)
- 3 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce (available in Asian food stores)
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Combine all Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the shallot, garlic, chili, and galangal/ginger. Stir-fry 1 minute.
- Add chicken plus 1/2 the stock. Stir-fry until chicken is nearly cooked (about 5 minutes). Add more stock as needed to keep ingredients sizzling nicely.
- Add the yellow pepper plus remaining stock. Stir-fry 2 more minutes, or until pepper is bright yellow and slightly softened.
- Add the stir-fry sauce, stirring it in. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Place basil in a compressed pile on a cutting board and slice it thinly, then add it to the wok. Also add the sliced green onion and stir everything together.
- Taste-test the dish, looking for pronounced salty and spicy flavors (note that these will be balanced out when eaten with plain rice). Add a little more fresh lime if too salty for your taste, or more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too bitter, add a little more sugar.
- Garnish with fresh basil and sliced red chili (if desired) and serve hot from the wok with plenty of plain steamed rice. A clean, crisp lager marries beautifully with this spicy, flavorful dish. ENJOY!