Thai Basil Chicken is arguably the gold standard of Thai Chicken stir fries! An incredibly fast and easy Thai recipe that truly tastes just as good as you’ll get at your favourite restaurant, served over jasmine rice. BONUS: No hunting down unusual ingredients!
Thai Basil Chicken
Wowser. I LOVE Thai Basil Chicken. Just looking at these photos and writing up this post has me peeved that I’ll shortly be reheating leftovers instead of firing up the wok. (That’s a nice insight into the immaturity that is me.)
This is a recipe I got from the mother of a friend way back when I was in uni. Obviously, a Thai friend!
And it’s one of the few recipes that I haven’t tinkered with at all. I usually can’t help it – even recipes from well respected chefs. But this one – it’s perfect as it is. It is truly just like what you get at (good) Thai restaurants and on the streets of Thailand!
What you need for Thai Basil Chicken
Here’s what you need for Thai Basil Chicken. The really nice thing about this Thai recipe is that you can get everything you need from the grocery store – at least, you can here in Australia!
Thai Basil is a key ingredient in this recipe, being the namesake and all. 😂
Thai Basil tastes like normal basil with a hint of aniseed flavour. Nowadays it’s fairly widely available in Australia in large grocery stores and green grocers (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms).
In actual fact, the authentic version of Thai Basil Chicken is Thai Holy Basil which is different to Thai Basil. It’s actually quite hard to find even in Thai stores, so much so that most Thai restaurants just use ordinary Thai Basil and it’s the flavour that most people have become accustomed to.
Here’s a photo showing the difference between holy basil and Thai Basil.
In the video and photos, I’ve used Thai Holy Basil. (Sydney-siders, I found it in the dark depths of a Thai grocery store in the city, I had to ask for it and the store owner got it from the back!)
Thai Basil Chicken is often overly saucy when you get it from mid-standard restaurants outside of Thailand.
This recipe sticks more to the traditional way of cooking it with enough sauce to coat the stir fry and to soak the rice a bit (enough!). But not so much sauce that when you dish it up, it’s sitting in a pool of sauce which frankly is too salty and unnecessary because the flavours of this dish are so strong, you don’t need all that sauce.
Serve this over Jasmine rice or any other rice of choice. If you want to add a fresh side, try this Asian Slaw – it’s a great all rounder that goes with all Asian foods. Or for a simpler option, just add a side of plain chunks of tomato and cucumber which is a common side that’s added to plates in Thailand.
As with all stir fries, this Thai recipe moves super fast once you start cooking – about 5 minutes. So if you can get the chopping done in 10 minutes, you’ll have dinner on the table in 15 minutes.
Hey! That’s faster than ordering home delivery! – Nagi xx
Watch how to make it
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Pad See Ew – Thai stir fried noodles
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Thai Chilli Basil Chicken
- 225g / 7oz chicken thigh fillets , skinless boneless, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 green onion , cut into 4cm / 2" lengths.
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves , loosely packed (Holy Basil if you can find it) (Note 1)
- 2 garlic cloves , large, finely chopped (Note 2)
- 1 birds eye or Thai chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil (peanut, vegetable or canola)
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp light soy sauce (Note 3)
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce (or all purpose) (Note 3)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Put Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.
- Heat oil in wok or pan over high heat.
- Add garlic and chilli and cook for 10 seconds. Don't inhale - the chilli will make you cough!
- Add the white part of the green onions and chicken and fry until cooked, around 2 minutes.
- Add Sauce and cook for 1 minute until the water reduces to make a thick glossy sauce.
- Toss through green part of green onions and basil leaves. Stir until just wilted, then serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.
Originally published in July 2014, updated with fresh new (better!) photos, new words, a brand new recipe video and of course I added a Life of Dozer section!
Life of Dozer
Story of his life. And mine, for that matter.