Thai Chicken With Basil Recipe
This is another recipe I learned in a Thai restaurant cooking class. It’s my favorite dish that I often order
when we go out to eat, but I always had trouble making the same dish at home. Here is the secret:
I always approached the soy sauce aisle in
Asian grocery stores with bewilderment. There
seemed to be dozens and
dozens of different kinds and
I had no idea which one to
use for which dish. I even
thought that most of them
might all taste exactly the
same to me.
But, after class, my
Thai cooking class teacher
took us across the street to
an Asian grocery and gave
us a tour of the shelves there. The secret to Thai
Chicken Basil is the sweet soy sauce. Sometimes it
is called black or dark soy sauce, but the concept is the same. It is a heavier and sweeter version of regular soy
sauce that gives this dish its unique Thai taste. Even if I cannot obtain the proper Thai holy basil for this dish, if
you do get the sweet soy sauce it will be 90% of the taste I am looking for. You can get sweet soy sauce and the
fish sauce online if you cannot get it at a store near you.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut up in small thin slices
2 cups cut up vegetables (I use mushrooms, green beans, red & green pepper;
or whatever is lying around)
1 small yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced lengthwise to make little
2 green onions chopped in 1 inch sections – optional
2-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled & chopped fine
1-3 fresh hot peppers to taste or a sprinkle of crushed red hot pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons cooking oil (peanut oil is good for sautéing because it can
stand the heat)
¾ cup Thai basil leaves from one bunch of fresh Thai basil
Fresh or dry rice noodles – only if you are making Drunken Noodles
For the sauce:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoon sweet, dark or black soy sauce
Mix this and have it ready to go before you start.
All of these are available online if they are not in your local grocery. They go a long
way and keep for many months.
Stir-fry the garlic in the hot oil in a wok or a sturdy pot. Add the chicken and stir-fry it until it all just turns
white. It will cook more after you add the veggies so don’t overdo this. Add all the veggies except the basil and
the hot pepper. Then add the sauce you prepared and cook everything until it is done. Add the basil and the hot
pepper and cook for just one minute more.
If you add fresh or dry rice noodles to this recipe it becomes Thai Drunken Noodles. That recipe uses the
same sauce. Fresh rice noodles are tough to find. You can try the dry kind, just pre-soak them according to
package directions and add them along with the sauce.