Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil
Published by Knopf
I have always loved this simple Thai stir-fried dish, especially with steamed basmati rice. Feel free to add some blanched vegetables if you want to create a one-dish meal.
Basil, which many might consider foreign to China, has, in fact, been used in Chinese medicine since the sixth century A.D. Basil tea (1 cup fresh basil leaves brewed with 1 cup water) is often drunk for indigestion.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Textureherby, savory, spiced, umami
- 1½ pounds boned chicken breast, skin removed
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1½ tablespoons rice wine or sake
- 1½ tablespoons minced shallots
- 3½ tablespoons canola or corn oil
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh red chile (seeds removed)
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 3 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thin julienne slices
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ tablespoons water
- 1½ cups fresh Thai holy basil or sweet basil leaves, stems removed, leaves rinsed, drained, and coarsely shredded
Arrange the chicken breast flat on a cutting board. Holding the blade of your knife horizontal with the board, cut the chicken into thin slices on the diagonal and put them in a bowl. Add the Marinade ingredients and toss the chicken lightly to coat.
Heat a wok or large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of the oil, and heat until very hot, about 30 seconds. Add the Seasonings, and stir-fry over high heat about 1½ to 2 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Push to the side of the pan.
Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil, and heat until very hot. Add the chicken, stirfrying over high heat about 2 minutes, or until the meat changes color and is cooked. Give the premixed Sauce another stir and pour it into the pan. Bring to a boil. Add the fresh basil and mix. Scoop the chicken onto a serving platter and serve with rice and a vegetable, if desired.
1999 Nina Simonds