Thai basil chicken is a zesty go-to dish that my Mama can always make on the fly. While fattier chicken thighs always seem to add extra flavor, the sauce adds moisture and zing to even the driest chicken breasts. Up the number of chilis if you like it tongue-tingling hot or leave them out completely (no judgement either way).
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken
7–8 garlic cloves
2–3 Thai chilies
35 basil leaves (sweet or Thai basil)
1 tbsp. fish sauce or Golden Mountain Seasoning Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. corn starch
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. black soy sauce (we like the Dragon Fly brand variety, but you can also substitute for Kikkoman or whatever you have on hand)
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. rice wine or cooking sherry
1 1/2 tbsp. water
Combine the lightly beaten egg white and water with the chicken, corn starch and oyster sauce. Mix to coat evenly and set aside for a half hour to one hour. This step adds moisture and a glossy coating to the chicken.
Chop two cloves of garlic and set them aside. Blend the rest of the garlic cloves, two of the Thai chilies, 20 of the basil leaves, fish sauce and sugar in the food processor until they become a paste. Or chop the garlic, chilies and basil by hand, then blend them with the fish sauce and sugar.
Heat the vegetable oil to medium heat in a wok or pan. Add the garlic-chili-basil paste and stir fry until yellow or fragrant, Then, add the chicken and stir fry until no longer pink; and mix in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and water. Remove the wok from the heat and fold in the rest of the basil leaves. Serve with white rice.
Also great with the addition of scallions and served with a fried egg, traditional Thai style!
Photos courtesy of View Baiphowongse.