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Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

I have been making pan fried chicken breasts from college days. Most of the times, I just do a simple salt, pepper, flour treatment, and I love them like that. But sometimes, I will marinate them overnight in simple sauce like this one and they will turn out amazing.

Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

After pan frying, I usually let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then cut them into bite size strips so they are super easy to eat. I used to make my own bento box to bring to school, and these are just perfect for that purpose. They are good as is, but a side of sambal, or a simple relish will definitely be a welcome addition.

Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

Thai Pan Fried Basil Chicken

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 600 gram skinless boneless chicken breast (about 2 pairs), butterfly for even thickness
  • Marinating sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon basil leaves (Indonesian: daun kemangi)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola/olive oil


  1. To make the marinating sauce, grind together lemon basil leaves, garlic, palm sugar, salt, and ground white pepper into a fine texture with a food processor. Add fish sauce and canola/olive oil, then pulse to emulsify.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine chicken breasts and the marinating sauce. Mix well, cover with a saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Return the chicken breast to room temperature before cooking, usually about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet on medium high, and fry chicken breasts until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes each side.
  5. Set aside to rest for about 10 minutes, then cut into thin bite size strips.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Adina Adina says:

    So simple and so perfect, I really feel like eating chicken now. :)

  • Amy Amy says:

    hi I would love to try this out. just wondering if I used sweet basil instead of lemon basil, would the recipe still work?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Amy, sweet (Italian) basil has a different flavor compared to lemon (Thai) basil and I don't think it will make for a good substitute. Personally, I would prefer to use fresh cilantro if available, though it will end up with a different dish :)

  • hermsoven hermsoven says:

    Tasty and simple. I used regular (Italian) basil with good results. I don't know how lemon basil would have improved this dish aside from making it more authentic, but I think the other ingredients more than made up for any difference. When I can get some lemon basil, I will definitely try it. One big change: I used harder to overcook bone-in thighs and fried them at a slightly lower temperature for about 9 minutes per side for a deep golden brown and juicy result.

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

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