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Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chilies

A quick 20-minute Thai stir-fry chicken dish with Thai basil, garlic, and chilies. The umami-rich spicy dark sauce goes perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice.
Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chilies.

Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chilies.

I love walking around the produce section when I visit my local Asian market. The market has a pretty complete selection when it comes to Asian fruits, herbs, and vegetables, but no two visits are the same. This last trip netted me some lovely Thai basil leaves, which I quickly use up to prepare this quick and yummy Thai stir-fried chicken with basil and chilies.

If you are looking for a quick and satisfying meal, then this 20-minute dish from start to finish should be a perfect choice. Other than Thai basil, which we will need them to be as fresh as possible, the remaining ingredients are common pantry ingredients, especially if you often prepare Asian dishes.

Ingredients for Thai stir-fried chicken with basil and chilies: chicken breast, Thai basil, red chilies, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce.

Ingredients for Thai stir-fried chicken with basil and chilies: chicken breast, Thai basil, red chilies, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce.

Ingredients for Thai stir-fried chicken with basil and chilies

1. Chicken breast/thigh meat

We need 500 grams (~ 1.1 lb) of bite-size chicken meat. You can use either chicken breast or chicken thigh.

2. Thai basil

You can get fresh Thai basil from an Asian market in the produce section. Thai basil is the same as lemon basil or Lao basil. If you are Indonesian, this is the same as kemangi. These leaves don’t stay fresh for long, so plan to use them within two days of buying.

3. Bird-eye chilies

I usually use bird-eye chilies for this dish, but if you want a milder dish, feel free to use cayenne or Fresno.

4. Garlic and seasonings

We will need garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. You can substitute dark soy sauce with regular soy sauce, but be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce, or the dish may be too salty. Also, you won’t get the same dark color sauce if you don’t use dark soy sauce.

(1) Sauté garlic and chilies. (2) Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. (3) Season with sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. (4) Add Thai basil.

(1) Sauté garlic and chilies. (2) Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. (3) Season with sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. (4) Add Thai basil.

Step-by-step instruction

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat and sauté minced garlic and chopped chilies until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

Add bite-size chicken meat and stir until no longer pink.

Season with sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. Cook until the sauce is boiling, and the chicken is cook.

Stir in Thai basil leaves, reserving about a dozen leaves for garnish. Turn off the heat once the leaves wilt.

Transfer the dish to a serving plate, garnish with the reserved leaves, and serve immediately with steamed white rice. The best choice for rice would be Thai jasmine rice.

Transfer the dish to a serving plate, garnish with Thai basil leaves, and serve with steamed rice.

Transfer the dish to a serving plate, garnish with Thai basil leaves, and serve with steamed rice.

Originally published on Jun 21, 2014 . Updated on Oct 21, 2020 with new photos.

Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil and Chilies

5.0 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 bird-eye chilies, thinly sliced (Note 1)
  • 500 gram (~ 1.1 lb) chicken breast/thigh meat, cut into bite-sizes
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce (Note 2)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup Thai/lemon basil, reserve a dozen leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat and sauté minced garlic and chopped chilies until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add bite-size chicken meat and stir until no longer pink.
  3. Season with sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce. Cook until the sauce is boiling, and the chicken is cook.
  4. Stir in Thai basil leaves, reserving about a dozen leaves for garnish. Turn off the heat once the leaves wilt.
  5. Transfer the dish to a serving plate, garnish with the reserved leaves, and serve immediately with steamed white rice. The best choice for rice would be Thai jasmine rice.

Notes

  • (1) For a milder dish, use 6 cayenne chilies, or 3 Fresno chilies.
  • (2) Substitute with low-sodium soy sauce. The sauce will be less dark if you don't use dark soy sauce.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Caroline @ Shrinking Single Caroline @ Shrinking Single says:

    This looks delicious. Basil is one of my all time favourite flavours. But I haven't heard of lemon basil - how does it differ from other basils?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Caroline, lemon (Thai) basil has a different taste compared to the sweet (Italian) basil. Lemon basil has a distinct licorice flavor to it. If you cannot find this herb, my suggestion would be to substitute with cilantro, or mint. True, both taste completely different than lemon basil, but both are also herbs commonly used in Thai cuisine.

      • Caroline @ Shrinking Single Caroline @ Shrinking Single says:

        Ah. We call it Thai basil in Australia. It gets so confusing with all the different names for things - cilantro is coriander in Australia. Coriander is used for both the leaves and the seeds.

  • Bavi Bavi says:

    How can you make more sauce?

    • Anita Anita says:

      I'm sorry but I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean you prefer the dish to have more sauce than it currently has? You can always increase the fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar by 50%, or even double the amount, since those are the main sauce portion of the ingredients.

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

  • Mary Mary says:

    The flavors here are so good! Love the basil!

  • Dannii Dannii says:

    This reminds me of something I had in Bangkok. SO good.

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken! Loved the flavor of this :)

  • Emese Emese says:

    This is definitely a kind of recipe my husband would love. Spicy, hot, and savory. Thanks for the tip. I will surely try it.

  • Erica Schwarz Erica Schwarz says:

    I have never tried thai basil but I am intrigued! This sounds like a perfect, quick weeknight dinner.

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