I’m an avid fan of trying new foods, hoping to experience tastes that absolutely wow me. Thai basil chicken is one of those dishes that I really had no clue what it would taste like. I’ve eaten Thai food once in my lifetime and that was a few years ago. I love the exotic flavors that Thai food offers and as well as the mystery and excitement that goes along with trying new foods.
There’s one underlying question I had that led me to this recipe:
How do I use up a surplus of summer basil?
Pesto was the obvious choice, but I wanted something different. Freezing basil in ice cubes was another idea that sounded tempting. Then I came across Thai basil chicken.
Interesting, I thought.
I researched many many recipes in an attempt to understand the dish. There seems to be so many variations and no general conclusions on to what makes the best Thai basil chicken. In a sense, I ended up making probably the simplest version.
The first attempt at making this was an absolute disaster. I mean non edible salty like the ocean kind of disaster. It was horrible and Amber and I were left with a hungry void that wouldn’t be satisfied at least by my first version of Thai basil chicken.
My second version, however, was a winner! I went back to basics and dressed down my original recipe. I completely omitted soy sauce (a move the some people might find odd) and used significantly less fish sauce. The result was a modest unsalty meal that actually made great use of my leftover basil. The first disaster was why I wasn’t able to publish my usual Sunday post, but its ok, you’ll forgive me right?
Note: A tiny bit of soy sauce might be ok in this recipe, but use very very sparingly and taste before adding any more. I wouldn’t want anyone to have the salty disaster that I did. 🙂
- 2 cups of white rice or rice noodles
- 2 medium sized chicken breasts (diced)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 small while onion (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (diced)
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper (sliced)
- 2 green onions (diced)
- 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves (torn)
- 1/2 teaspoon Franks hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Cook 2 cups of white rice or rice noodles according to package directions.
- Dice the raw chicken breasts into small cubes and pieces. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet and add the green peppers and white onion. Cook until slightly tender about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and cook and an additional minute.
- Add the diced chicken to the skillet and cook until chicken is done. About 5-6 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, water, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Add this to the chicken and vegetables. Cook and an additional 3 minutes until the sauce starts to dry out.
- Add in the diced green onion and torn basil leaves. Cook until the basil wilts about 30 seconds.
- Serve over white rice or rice noodles. Enjoy!