I’m eating some of the leftovers as I type this. Delicious.
My love of this dish started two years ago when my sister bought me a packet of Thai basil seeds. I planted them in a small purple pot and a couple of months later I had a Thai basil plant. Sister and I decided it was time to cook with the Thai basil and, since this was in the dark ages before Pinterest, we googled “Thai basil recipes”. One of the first results that popped up was for Thai Basil Chicken. Sounded good. We only had some of the ingredients on hand and weren’t interested in even eating some of the other ingredients listed, so we made due with what we had. And that was how two Italian girls created a “Thai” recipe!
If you haven’t had Thai basil before, it’s a different taste that the Genovese Basil you can buy in bunches or dried at grocery stores. In fact, you may have trouble buying it at a traditional grocery store. I grow mine from seeds, and when it isn’t in season I use a pre-chopped variety in a bottle that I’ve found at Harris Teeter and Wegmans. I suppose you could potentially find it fresh at an Asian market. Since my Thai basil plant currently has only six full size leaves on it, I went for the bottled variety in this recipe. The taste is stronger than a traditional basil, and, as the bottle describes “anise-like”.
One component of this recipe is chili garlic sauce. I love spicy food, so this stuff is right up my alley and I add a full tablespoon to the recipe. I’d suggest toning the spice level down when you first make this dish and start with just a teaspoon, or even less if you know you have a low spice tolerance. Or, serve with lots of rice to counter the spiciness.
Thai Basil ChickenIngredients (makes 4-5 servings)
- 1 lb. ground chicken breast
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 oz shallots, minced
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 2 Tbs Bragg’s Amino Acids (or soy sauce)
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 1 Tbs chili garlic sauce
- 3 Tbs Thai Basil, chopped
- Mince the shallots, garlic, and Thai basil.
- Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan with shallots and garlic.
- When you hear the shallots and garlic sizzling, and the ground chicken.
- “Brown” the chicken on medium high heat, breaking up into small chunks. The end result will actually look white, not brown (see picture below).
- Add the amino acids/soy sauce and fish sauce to the chicken mixture. Take a few minutes to thoroughly combine this with the chicken. You will notice the chicken absorbs the liquid and turns a slightly darker color.
- Add the chili garlic sauce and mix.
- Finally, mix in the Thai basil.