As a gardener, one of my dreams is to have huge, bushy basil plants. I LOVE to use fresh herbs in cooking. It’s so exciting to go outside, snip a few leaves off for tonight’s dinner, and be able to do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day . . .
This year I have three types of basil in my garden: Genovese, Lemon, and Thai. Each of my plants if huge! A gardener/cook’s dream come true! I’m taking every opportunity to use my fresh herbs.
So, Thai food is tasty. Wether it’s sweet or spicy that you desire, there is something in Thai cuisine for you. There’s a Thai restaurant nearby that we go to from time to time. They offer four levels of spiciness: mild, medium, American hot, and Thai hot. My husband will get something mild with a sweet sauce. I get my food American hot with garlic and soak up as much of the spicy sauce as possible with tofu. We obviously have different flavor preferences!
As I’m exploring different ways to use my Thai basil I set out to create something we would both enjoy. This was definitely a hit. The rice and edamame is coated in a sweet Thai chili and peanut sauce. The chicken is marinated in spicy asian sauces. The combination was amazing.
I topped mine with . . . you guessed it . . . Thai basil! If you don’t have access to fresh Thai basil you can also get it in a jar some grocery stores. You can also sub in a more common basil.
Now, this recipe might seem daunting with all the different flavors and sauces. Think of it this way: You’ll mix up the chicken marinate the night before. It’ll be quick. When you are ready to make the rest of the meal, you will already have some of the work already done. The rice and edamame cook in the same pot, so you’ll just mix the sweet chili sauce and grill the chicken while it’s simmering. I promise; the flavors are worth the effort!Marinade:
- 1 tsp chili garlic paste (or more, to taste)
- 2 Tbs lime juice
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more, to taste)
- 2 shakes cayenne pepper
Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar substitute or 1 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 1 1/2 Tbs lime juice
- 1 Tbs milk
- 1/2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
- 2 Tbs sweet chili sauce
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1c brown rice
- 2c water
- 1c edamame (I used frozen)
- 1/4c cilantro, chopped
- 1/4c thai basil, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions, top half, chopped
- Mix marinade ingredients. Add chicken chunks to marinade and refrigerate overnight.
- Mix the sweet chili sauce, and chop the cilantro, Thai basil, and green onions if you haven’t already done so.
- Bring the rice and water to a boil in a large saucepan. When it boils, reduce heat to low and cover.
While rice is cooking, skewer the chicken (I use flat metal skewers) and grill. I use a gas grill, between 350°F and 400°F. It takes a few minutes on each side to cook through).
- When rice has nearly absorbed all of the water, stir the edamame into the pot.
- When rice is fully cooked, stir in cilantro, Thai basil, green onions, and the sweet chili sauce you mixed.
- Serve with the grilled chicken. Top with additional herbs or sweet chili sauce, if desired.