You only need a few staple pantry ingredients, thirty minutes and some fresh basil to make this easy Thai basil chicken recipe. Makes 6 servings.
Thai basil isn’t that easy to find in our city during the winter months, but during the summer and early fall, it’s readily available at the farmers’ market in enormous bunches just waiting to be made into something delicious. Last summer, I made a Thai basil pesto that turned out pretty good, but I knew this year, I wanted to give Thai basil chicken a whirl.
It was the first dish I tried when we were in Thailand, and it was definitely one of my favorites. And, for good reason. Spicy, saucy chicken is basically stir fried in heaps of garlic and Thai basil. I honestly don’t know a person who wouldn’t like it. But, I never guessed it would be so easy to replicate.
the easiest Thai basil chicken
I used this recipe as a base for my experiment, and I used what little I know about Thai cooking to fill in the blanks for stronger Thai flavor. From what I learned while I was there for 4 short days, each dish should feature the four basic flavors: sweet, sour, bitter and salt. So I made sure to add a little fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to the sauce. I also wimped out and used red pepper flakes rather than cutting up a whole pepper.
The result was nothing short of amazing, and, besides a few too many dirty measuring spoons, it came together without much hassle (making it my new favorite recipe). I served ours with steamed broccoli and jasmine rice. If you haven’t started making jasmine rice with your Asian-inspired dishes, you have to start. It makes a world of difference.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Thai basil chicken recipe
How to make Thai basil chicken
Thinly slice the chicken. I like to cut mine against the grain or on a bias into super thin strips, rather than bite-sized cubes, but you can cut yours however you prefer. Just be sure it’s small enough to cook fast.
Make your sauce. Whisk the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar together until smooth. Pour this over your chicken and allow it to marinate while you prep the rest of the meal (make the rice, slice the basil, etc).
Heat a large skillet or wok to medium-high. Add the cooking oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until fragrant, or about 30 seconds.
Increase heat to high. Add the chicken with the sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
Add the basil, and continue to cook until the leaves have wilted and your chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature of 165˚F).
Substitutions and tips for making
To make this dish gluten free, try using tamari sauce instead of soy sauce and gluten free oyster sauce.
If you don’t have Thai basil, you can definitely substitute regular basil (or lemon basil if you have it).Print
This easy Thai basil chicken recipe is healthy and just a bit spicy. Serve with fresh limes and for an authentic meal in 30 minutes.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (or tenders), thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 8 garlic cloves)
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 – 3 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
- Lime wedges (optional, for serving)
- In a large bowl, stir together sliced chicken, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar until evenly coated. Allow chicken to marinate while preparing the rest of the meal.
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add chicken and sauce and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add basil leaves and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until basil leaves have wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Calories: 206
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 0 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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