A classic Thai delicacy, this Thai chilli basil chicken is a must-have recipe in your repertoire especially if you love Thai food as much as I do!
Being a Thai food lover, this amazing Thai basil chicken should have appeared in my blog long back; but destiny had something else in mind! So here I am today in 2020, sharing one of my favorite Thai recipes till date which is this stunning Thai chilli basil chicken! This Thai delicacy is one of the most ordered dishes in any Thai restaurant and I am sharing my version of restaurant style Thai chilli basil chicken which can closely compete with the one from your favorite Thai place! This basil chicken is somewhat spicy in nature but can be easily customized as per your liking. Thai food mostly uses fresh ingredients in their recipes and this Thai chilli basil chicken is no exception too! The combination of fresh red chillies with superbly aromatic fresh Thai basil leaves is simply mind-blowing!
Thai basil leaves are so amazing that they need special mention and I will come to that later; for now you can drool on the tempting pictures of this basil chicken and plan to make it as soon as you can! This is one Thai recipe which you cannot give a miss. Among many other Thai recipes in my blog, this Thai chilli basil chicken is the most unique and the most loved one in my family! We love to savor this with plain white rice. This classic Thai chicken dish can also be served as appetizer or a quick snack as this one comes together very quickly and like many other Thai dishes, this basil chicken too is a no-fuss recipe! If you can get your hands on the fresh Thai basil, then you must not think twice to make this incredible Thai chilli basil chicken!
Now let’s talk about the Thai basil leaves! Thai basil leaves, even being from the same family of Italian basil, have very different flavor profile. Thai basil has somewhat sharp flavor whereas Italian basil carries a mellowed down flavor profile hence often called sweet basil too! If you are from India, chances are that you may get confused with Thai basil and Indian holy basil which are again two different types of basil altogether. Thai basil has purple stems and have purple veins in the leaves, but holy basil is entirely deep green without any hint of purple in it. Holy basil is heavily used in India in our Hindu religious rituals and we strongly believe that having a plant of holy basil at home brings in peace & prosperity to the family. This time around my better half planted a Thai basil plant too along with holy basil and thanks to him, this Thai chilli basil chicken materialized!
Yes, the fresh Thai basil leaves used in this recipe is home-grown and they are completely organic. Thai basil adds immense flavor to the chicken which is why, I believe, this humble basil chicken became so popular across globe! The chilli in this recipe adds the spice quotient and maintains the balance between sweetness, tartness and saltiness. As mentioned in all my other Thai recipes before and I am repeating myself here again that Thai food is all about creating that perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tart and salt. In this recipe of basil chicken, saltiness is added through soy and fish sauce, tartness is brought in through vinegar and finally sugar seals in the flavor profile with its sweetness. This classic Thai basil chicken is a must-try Thai recipe; even if you can’t get your hands on the authentic Thai basil, you can substitute it with regular Italian basil and give this one a go real soon! Enjoy!
- Chicken thighs – 500 gms, boneless & skinless
- Fresh Thai basil – 2 cups, loosely packed (or 1 cup sliced)
- Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
- Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves, minced
- Fresh red chilli – 4 (or less), finely chopped
- Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
- Light soy sauce – 2 tbsp
- Oyster sauce – 1 tbsp
- Fish sauce – 2 tbsp
- Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
- White vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Chop the chicken thighs into very small pieces but do not grind them. I would not recommend using minced chicken for this recipe as that would not work here.
- Slice the fresh basil leaves into thin slices and then cut into smaller pieces lengthwise. Reserve few fresh basil leaves for later.
- In a bowl, mix together all the sauces – soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce. Also add the vinegar and sugar to it. Do a taste test and adjust any of the ingredient as per your liking. Set it aside.
- Heat a skillet and add the vegetable oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and quickly fry it on medium-high for 10 seconds.
- Then add in the chopped onion and fresh chilies. Sauté everything on medium-high flame for 5 minutes until the onion turns translucent but not brown. You won’t need to brown the onion for this recipe.
- Next, add in the chopped chicken, sauté the chicken on medium-high flame for 5 to 6 minutes or until they turn opaque and fully cooked. Since the chicken is chopped very finely, it won’t take much time to cook.
- When the chicken starts to stick to the bottom, add half of the prepared sauce and stir-fry the chicken on high flame for about a minute or until the sauce is completely absorbed by the chicken.
- Then add all of the remaining sauce and continue to stir fry on medium high. The sauce will be eventually absorbed by chicken giving it a nice glossy shine.
- Now add the sliced basil leaves and keeping the flame at minimum, stir everything well so that basil leaves are uniformly mixed and combined with the chicken.
- Switch off the flame and do a final taste test for seasoning. Since all the sauces are already salty, I haven’t added any additional salt. You may adjust as per your taste at this stage.
- Finally sprinkle the reserved whole basil leaves and let them wilt into the hot chicken; give a final stir. Your delicious spicy Thai chilli basil chicken is ready to serve with sticky rice on the side! Enjoy!