Thai Basil Chicken


1 T peanut oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, chopped into small pieces
4 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried
8 Thai chiles or 2 jalapenos, chopped and then pounded with mortar and pestle to open the fibers
1 T black soy sauce
1 T t oyster sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 1/2 cups fresh Thai basil
1/4 t ground white pepper

Spoon Mage™ Ingredients Notes:

This is one of the few recipes where you eat kaffir lime leaves, which are usually included and removed as you would a bay leaf. You may use either fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves. For fresh leaves, roll them tightly and slice as finely as you can using a very sharp knife. For dried leaves, grind to a powder with a mortar pestle, remove any twiggy pieces.

For black soy sauce, a semi-sweet soy sauce well worth a trip to the Asian market, you may substitute regular soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.

If your Thai basil has flowers, include them in this dish, they are a lovely and flavorful addition. Discard the flowers that have set seeds.

Spoon Mage Wokking Note:

As with all stir fries, make sure you prep every ingredient before cooking. Line up the plates and bowls in order of adding to the wok.

Heat a wok over high heat. It is important to begin on high as the temperature will reduce as you add the ingredients. Do not stop stirring with spoons once you begin to add the ingredients. You don’t have to be fast, just make sure there is constant movement within the ingredients. Start out with one spoon and then switch to a two spoon folding method once the main ingredients are added. If your wok smokes, reduce heat to medium high. This dish is so fast to cook, the wok will barely know what happened and have little time to smoke!


When the wok is so hot it is hard to hover your hand several inches above the surface, add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the wok. The oil will immediately thin and shimmer as it hits the pan.

Add the garlic and stir for about 15 seconds.

Add the shallots and continue to stir for another 15 seconds.

Add the chicken. Using two wooden spoons, toss the chicken in a folding manner continuously for 2-3 minutes, or until it is no longer showing pink on the outside.

Add the slivered or pounded lime leaves and chiles. Mix well with the chicken.

Add the black soy sauce (or regular soy sauce with a pinch of sugar) and stir for about 15 seconds.

Add fish sauce, oyster sauce, and a dash of white pepper. Stir for about another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the basil leaves, stir to incorporate, and remove from heat. The leaves wilt quickly and will be just right by the time you get the dish to the table.

Serve with hot basmati or jasmine rice. Make it a full meal by serving beautifully steaming bowls of Mushroom Tom Yum.

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