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Thai-Style Stir-Fried Chicken and Basil

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2-3

Craving your favorite Thai dish, but want to stay in tonight? No problem. This stir-fry is simple to make, quick, and delicious, so it won’t disappoint. If you like, finish the dish with a mix of fresh cilantro and mint instead of basil. 

Video:  Watch the Homegrown/Homemade team demonstrate how to make this recipe


  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. chicken breast cutlets (about 1/4 inch thick), cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 13
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 32


  • Heat the oil in a well-seasoned wok or a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots start to soften but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it’s no longer pink and the shallots are beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is just cooked through and the liquid reduces to a saucy consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the sauce reduces before the chicken is cooked through, add water, 1 Tbs. at a time.) Remove from the heat, add the basil, and stir to wilt it.

Serve over Steamed Jasmine Rice.


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • helloagain | 07/07/2015

    Everyone in my family loves this dish. Especially my daughters. Fresh Thai Basil from the garden make this a quick and easy weeknight dish. I like to increase the amount of red pepper or add fresh peppers from the garden is possible.

  • FaranginThailand | 10/11/2011

    no stars. This recipe doesn't even resemble the real thing. People seem to think putting lime or p-nut in a recipe makes it Thai, it does not. As an American married to a Thai and cooking Thai food for over 30 years and living in Thailand for almost 9 years, I can say this isn't even close. First off you should be using Holy Basil (hot basil,either white, or red leafed)If you use any other variety of basil it won't be the same dish. If you use sweet basil it's another recipe, but still absolutely no lime and no shallots, and no sugar with sweet basil.To do it correctly, pound thai bird chilis, and garlic in a mortar & pestle. slice chicken....dark meat works best, but you can use breast meat. Brown it well in a hot wok with a light oil, when done and a bit crispy, push to side of wok and brown the chili garlic mixture in the remaining oil, add some thick sweet soy (available even in western super markets) and some fish sauce. Add the holy basil leaves, quite a lot, and stir fry together. it should be moist but not saucy. Serve over hom mali rice (jasmine rice) and top with a crispy fried egg. Seasoning depends on how much chicken you use. Since holy basil is already spicy I'd say no more than 5-8 chilis for western taste to begin with.

  • bethesdacook | 06/22/2011

    I agree with other reviewers that you need to punch up the recipe a little. Made as is, I would give it 2-1/2 stars. However, if you increase all the ingredients except for the meat by about 25%, then the dish has great flavor and heat. I used ground turkey tonight b/c I had no chicken breasts and it was delicious (and of course cheaper then buying boneless breasts). I used 2 fresh Serrano peppers and one habanero, minced, and sauteed them along with the garlic and shallots and a few Tbls of chopped cilantro. At the end I added Thai basil leaves (grow it in your garden during the summer).Finally, while the basmati rice was cooking I sauteed several generous handfuls of chopped shitakes, a small sliced shallot, a little chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt in a bit of oil. I added this to the cooked rice alond with an additional 2 Tbls of chopped cilantro. The combo with the chicken was wonderful.

  • User avater
    mihod | 05/26/2011

    I give it 3 stars because after reading all the reviews I also made changes to the recipe. I kept the amount of shallots and garlic the same but swapped in bird chilli and real Thai basil and omitted mint. I seasoned according to my liking. I might have added a bit of rice vinegar but didn't have on hand. Next time I think I will. Also I did add corn starch to thicken the sauce. After all the changes it was a very good quick dish.

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