This is one of the most common dishes you will come across in Thailand. Holy basil comes in two colours, red and green. It has a hot, slightly sharp flavour and is often used in conjunction with chillies in stir-fries. Serve with plenty of rice.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 lb 2 oz (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 small red or green bird’s eye chillies, lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 handfuls of holy basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken stock, or water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 red capsicum (pepper), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
How to Make It
- Mix the chicken slices, garlic, chillies, fish sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 5 cm (2 in) oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil seems hot, drop a few basil leaves into it. If they sizzle immediately, the oil is ready. Deep-fry three-quarters of the basil leaves for 1 minute, or until they are all crisp. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard the remaining oil. Heat 2 tablespo
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the same wok or frying pan and stir-fry half the chicken over high heat for 3–4 minutes. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken. Return all the chicken to the wok.
- Add the stock and sugar to the wok, then add the capsicum and onion, and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil leaves. Taste, then adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with the crispy basil leaves.