Chicken with Crispy Holy Basil Leaves Recipe

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The little Thai CookbookThis 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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