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Sadia Hussain

Dec 11, 2020

Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

Thai basil chicken is a classic Thai dish that tastes delicious with steamed jasmine rice. Fresh, fragrant holy basil brings out the heady, vibrant flavors of this chicken dish.

The look, smell and taste of this dish takes me back to my days in Singapore when we used to frequent Neng’s Thai restaurant. Neng was a sweet lady who owned the restaurant and did all the cooking. She used to let me step into her small, smoky kitchen to give her my special requests. I used to love her beef salad, fried tofu and, her specialty and my favorite, basil chicken.

Thai food is a perfect balance of sweet, salty, spicy and sour. It’s important to have all ingredients prepped and ready to cook on high heat in a large wok or frypan. Traditional basil chicken is made with roughly chopped or ground chicken but you can use sliced or cubed chicken if you prefer. Use my measurements as a guide and feel free to tweak the sweet, salty, spicy and sour flavors to suit your taste.

Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

Sadia Hussain




30 Minutes


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4-5 Thai red chilies, cut in half

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 1 kg/2lbs ground chicken

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • 2 long beans, cut into medium pieces

  • A cup of fresh holy basil leaves

  • Ground red chili flakes for garnish (optional)

For the Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch mixed in some water to make a smooth slurry


  1. In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic cloves, red chilies and sugar to a course mixture.

  2. In a large wok or frypan, heat oil until smoking. Add garlic, chili mixture and quickly stir for 5 seconds, so the mixture doesn’t burn.

  3. Add ground chicken and keep mixing for 5 minutes on high heat.

  4. Add the sliced onions, long beans, holy basil and the sauce. Mix just until sauce evenly coats the chicken. Do not cook for more than a minute or so on high heat.

  5. Sprinkle with ground red chili flakes (optional).

Tips and Bits

This can be made with ground or roughly chopped beef as well.

Taste the sauce before adding to the chicken to see if you need to add more oyster sauce, fish sauce, dark sweet soy sauce or sugar.

If you don't have long beans you can use green beans. 

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