Food: Thai Basil chicken

This is easy to prepare & totally yummy. It also made me feel rather accomplished–I think it was the fish sauce that did it. With shout-outs to Serious Eats a great web site about food in general and particular, and to Michele Humes who posted this recipe. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve riffed on it a bit.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (leave in seeds for heat)
  • 1 large shallot, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1/3 pound green beans, trimmed & chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, leaves only


  1. Heat the oil over a high heat in a wok or large frying pan. When you see waves forming in the hot oil, add the chilis, shallots, celery & garlic. Stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the green beans and stir-fry until cooked, but still crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the ground chicken, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into small bits. Stir-fry until cooked through.
  4. Add the fish sauce & sugar to the pan, and stir to blend. Taste, and add more sauce or sugar as needed.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the basil leaves & stir-fry until completely wilted. Remove from heat.
  6. Serve with boiled rice & nam pla prik (*chili fish sauce) or lime juice . *See below

Nam Pla Prik (chili fish sauce)

  • fish sauce
  • fresh lime juice
  • chilis, finely chopped
  • shallots, finely sliced


Mix fish sauce & lime juice to taste (typically 3-4 parts fish sauce to 1 part lime juice.) and pour over chilis & shallots.

And that’s it. Feel free to mix it up, substitute ingredients & cooking times as needed. Let me know how it turns out.


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