Here is post five of my Asian series. This one is a bit different from the other dishes I have shared. Thai cuisine will typically have an interesting Asian twist. It contains fish sauce. Don’t squint you nose like that. Even though I would not drink the stuff, it’s key in this dish and a staple in making Thai dishes including Pad Thai. There is only a couple of Tablespoons in here and you will NOT taste the ‘fish’. Think of it like anchovies in Mediterranean dishes. You don’t taste the anchovies paste, it just adds a subtle flavor that is salty and savory, and you need it order for it to be true to the cuisine. The fish sauce also adds a salty savory flavor to this Thai Basil Chicken dish and I added a slight sweetness to give it balance. I think this is going to be one of those dishes that you’ll have to try it to believe it! It’s delicious! This is another one of those dishes that come together quickly, so do your prep work first before you start cooking.
Fish sauce is readily available in the Asian section of your grocery store.
Look for these other Asian dishes! As I add these recipes to the blog, I will come back and add the link for easy access. Asian Salad with Marinated Beef Flank Steak, Asian Salad Dressing, Sesame Chicken, Shrimp Fried Rice, Lettuce Wrap, Beef with Broccoli and Snow Peas and Cashew Chicken.
Here’s how I make it.
Thai Basil Chicken
In a large bowl, mix together the fish sauce, soy or tamari sauce, water and sugar.
Fish sauce is readily available in the Asian section of your supermarket.
For this particular dish I did use chicken tenders because that’s what I had in the freezer. I will say that I love the tender pieces because they are much more tender than the rest of the chicken meats. You can use chicken breast or even thighs if you’d like.
When I prepare my chicken tenders for any dish, I like to cut off that white tendon piece. It tends to get chewy after you cook it and I just don’t like biting down on one while I’m enjoying my meal. After removing the tendon, I cut the tenders in half or thirds depending on how large they are. Do the same with the chicken breast, just cut it into large bite size pieces.
Put the cut up pieces of chicken in the bowl with the sauces, cover it with plastic wrap and let it marinate while you prep the other ingredients. About 20-30 minutes. The longer you marinate it, the deeper the flavors get into the chicken pieces.
Slice the yellow onion into thin slices.
In Thai cooking, there is usually some chiles and heat involved. Use chiles according to your own heat tolerance. The key to controlling the heat is removing the white membrane and seeds. There are some milder chilies, such as ancho or serrano, that will not add that heat to the dish (when you remove that membrane and seeds) but still give it the flavor you need and you can certainly add some chiles that will make your upper lip sweat! But I do recommend adding some kind of chiles pepper for the flavor.
I used a jalapeno in this dish because it’s an in between for us. Remove the membrane and seeds and you have next to no heat in the dish. Since we like a little heat, I control it by adding some of the membrane this Thai Basil Chicken.
Since we love jalapenos and use it on pizzas and in lots of other dishes, I grow lots of jalapenos every year and it produces well where we live. Want to know how I can jalapenos? Check out my Canning Jalapeno Peppers post.
Whatever chiles you choose, cut it into thin strips.
I LOVE fresh basil. I grow it every year in my garden. Measure the basil by lightly packing it down a bit. Then coarse chop it. I’d say about 1 inch pieces.
Want to know how I freeze fresh basil? Check out my Freezing Basil post.
Now, we’re ready to start cooking. In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, put the sliced onions in with the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they’re tender.
Throw in the chiles, garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Take the chicken out of the marinade and put it into the skillet with the onions and chiles.
Stir and cook the chicken over medium-high heat until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Pour in the marinade, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened slightly.
Turn off the heat and add all but a little basil for garnishing. Stir.
Serve over rice.
What is your favorite Thai dish? Another one of mine is Pad Thai!
Here is the printer friendly recipe.