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Spoon cutting into egg yolk on a plate with thai basil chicken with rice.

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

This Spicy Thai Basil Chicken is a quick and easy and super tasty weeknight stir-fry! Diced chicken breasts are tossed in a spicy, savory, and sweet sauce and served with warm steamed white rice and a yolky Thai style fried egg! Feel free to make it as spicy or mild as you like, vegetarian with tofu instead, and/or gluten-free if needed.  

Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Mince the garlic, shallots (or red onion if using), and roughly chop the red and green chilies. 
  2. Marinate the chicken: Mix together the corn starch, 3 TSP low sodium light soy sauce, Shao Xing rice wine, and 1/4 TSP sesame oil in a large bowl. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Mix well to coat, then set aside.
  3. Make the sauce: In a measuring cup (or small bowl), whisk together the remainder 4 TSP low sodium light soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and gochujang. Mix thoroughly to combine and set aside.
  4. Make the fresh chili paste: Add about ½ a TSP of peanut oil to a mini blender jug and swirl it around to coat the sides and bottom. Add the red and green chili pieces and cover with the lid. Pulse until the chilies have formed into a coarse chili paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Alternatively, smash the chili pieces in a mortar and pestle to form a coarse chili paste, or finely mince instead.) 
  5. Make the Thai-style fried eggs: Heat 4 TBLS of peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Once hot and starting to smoke a little, turn down the heat to medium and crack an egg into the wok. Move quickly now and use a spatula to spoon the oil on top of the egg repeatedly. Once the white part is cooked but the yolk is still runny on the inside, turn off the heat and carefully transfer the egg to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat for the remainder eggs. (Note: If you have health concerns about eating a semi raw egg, feel free to continue frying the egg until the yolk has fully set and the egg is cooked to your desired doneness.)
  6. Cook the marinated chicken: Turn on stove again and set to medium-high heat. Add a splash of sesame oil to the peanut oil already in the wok. Lift and rotate the wok in a circular motion so that the oil spreads around the perimeter, then place it back on the stove to let the oil heat up. Once hot, add the chicken and spread evenly in the wok. Let the chicken cook and brown for about 1 minute, then start tossing and flipping the pieces. Stir-fry for another minute, until almost cooked through, then transfer to a fine mesh strainer and hold above the wok to let the oil drain. (You can gently shake the strainer to speed up the draining process, but be careful not to shake too vigorously as it can cause some of the cornstarch to come off and make the chicken mushy.) Transfer the chicken into a clean bowl and set aside. Discard the oil and wipe out the wok with a paper towel, then set it back on the stovetop. 

For the Spicy Thai Basil Chicken:

  1. Sauté aromatics and dried red chilies: Heat the remaining 1 TBLS of peanut oil, 1 TSP chili oil (if using), and 1 TSP of sesame oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant. Then add the Thai dried red chilies and stir-fry to combine.
  2. Add the chicken and fresh chili paste: Add the almost fully cooked chicken pieces back into the wok and spoon the fresh red chili paste on top. Stir-fry to coat the chicken with the paste.
  3. Pour in the sauce: Pour the sauce on top of the chicken and stir-fry to combine everything until everything is coated in the sauce.
  4. Add water: Stir in ¼ cup water, and allow to simmer for 30 seconds to a minute. The sauce should start to thicken.
  5. Season: Add the crushed red chili pepper flakes and black pepper to taste (if using), and stir-fry to combine for 1-2 minutes. At this point if it becomes too dry, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed.
  6. Stir through basil: Add the Thai sweet basil leaves and stir until wilted and the sauce has thickened again – about 30 seconds. Then switch off the heat. 
  7. To Serve: Transfer to a serving dish and serve with steamed white rice, brown rice, or quinoa. Top each plate with a Thai-style fried egg, then enjoy!

Notes

  1. Chilies: Feel free to adjust the quantity or leave out the fresh red and green chilies, Thai dried red chilies, and crushed red chili pepper flakes if you want to make this dish less spicy.
  2. Eggs: I recommend using 1 egg per serving, but it’s totally up to you how many you want to cook and have. In my house, EVERYONE wants their own Thai Fried Egg…and how could they not! 😉
  3. To make this gluten-free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce and a gluten-free oyster sauce, and dry sherry instead of Shao Xing rice wine. You should also use a gluten-free sweet dark soy sauce such as Chang’s Sweet Soy Kecap Manis Sauce, and a gluten-free gochujang like Wholly Gochujang. Be sure to double check that the brand of fish sauce you are using is also gluten-free. (Some fish sauces do contain hidden gluten in the form of wheat.) I recommend Thai Kitchen Gluten Free Fish Sauce – it’s not overly salty like some other Thai and Vietnamese brands’ fish sauces are, and it works well in this recipe!
  4. To make this vegetarian: Instead of chicken, you can pan-fry some firm tofu cubes with a bit of salt and pepper and use it instead. For the ‘sauce bowl’, use a vegetarian mushroom flavored oyster sauce, and a vegetarian fish sauce such as Fortuna Vegetarian Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam Chay). Then toss the tofu in place of the chicken in the fiery and mouthwatering sauce!

Nutrition

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.