Thai Basil Chicken



  • chicken breast
  • red pepper
  • garlic shoots / green garlic
  • a fresh chilli
  • a dab of chilli bean paste
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • lemon grass (dried is fine)
  • sesame oil
  • kecap manis
  • one of those little baby limes
  • fresh basil (handful)
  • cashew nuts


This is a clean-tasting Thai-influenced dish for one that isn't too spicy and has lots of texture, with the moist chicken and crunchy cashew nuts.

1. Mash together a clove of garlic, a wedge of ginger, a chilli, the zest of half the baby lime and some sesame oil into a paste. Cut the chicken and mix it into the paste. Leave in the fridge for a little while to let the paste flavour the chicken.

2. Heat some oil in a wok. Soften up some chopped red peppers and add the chicken. Move it about a bit, then add a dab of chilli bean paste and a dash of kecap manis - not too much as you don't want to darken the colour of the dish. Add a couple of stalks of lemon grass. Season with a little salt and white pepper.

3. Add chopped garlic shoots and the cashew nuts. Throw it about a bit for another minute or so. For a saucier dish, you can add half a cup of chicken stock before this step.

4. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Turn off the heat and scatter over some roughly-torn basil leaves. Don't let the basil "cook" as it will go dark and look rubbish.

5. Plate up, squeeze over a little of the lime and serve. Optionally drizzle some chilli oil for a bit more fire / colour.


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  • James says
    One of my favourite Thai dishes. And pretty darn healthy too without the rice.
  • Simon says
    I love this dish. Just make sure you don't cover it with spice like the Thais do.
  • John says
    Last time I was at a Thai restaurant, they asked if I wanted it hot or thai hot. What was I thinking when I said Thai hot? Actually burned my lips.......

    Subtle chili definitely makes the taste better.
  • Sam Wiser says
    like going to an indian restaurant and ordering kiwi hot or indian hot. i find even if you say you want indian hot they make it kiwi hot.
  • Simon says
    yeah thats what i wanna know, where you can find indian hot curries in auckland? ones that burn the bowels the next day.
  • Sam Wiser says
    The Indian Kitchen Restaurant and Takeaways on Cook Street in Howick do a pretty mean Vindaloo.
  • Dan says
    Sawadee's on Ponsonby road is outstanding. Evil Jungle Prince will have you bouncing off the roof, cheap as chips & BYO as well.
  • Shaun says
    I think I would actually eat this! Last time my wife cooked Thai - coconut curry rice - I made her dump it in the outside bin cause it stunk so much (she agreed it was bad so I wasnt in trouble!)
  • paula says
    this dish looks so nice i'm so going to try it.
  • Mellisa says
    Sounds delicious! It's always good to find new recipes to try.

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