If I had to pick my favorite food it is obviously Indian, I grew up in India and that was the only cuisine I ate until I came to the USA. When I came to the United States is when I tasted Mexican and Thai cuisines. And now these two cuisines are my favorites. I love the use of fresh herbs in thai cuisine. Galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and of course Thai basil. These aromatic herbs add a lot of flavor without any fat and most of these also have medicinal properties. In spring you get many kinds of basils in the farmers market and one of these basils is ‘Lemon Basil’- it has a unique flavor which is a combination of lemongrass and basil. I love it. Today’s recipe is super simple and can be made in 15 mins if you have all the ingredients ready.
Thai Basil Chicken
2 chicken breasts, chopped in small pieces 4 cloves of garlic 4 thai chilies ( adjust as per your spice level preference) 1/2 tsp oyster sauce 1/2 tsp sweet soy sauce 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce 1/2 tsp sugar A handful of basil leaves
Make a coarse paste with the chilies and garlic. Don’t make it extra fine. I feel like the ingredients are simple and so is the technique. I prefer using mortar pestle for making the chili garlic paste. Heat oil in the pan. The pan should be super hot. Make sure you are ready with all the ingredients, you don’t want to eat burnt garlic. Sauté the garlic paste for a few seconds making sure it does not burn. Add chicken pieces and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the liquid mixture of soy sauces, oyster sauce and sugar. If the chicken is cooked, add the basil leaves and turn the heat off. Cover and let the basil flavor infuse in the meat. Serve with brown or white rice. Vegetarian option It is made exactly the same way as the chicken. I like to use vegetables like mushrooms, snow peas, broccoli, bell peppers and onions. Make sure you cook the vegetables on high heat so that they don’t give out water and become soggy. Once ready you can also mix these vegetables into your chicken to combine to make a wholesome dish. I always include vegetables in our meals and also if you have any vegetarian friends they can also enjoy the lovely flavor of the lemon basil if you make this variation.