Wok-fried basil and chilli chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

A Bangkok easy. You can’t go wrong. Very tasty.


  • 4 small skinned free-range chicken breasts, chopped
  • 3 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 4 hot red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 fat cloves garlic
  • 4 coriander roots, scrubbed (optional)
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp oil (vegetable or peanut)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 mild red chillies, deseeded and thickly shredded
  • big handful of Thai basil leaves


Briefly pulse the chicken breasts in a processer until coarse-minced but not mushed. Pound the ginger, chillies, garlic and coriander roots (if using) with a touch of salt to make a paste, then stir-fry in the oil in a wok for about a minute until it looks golden. Tip in the chicken and toss through and stir-fry until it browns, then stir in the sugar, and fry until things look sticky. Toss through the fish sauce and mild chillies, and stir-fry for a further minute or so, until the chicken is cooked. Shift from the heat, toss through the basil, and serve. Something to scoop up with is in order - crisp salad or trimmed tender cabbage leaves.