Holy basil was the name of my first food blog, because I adore the taste of this herb. It is different to Italian basil, with a clove-like flavour and mellow menthol aftertaste. Purists will tell you that if you can’t use holy basil in basil chicken (pad krapow gai), then you shouldn’t make it. But vegan cooking is, after all, about adapting and working with what you have. If you can’t find holy basil, Thai (or, as a last resort, Italian) basil works well in this dish, even though it won’t taste quite so peppery.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the chilli and shallots until fragrant, and the shallots are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.
Now add the drained soy mince, sugar, both soy sauces and the oyster sauce. Stir well and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the basil and cook until it is just wilted. Serve on a bed of hot jasmine rice, garnished with the extra basil leaves, and with lime halves for squeezing.
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