Thai basil ‘chicken’


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

  • About

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.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (80 g) soy mince, prepared
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed (15 g) holy basil or Thai basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • steamed jasmine rice and lime halves, to serve


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.