Chicken with Basil

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 8 Minutes

Nothing is quicker or simpler than chicken stir-fried in a hot wok. The heat sears the chicken and gives it a lovely smoky flavour as well. Here aromatic basil adds an extra tang. All wok cookery is fast, but for speed this recipe takes some beating.


  • 450g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1Β½ tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 50 ml(2 fl oz) home-made chicken stock or quality store-bought fresh stock
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chilli bean sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • handful fresh basil leaves


  1. Cut the chicken into long strips about 4 x 1 cm (1Β½ x Β½ in).
  2. Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot, then add the oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
  3. Then add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 Minutes.
  4. Add the stock, soy sauce, sugar and chilli bean sauce, and stir well. Bring to simmering point and simmer for 5 Minutes.
  5. Finally, stir in the sesame oil and toss in the basil, mixing well.
  6. Turn onto a warm platter and serve at once.