JEM and I really enjoy Thai food, so for his birthday last year I bought him a wok, a Thai cook book, and an Indian cookbook. We haven’t tried many of the recipes yet, though many have been dog eared and we want to try them. One of the recipes in the Thai book is a favorite of mine, and a dish I order whenever we are out at a Thai restaurant: Chicken Thai Basil Rice.
This dish can easily be more vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding in more vegetables. It does call for fish sauce, so it might be difficult for a purist but I assume a substitute can be found. We generally do add in more vegetables, namely slices of red and green pepper and chopped carrots. Tonight we were going for simplicity and omitted them.
- 2 tbls vegetable oil (the recipe calls for 3 tbls and we typically use no more than 1 tbls)
- 1 tbl coarsely chopped garlic
- 1/2 red or yellow onion thinly sliced or roughly chopped
- 1/2 red and/or green bell peppers
- 5-15 baby carrots (we throw in some random amount every time)
- ~1 lb boneless chicken, either ground or cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbls fish sauce
- 1 tbls dark soy sauce or soy sauce
- 2 tbls water
- 2 tsps sugar
- 1/2 – 1 coarsely chopped hot green chilies (we typically use a Thai chili or a Serrano)
- 1 c fresh basil (Asian basil or Italian basil)
- Heat the oil in a wok (a deep skillet would also work) over medium-high heat and then add the garlic, onions, and carrots.
- Toss well and when they begin smelling awesome add the chicken.
- Toss well to help the meat brown evenly (and/or to break up big chunks of ground chicken.
- Add the bell peppers, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
- Cook 2-4 minutes, tossing until the meat is cooked and the seasonings form a thin, smooth sauce.
- Add the chilies, basil, and toss well.
JEM likes to mix his rice and chicken basil separately, so his was dished first. He also likes to have cilantro on the top of it.
I like to have my rice and the mixture tossed together in the pan. I’ve convinced myself that the in the few minute the rice and sauce together really help the flavor.
Recipe: Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott