I Love Thai Food! After my first few times experiencing the fresh, spicy and intense flavors of Thai cuisine I couldn't understand why anyone would want to settle for typical Chinese food. If I remember correctly ground chicken with basil is the very first Thai dish I ever tasted. Back in the mid-nineties a co-worker was raving about a little Thai restaurant in Greensboro, NC. She would go every Wednesday to get the ground chicken basil lunch special. Finally I went and tried it and I was instantly hooked.
Cooking Thai food at home is not very difficult, but you have to have the right ingredients. Fortunately, Thai cuisine is one of those traditions that doesn't use wheat, except for in the soy sauce that is used occasionally. One of the reasons that Thai food tastes so fresh is because of an emphasis on fresh ingredients. Another characteristic of Thai food is that it is often cooked quickly at high heat. Typically it is not something you can walk away from while your cooking.
This recipe calls for ground chicken, I actually used whole chicken breast and chopped it into tiny pieces. Thai holy basil (bai gka-prow), is also called for in this recipe, but it is somewhat obscure and especially hard to find in winter time, so feel free to use whatever fresh basil you can find and this dish will still come out tasting fabulous.
Ground Chicken with Basil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken- ground (or chopped small)
1/2 cup chopped Thai chili peppers-seeds and stem removed (other hot peppers can be substituted)
2 cloves garlic- minced
@ 1 cup of loosely packed fresh Thai holy basil, chopped (or fresh sweet basil)
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tsp palm sugar, (or 1 Tbsp granulated white sugar)
• Heat a frying pan to medium-high heat, add vegetable oil
• Stir the garlic and peppers together in the hot pan, cook until garlic begins to brown.
• Mix in the chicken and continue to stir non-stop for about 3-5 minutes, until all of the moisture from the chicken is evaporated.
• Stir in the Fish sauce and sugar, and basil.
• Mix all together well and remove from heat.
• Serve over rice, enjoy!