Ground Chicken with Basil

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
Serves 2

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!


glutenfreeforgood said...

I was just reminded of your blog by Gluten-Free Steve! I'm glad I didn't miss this chicken recipe. I love Thai food too and basil is one of my all-time favorite herbs. Plus, anything with chili peppers and garlic has to be good. I'll save this recipe for sure. Thanks!

Heather said...

Will your girls eat this or is it too spicy? Sounds really good and I have some ground chicken in the freezer.

Jeff S said...

When this dish is made with Thai Chili peppers it much too hot for my girls (ages 3 and 1). I haven't tried making this with mild peppers yet, but I think the strong flavors (fish sauce, basil) in this dish may be too much for most toddler's palates.

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

Oh how I love Thai food -- it's my favorite, too. I can't wait to try this recipe! Thank you Steve for introducing me to Jeff! Ginger (

Hamster said...

Don't know if you've seen this already but if not Yu might be interested in this website.
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I have the same plates as you! LOL!
Pier One!

Denny Crane said...

Rearn Thai must have been the restaurant! Absolutely fabulous ground chicken and basil and I love thier Larb chicken.

Try chopping the chicken in a food's the exact consistency as the chicken at Rearn Thai.

John said...

I love chicken and this recipe really looks delicious! One of my favorite things to do with food I really love is pair it with a palette pleasing drink. Mixed Drinks Made Easy! offers hundreds of drink recipes that you can pair with your favorite foods for a real celebration of flavor!