With the holiday season now in full swing, I intend on eating light as much as possible throughout the week. After all, there will be holiday parties with lots of tempting delights, and I want to enjoy myself (without going overboard). But, don’t get me wrong…although I said lighter eating, I don’t mean flavorless, drab or boring. Take this Thai Stir-Fry Chicken with Basil and Peppers, for example. I love spicy food, and one of the ways I keep my taste buds happy is to use lots of herbs and spices in my cooking.
One of the most versatile cooking methods for mixing things up throughout the week is stir-frying. It’s the perfect way to eat healthy, while exploring new flavors that tingle the taste buds. You can mix up the protein (make it vegetarian with regular tofu or pressed tofu), vegetables (try zucchini, broccoli, bok choy or green beans), and sauce (I will be covering this in a future post), and every time, you will have a new dish.
Lately, I’ve been craving spicy Thai food. A few weekends ago, I took one of my sons to a Thai restaurant for lunch. He was playing in a squash tournament, which was a bit of a drive from our house, so instead of going home in between matches, we decided to grab a bite to eat nearby. Luckily, we spotted a little Thai restaurant and grabbed a light meal to kill time before the next match. My son ordered Pad Thai, which they were sold out of (not sure how this happened since Pad Thai is such a popular dish – any Thai restaurant should have a huge inventory of dried rice noodles for this national dish of Thailand), so he ended up ordering Pad See Eew, also a rice noodle dish, made with fresh, wide rice noodles. I enjoyed a vegetarian curry with tofu and mixed vegetables.
After we got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about our Thai lunch. I just love all the fragrant herbs and spices, the coconut milk, the curries, and the red chilies that are part and parcel to Thai cooking. So, I made Stir-Fried Thai Chicken with Basil and Peppers, full of spicy hot with Thai red bird chilies, and fragrant with Thai basil leaves. All you need is a bowl of steamed brown rice, and you have a meal.
- 1 boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other flavorless oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 chopped Thai chilies
- 1½ tablespoon fish sauce
- 1½ teaspoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
- ½ teaspoon organic sugar
- 20 Thai basil leaves or mint leaves
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- Steamed brown rice, for serving
- Mix chicken strips with cornstarch and rice wine.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet. Add red bell pepper and stir-fry until it just loses its rawness, about 1 minute. Remove to a bowl.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in wok. Add garlic and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink.
- Add fish sauce, sweet soy sauce, and sugar. Toss well with chicken.
- Add basil leaves, stir-fried red bell pepper, and stock. Bring to a boil and give it a quick stir.
- Serve over steamed brown rice.
More Thai Stir-Fry Recipes:
Rasa Malaysia’s Thai Basil Chicken
She Simmers’ Thai Stir-Fry of Chicken, Fresh Ginger and Mushrooms: Gai Pad Khing
The Steaming Pot’s Thai Stir Fry Vegetables
My Cooking Hut’s Thai Stir-Fry Chicken with Cashew Nuts