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Thai Spicy Basil Chicken (or Almost Any Meat or Seafood!)

This chicken stir-fry made with Thai holy basil seems to be a favorite dish for Thais and Westerners alike. Fast and simple to prepare, it is sold in small Thai eateries as a quick one-plate meal served on a bed of steamed jasmine rice. (The number of fresh chilies makes this a spicy dish, but don’t let that scare you away — you can adjust the number downward to suit your taste.) In Thailand, basil-flavored stir-fries are frequently served for breakfast or for lunch, often topped with a crispy fried egg. Thai cooks will often substitute the chicken with pork, beef, squid, shrimp, or seafood, so feel free to do the same!

Source: There are many versions online. The one given here is based on http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/basil_chicken.php (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: About 4, depending on people's appetites and the amount of rice that is included


Ingredients
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs or other meat or seafood
6 -12 med. cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, peeled and sliced (optional)
2-3 T. peanut oil, for stir-frying
2-6 hot peppers (Serrano, Jalapeno, or Thai) (or 12-20 Thai hot peppers)
2-3 tsp. black soy sauce (the semi-sweet kind)
1 - 2 T. fish sauce (to taste; Golden Boy is a good brand)
2 small Kaffir lime leaves, finely slivered (optional)
1 cup fresh Holy Basil leaves and flowers      View Available Products
1 dash ground white pepper
4 servings steamed white rice (to go beneath)

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Prepare the ingredients as indicated. Cut the meat quite small (for faster cooking and more surfaces to absorb the sauces). Leave the basil leaves and any flowers whole, but discard the stems. Wear gloves while preparing the peppers (and don't touch your face!). Removing the seeds and membranes will reduce their heat somewhat. If using Thai chilis, chop them finely, then grind them with a mortar and pestle. If using jalapenos or serranos, cut the flesh into fine slivers.
  2. Heat a wok until the surface is smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the wok surface. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then stir in the garlic, followed a few seconds later with onions. Stir another few seconds before adding the chicken. Stir-fry a minute or two, or until most of the chicken has started to change color on the outside and is no longer pink.
  3. Toss in the peppers (and optional slivered kaffir lime leaves). Sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture and stir-fry another 15-20 seconds. Then add fresh basil leaves and fish sauce to taste. Stir and mix well. Stir-fry another half a minute, or until the basil is wilted and the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with white pepper. Stir and transfer to a serving dish, or spoon directly over individual plates of plain steamed rice.

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