Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry

If you see Thai basil (also called holy basil) at your market, give it a try. It has pointed leaves and tastes of mint, cinnamon, and licorice.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry

Source: Everyday Food, June 2006


  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (longer pieces cut crosswise in half again)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow, green, or a mix, ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, larger leaves torn in half
  • Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated; season generously with salt and pepper.

  2. In a large wok or nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Cook half the chicken, turning once, until browned, but not completely cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken. Transfer chicken to plate. Set aside. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.

  3. To skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion, and bell peppers; cook over medium-high heat, tossing often, until beginning to brown, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Add 1/4 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, and chicken to pan; cook, tossing, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves. Serve immediately, over white rice, if desired.


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