Chicken Holy Basil


In this familiar Thai dish, chicken is stir-fried with chiles, Asian fish sauce, and copious amounts of garlic and holy basil; it's served over jasmine rice.


  • 10 garlic cloves, minced

  • 6 fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced crosswise

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 4 ½ teaspoons sugar

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh holy basil leaves, plus more for garnish

  • Sticky or steamed jasmine rice, for serving


  1. Mash together garlic and chiles using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a large knife. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is just golden, about 20 seconds.

  2. Add chicken; cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Add basil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Season with more pepper, if desired. Serve over rice. Garnish with basil.

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