Thai Basil Chicken in Cabbage Leaves

PJ and I have had different versions of Thai Basil Chicken. The one that he had tried in Northern Thailand was whitish and quite dry; whilst the ones I’ve had in Bangkok and Singapore (and even here in Mumbai) are darker (maybe from dark soy sauce or kicap manis) and with some gravy. This recipe is the former – to which PJ says is spot on in terms of how it looks. Recipe adapted from

Cooks 7 minutes

Serves 2 as a complete meal with cabbage leaves or 4 as part of a meal

2 tbsp cooking oil
3 fat cloves of garlic, minced
3-5 chilli padis (bird eye's chillies), minced
400g chicken thigh, ground
2 tbsp of fish sauce
2 large handfuls of holy basil leaves (stems removed)
Pinch of white pepper

1. Heat oil in a wide frying pan until very hot and fry the garlic and chillies. When the garlic begins to brown, add the chicken. Stir constantly.

2. Keep stirring until the juice from the chicken is gone. It will take a couple of minutes. Add fish sauce, followed by the holy basil. Quickly stir it over a few times to mix the leaves with the meat and then remove from the heat.

3. Season it with some white pepper and serve hot in cabbage leaves or over Thai jasmine rice.


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