This dish comes from Thailand located in Southeast Asia. I absolutely love Thai food, as some of you already know. Years ago the only Asian restaurants we had here in New York were Chinese and some Japanese but now there are many Thai places to eat and tons of Japanese restaurants. You can also find a lot of the Thai products in the supermarkets. I adapted this recipe from a cookbook that I have called “Simply Thai Cooking” by Wandee Young and Byron Ayanoglu. I served this with plain white rice and steamed broccoli.
Basil Chicken (Kai Kraphao)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken tenders
1 large red or green pepper, sliced
2 tbsp. peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 hot chilies, roughly chopped (I left this out and used a few drops of hot sauce, I don’t like my food very spicy so I rarely cook with hot chili peppers)
1 tbsp. fish sauce (found in the Asian section of most supermarkets)
1 tsp. sugar (not pictured)
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. water
20 whole fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp water
Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Add garlic and chilies (if using) and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and stir fry for another minute. Then add the oyster sauce and 2 tbsp. water and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the peppers and 3/4 of the basil leaves and stir fry for 2 more minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1 tbsp. of water, add it to the wok and cook another minute until the sauce begins to thicken.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining basil. I served this with steamed white rice and broccoli.