Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic.
This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil. If you can\’t find the holy basil, a good quality fresh Thai basil will work as well.
You should always use fresh basil for this recipe, as the dried variety will not give acceptable results, unless you can find the authentic dried Thai Grapao.
¾ lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, coarsely ground and marinated in about 1 Tbsp. of fish sauce, and 1 Tbsp. of light soy sauce.
1/2 sliced large Onion
1/2 sliced sweet Red Pepper
2 finely chopped Thai Chilies
2 Tbsp. of Peanut or another Vegetable oil
3 cloves chopped Garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh Ginger Root
4 stalks of fresh Basil, pulled apart just before adding to the dish. Chopping fresh basil causes it to turn black while cooking.
Sauce, this will be added at the end.
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce or Kecap
2 tsp. White Sugar, Brown Sugar or Palm Sugar
Start the heat under your wok, or a large skillet may also be used. After pan has heated for about 2 minutes, add the oil. Then quickly add the ginger and the garlic. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken and stir-fry until the pinkness is just gone. This takes only about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the onions and peppers, and cook until they soften slightly, then add the sauce and the fresh basil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the basil starts to release its wonderful fragrance. Serve with steamed Jasmine white or brown rice.