Taste of Thailand: Thai Inspired Basil Chicken


Thanks to my sister, brother-in-law, and diverse group of friends, I’ve developed a taste for foods with an international flair. I’ve began experimenting with non-traditional cuts of meat, tried some exotic fruits and vegetables, and have developed a taste for fish sauce. I’ve also found that shopping at international grocery stores and being willing to try out some non-traditional foods has saved us a lot of money on our grocery bill. I’m so thankful that my husband will eat any food at least once — so that allows me to be a little more creative in the kitchen.


I received the Chelsea Market Cookbook as a Christmas gift this past year and as I was browsing through the cookbook I found some amazing recipes and The Thai Chicken with Holy Basil recipe really stood out to me. I headed to the grocery store to get all of the ingredients but I found that my local farmers market did not carry everything I needed leading me to improvise with the recipe. If you read my blog often you’re probably starting to understand I use chicken thighs whenever possible, so I switched thighs out for the white meat in this recipe. I have no idea what dark soy sauce is so I used the Aldi brand soy sauce I have in my fridge. Jalapeños were my go to pepper for the recipe instead of bird chilies. I used live basil… So i’m not really sure what type of basil that is. And last but not least, I decided to serve this meal over rice noodles instead of jasmine rice (rice noodles are delicious and much easier to cook than rice).


A key ingredient to this recipe is the fish sauce. If you’ve never had fish sauce it does take a little getting used to. The ingredients for fish sauce are water, anchovy extract, salt, and sugar so that should give you an idea of what to expect with this flavoring. At first the smell can be a little overpowering but once you add in the soy sauce and other fragrant ingredients, you’ll lose the aroma of the fish sauce.


In addition to the chicken portion of this recipe there is also a Nam-Pla Prik sauce that is added to your individual bowl as you eat. This sauce is strictly hot peppers and fish sauce but I’ll admit that it does add a nice flavor. The longer you let the peppers marinate in the fish sauce, the better the flavor the Nam-Pla Prik will have.

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This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and if served over rice noodles, it’s very filling. Happy Cooking!

  • Difficulty: easy
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Serves 4


Nam-Pla Prik Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 2 small red jalapeños thinly sliced into rounds, ribs removed and seeded


  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut to 1/2 inch dice (any color bell pepper will work)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 extra large red jalapeño or 2 small jalapeños
  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • Cooked rice noodles, for serving


Nam-Pla Prik

  1. Combine the fish sauce and chilies in a small bow and let aside for at least 30 minutes.


  1. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add coconut oil and heat until the oil is very hot.
  3. Add bell pepper to skillet and stir fry until soft, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the garlic and jalapeños and cook until softened, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add in the chicken thighs and cook until the outside is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and cook until the sauce has reduced slightly and the chicken is cooked throughout.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in basil until it is wilted.

Serve over rice noodles and have Nam-Pla Prik available as a seasoning for individual bowls.

*Recipe adapted from the Chelsea Market Cookbook Chelsea Thai Chicken with Holy Basil, page109

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