Thai Basil Chicken

Savory Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with fragrant Thai Basil and delicious homemade stir-fry sauce. You can even make this without a grocery store tip, using easy-to-find pantry ingredients. (read notes)

Thai Basil Chicken

An easy and flavorful Thai Basil Chicken stir-fry recipe which you can prepare in 25 minutes at home. Serve with steamed rice for a homemade Thai dinner quicker than takeout or wait for delivery. 

Oh, also sharing substitutes to make Thai Basil Chicken without a grocery store tip, using easy-to-find pantry ingredients. (read on to know more)

Let's make enjoy Thai Basil Chicken dinner tonight.

Chicken Stir-fry with Thai Basil and Rice

I did not grow up eating Thai Food but we love eating Thai for dinner many times a month. So, I'm big on research and testing to have all my restaurant favorite's recipes tested/tried to cook at home. You know, in my humble opinion, this has few benefits as well:

  1. Eat favorite food any time. Don't just crave, go to kitchen and make some!
  2. Never miss the dish enjoyed in a restaurant when you move out of a city. This was one of the main reason for starting CDH. We moved 6 times in past 12 years. For example, when we were in Seattle, we loved eating Thai. But when we moved to Bay Area, a few dishes I couldn't find that good, anywhere. So, make at home!
  3. Cooking at home is of-course economical. Once you perfect the recipe, these is no waste/hit/try etc. With my blog, I'm doing that job for you. Let me know what do you want me to cook next?!
  4. You know the ingredients. There is no need of preservatives, extra pound of sugar or oil. 
  5. Save time. Cook in less time at home than it takes to carry out.
  6. Stay healthy. Eat only what you need, not extra because you paid for it.
  7. Instill habit of gathering around kitchen in family. Perfect family time.
  8. Big smiles when everyone love the dish you cooked. :-) Pure bonus.

Isn't it amazing to cook at home after all?

Recipe Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken

Thai Basil Chicken is one of my favorite Thai Chicken Stir Fry which I wanted to share with you since long. 

Recipe is very simple and down-to-earth marriage of diced chicken, Thai Basil and few seasonings. Consider garlic, oil and salt on the house, rest you need followings ingredients to make Thai Basil Chicken at home:

  1. Thai Basil (fresh Thai basil leaves)
  2. Chicken
  3. Thai Chilies. 
  4. Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry Sauce
  5. Red Bell Pepper

For Stir Fry Sauce, you will need:

  1. Oyster Sauce. 
  2. Light Soy Sauce. I use low-sodium table soy sauce such as generic or gluten free tamari.
  3. Sugar. A little bit for the signature sweet hint in sauce of Thai Basil Chicken
  4. Dark Soy Sauce.

Thai Basil Chicken Traditional Recipe

Thai Basil Chicken with Pantry Ingredients:

Use these substitute ingredients to make this dish at home with pantry ingredients:

  1. Thai Basil (fresh Thai basil leaves)
  2. Chicken - Use any cut of boneless chicken, even chicken tenders work well.
  3. Thai Chilies - Substitute with Serrano Pepper or Bird-eyes chili or Sambal Chili Paste
  4. Use any veggies per preference. Such as broccoli, carrot, cabbage, or celery. You can omit veggies also. But I recommend don't add a lot of veggies. For the authenticity of flavor of Thai Basil, sauce and chicken, 1/2 cup veggies are sufficient.
  5. Oyster Sauce - Substitute with part dark soy sauce and part Worcestershire sauce. 
  6. Sugar - Use honey or agave per preference.

Hope you will enjoy cooking Thai Basil chicken at home as much as I enjoyed sharing with you. Happy cooking!

Pairing Ideas:

Thai Green Curry Chicken Noodles Chicken Khao Soi - Yellow Coconut Curry Soup Laksa Soup

Thai Basil Chicken

5 (6 reviews)
Thai Basil Chicken
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Asian () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 3 cups - Serves: 2
Nutrition: 393 calories per serving


  • 1 lbs Chicken (boneless, skinless chicken breast, small diced)
  • 1 Bunch Basil (sweet Thai basil)
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper (red or yellow)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (or 1 tsp fish sauce)
  • 2-3 Green Onion (thin sliced, for serving)
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce (low sodium, light soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce (dark sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic (4-5 cloves, minced)
  • 2-4 Thai Red Chili (or 1 serrano, minced)
Smart Swap: Replace chicken with tofu for vegetarian.


  • 1. Prepare Ingredients Mix the stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves completely. Set aside. Dice the chicken into 1-2 inch, bite size, pieces. Set aside. Wash hands after handling chicken. Wash Thai Basil, pat dry with kitchen towel, then tear off leaves from stem. Discard stems. Mince garlic and chili.
  • 2. Fry Basil Leaves Heat a wok or medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add the cooking oil. When oil is hot. Deep fry half of the basil leaves. Remove fried basil leaves on a plate lined with paper towel to drain access oil. Set aside. Additional Notes: Make sure leaves are dry, have no water on them before frying.
  • 3. Make Stir Fry Base In now empty skillet with oil heating on medium-high heat, add minced garlic and chili. Fry until garlic is fragrant, just 20-30 seconds. (Don't let garlic burn.)
  • 4. Stir Fry Chicken Add diced chicken, salt and cook until chicken is no longer pink. About 2 minutes. Add all of the sauce mixed in Step 1. Stirring occasionally, cook chicken and sauce on medium-high heat until sauce thickens and chicken is fully cooked. About 4-5 minutes. After first 3 minutes, add the sliced bell pepper, stir pepper with chicken and continue cooking.
  • 5. Assemble Thai Basil Chicken Once chicken is fully cooked and sauce has thickened, add the fresh basil leaves. Stir to mix basil with chicken. Kill the heat. Basil will continue to cook and wilt with heat of chicken and sauce. Remove Thai Basil Chicken in a serving bowl. Top chicken with deep fried basil leaves. Garnish with sliced scallions. (optional). Serve while still hot with side of Jasmine rice.
Savita's Notes:
  1. I recommend using fresh Thai Basil for the distinct aromatic basil stir-fry flavor.
  2. Check for the Pantry Ingredient Substitutes in Post Description above the recipe card.
  3. Whenever using substitute for ingredients of a recipe, always adjust salt per taste. e.g. Sambal Chili Pasta already has salt. Worcestershire sauce may also have salt.

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26 Responses

  1. This is a great “base recipe”. It’s very forgiving and flexible if you don’t have the exact ingredients. I found the sauce (which I ALWAYS double!) to be a tad salty so I diluted it with, big surprise, wine! I could eat this all day, every day.
    Michelle, thanks for sweet feedback. Wine is such a surprise! 👌
  2. How much Sambal? Dying to make this!
    Hi Michelle, I would use one teaspoon sambal (only when not using thai chilies) while cooking chicken. Once chicken is ready, you can taste and add more if prefer more heat. I hope it helps.
  3. Looks great
  4. How might one create a "Thai hot" variation of this??
  5. Thank you for your quick answer.
    You are welcome! I'm happy to share what I know.
  6. Does it have to be Thai Basil. Can I substitute with other Basil?
    Thai Basil has distinct flavor which is the key flavor in this dish. I highly recommend using it. But if you can't find, then regular basil will work just fine.
  7. SOOO much flavor!! Definitely going to add this to my meal rotation!!
    Thanks a lot for taking time to give feedback. It makes my effort worth it. 🙌
  8. This is a EXCELLENT Dish!!!! I probably over cooked the fried basil, so didn't use it; doubled everything so we would have leftovers. This is as good as the new I have ever eaten in a Thai Restaurant! The only downside was figuring out how much a bunch of basil was.
    Hi Kathleen, thanks for sweet feedback. Bunch of basil is a handful standard bunch we get in US grocery stores. Let me check the weight and I'll definitely update the recipe. Also want to mention that basil is key flavor of this recipe. I highly recommend trying it next time with basil. If you enjoyed Chicken without it, basil will make you love it even more. Thanks for taking time to provide feedback.
  9. Love! Love! Love! This.
    Thanks 😊
  10. This recipe is outstanding! Better than my favorite Asian restaurant, and that's saying a lot. I have shared this recipe with many folks, and they all rave about it. I was lucky to have a very healthy Thai basil crop this year!!
    Thanks for sweet feedback and spreading word about the recipe. 🙌 Indeed, Thai basil crop was exceptional this year! Growing herbs at home is such great way to save money, plus enjoy a recipe like this one any day!
  11. Hello Savita, Thank you for this delicious recipe. I love it😍
    Melcsili, thanks. I'm glad you love it. It is our favorite chicken dinner.
  12. One of my favorite Chicken recipe these days. Love the flavors. Chicken comes out so tender and juicy and aroma of sauce is to-die-for. Thank you, thank you for the recipe.
    John, thanks for sharing your experience with us. I'm glad you like it.
  13. Very delicious and easy recipe. I used fresh basil from my garden. This will be regular in my menu until basil lasts. :) Thanks you for sharing the recipe.
    Thanks, Katherine. Indeed, fresh basil is the key to get the right flavor of basil chicken stir fry. 🙌 "High five" for growing own basil. Economical and always available. 😊