chicken with chillies and basil

This recipe is perfect for a filling main meal. Served on top of a bed of rice, and with a non-optional fried egg. 

Read our Ultimate Guide to Stir Fry Sauce first. You'll learn the essential rules of stir fry, plus more great stir fry sauce recipes. Browse ingredients you might need for the recipes at our Chinese supermarket online.

How to tailor the recipe to your tastes

All of the aromatic ingredients are rough quantities. More or less chillies can be added to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter stir fry simply add in some more palm sugar.

What kind of chicken should I use?

You can use any type of boneless chicken, skin-on or skinless, depending on your preference. The chicken can also be replaced with pork or beef, if you prefer. Simply chop it into a coarse mince for a great texture when stir fried.


  • 250g chicken
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Asian shallot, roughly double the quantity of garlic cloves
  • 2 to 20 birds eye's chillies, depending on your heat preference 
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 20g shredded palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 100ml water or chicken stock 

 To serve

  • Handful of thai sweet basil or holy basil
  • Rice
  • 1 fried egg


  1. Dice your chicken into rough 1cm cubes. Marinate with the salt and 2 tbsp fish sauce. Let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. 
  2. Roughly chop your garlic, Asian shallot and Birdseye chillis. Then bash everything in a mortar and pestle to create a rough paste.
  3. Heat up a wok to a medium heat. Add in your oil and stir fry the chicken until it is lightly golden in colour.
  4. Add the garlic/shallot/chilli paste and fry on high power. Then add in the palm sugar to balance the chilli heat. 
  5. When much of the rawness of the aromatics have been cooked out (approx 2 mins) add the last tbsp of fish sauce, the oyster sauce and a pinch of black pepper. Then add in the water or chicken stock.
  6. Cook until a light coating sauce has been achieved. This should not take long.
  7. Then drop in a handful of holy basil or sweet basil. Turn off the heat immediately and let the basil wilt in the residual heat.
  8. Serve over plain white rice with non-optional crispy edged fried egg on the side
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

Feeling inspired? Check out Lap Fai Lee's article on the other best stir-fries for wok cooking.


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