Friday, August 13, 2010

thai chicken vs. thai basil chicken

I've made multiple versions of Thai chicken now and I still don't see a significant difference between Thai basil chicken and Thai chicken (from the recipes I have tried).

Here is one I like best which is from The Atlantic (I think but I cannot find it on their site anymore).

Thai Meat Salad

  • 5 ounces lean pork or chicken, hand-minced, This is an important step, and takes about two minutes with a sharp knife. Chop until meat is very fine and resembles ground chicken or pork. The texture will be much better than machine ground meat.
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 3 shallots, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large handful fresh mint, coriander and spring onions, in roughly equal parts, chopped OR 1 cup of Thai basil or holy basil (Italian doesn't taste right but can be used if you wish) slivers
  • 1 Kaffir lime leaf, rolled up and then sliced into tiny slivers (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (more, if you like it sour)
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoon good fish sauce (I use a bit less since I don't like fishy)
  • ½ teaspoon roasted chili powder
  • a handful of cashews (optional)
Heat stock and garlic in a small pan and season with some salt (and sugar - if you use sugar - I do sometimes put in a drop of honey if it tastes like it needs sweetness but for the most part I don't bother)
Add minced meat and cook quickly, stirring, until the meat is fluffy and cooked through--about 3-5 minutes is all you'll need.
Remove from heat and add lime juice, fish sauce, chili flakes, and taste. There should be a sweet, salty, spicy and sour balance. If not, adjust.
Toss with fresh herbs and shallots. Cashews if you wanted to have a crunch.
serve immediately.

If you are pressed for time... the minced chicken works well enough.  It really does taste better if you chop up the meat yourself - but this is such a nice quick meal - I have totally slacked on occasion and used ground chicken instead of doing it up myself. :)

You can put these in lettuce - for lettuce wraps.  Or eat it plain like we tend to do.  Boston/Butter lettuce works well as it has nice big leaves.

A nice side to this is a cucumber salad.  We got a lovely Persian cucumber from the farmer's market last week and I have to say it is one of my favorite variety of cucumber.  I just slice it up with some rice wine vinegar, a drop of honey and some shallots diced up.  If you have some nice tomatoes that would be lovely in there as well.


  1. Trader Joe's offers organic Persian cucumbers - I love them with hummus. The 2 or 3 packs they have, being organic and widely distributed, you gotta eat all 3 within 2 or 3 days or they start to separate from the inside out, and lose their crispiness.

  2. the BF makes a great hummus. I'll have to post up the recipe. I also like bell peppers and hummus - I'm really trying to figure out good snack-y foods. Since, I use to eat potato chips and junky stuff like that - which I kinda miss when I'm at my desk just completely at odds with what I'm working on. (like now!) *grin*