Chicken with Mint and Thai Basil

As I mentioned last week, I'm on a Thai cooking kick.  I just received the easy, but insightful Everyday Thai Cooking cookbook and my juices have been flowing ever since.  After my trip to the Thai grocery store, I also found my kitchen overflowing with wonderful fresh Thai spices, so I thought I'd make one more recipe before throwing some of the ingredients into the freezer, which is a great way to preserve some of the unique items.  For galangal (or its cousin ginger), you can mince, throw in a freezer bag and then just break off as much as you need for a recipe. 

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Katie Chin, the chef and author of Everyday Thai Cooking, gave us a good tip to ensure moist and flavorful meat.  She recommends tossing your protein with a little cornstarch and salt, and just letting it sit for 10 minutes before cooking. The meat stays really moist and takes on the flavors of the dish better. I found it made a great difference.

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I loved Katie's Chicken with Mint and Thai Basil. I omitted sugar from the original recipe as I thought there was such great flavor without it that it didn't need it, and why not save it for some cookies. I also sliced up some fresh sugar snap peas for a one dish meal, and added the juice of half of a lime to keep it bright and fresh, and that it was. This dish is so clean and fresh tasting.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

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You can buy Katie's new book at amazon here, and check out her website, The Sweet and Sour Chronicles for more great recipes.  

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Chicken with Mint and Thai Basil

Adapted from Everyday Thai Cooking
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as part of a multi course meal


  • 10 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast or thigh, sliced crosswise thinly into 1/2" wide strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh hot red or green Thai chili, seeds removed for less heat, thinly sliced
  • 12 sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 3/4 cup fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves


  1. Toss the chicken with the all-purpose cornstarch and salt in a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/2 of the oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken turns white. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots and chilies to the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the reserved chicken, kaffir lime leaves, snap peas, soy sauce, and fish sauce; stir fry for 2 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the basil and mint leaves and stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until the basil is wilted. Dish out and serve immediately over jasmine rice.