Black basil chicken

Adam Liaw
Black basil chicken.
Black basil chicken. Photo: William Meppem

Taking cues from Thailand’s iconic pad krapow, this kid-friendly stir-fry uses soy sauce instead of fish sauce and keeps the chilies separate.


500g chicken breast fillets, or thigh fillets

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornstarch

½ cup vegetable oil, or other neutrally flavoured oil

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

Chillies in lemon juice

2 bird's eye chillies, sliced

juice of ½ a lemon

1 tbsp soy sauce

pinch of sugar


For the chillies in lemon juice, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Roughly chop the chicken to a coarse mince. Combine with the soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the basil leaves in batches until crisp. Be careful in case the leaves spit (see tip). Remove the leaves from the wok and set aside. Remove about half the oil, set it aside for another use, and return the wok to the heat.

Add the garlic and spring onions and fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and fry until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the dark soy sauce and sugar and fry for a further 1-2 minutes until the chicken is coated and any liquid in the wok has thickened. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter with the basil leaves to serve.

Adam's tip Be careful when frying fresh herbs in oil. Any moisture on the leaves will spit, so watch out for flying – not frying – oil.

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

Order Now

Also try: Vanilla ice-cream with roasted black sesame sauce