This is a good dish to learn the basics of stir-frying. Make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking as the idea is to cook the food quickly. Combine the four sauce ingredients before you start. The Thais love their food hot, spicy and sour with a touch of sweetness but if you don’t like chillies, there’s no need to add them. And now for the fun.
- chicken thigh meat (or you can use breast strips) - 250g, cut into 3cm cubes, trimmed of any fat or sinew
- vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons
- onion - 1, peeled, cut through the centre lengthways, then into eighths (so that it looks like petals)
- garlic - 1 - 2 cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
- red or green chillies - 2 small, finely chopped (the chillies are optional)
- green beans - 125g, topped and tailed and cut in 5cm lengths
- red capsicum - 1/2, cut into strips (seeds and membrane removed)
- Thai holy basil (or Italian basil) - 3/4 cup, leaves only, loosely packed
- water - 2 tablespoons
- fish sauce - 1 tablespoon
- caster sugar - 1 teaspoon
- soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
1. Heat a wok or heavy frying pan until hot. Add the oil and when hot, add the onion. Stir-fry for 1 - 2 minutes or until onion is softening and turning transparent. Add garlic and chillies, stir-fry another minute.
2. Add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is beginning to colour, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add beans and capsicum and stir-fry for another minute. Add the basil leaves and sauce, stir to combine.
3. Cover wok with a lid, turn heat to low and leave to simmer for one minute. Serve immediately with steaming hot jasmine rice.
Tip: chicken thigh meat is juicier than chicken breast. If you can't find Thai holy basil, use Italian basil - wash and dry the basil thoroughly before using - a salad spin-dryer is handy for drying leaves.
The photo shows Eloise Moore holding the Thai stir-fry dish we made together in the kids cooking class during January 2012 school holidays.