As a hardworking chef, Anny Sooksri often rewards herself at the end of her day with a basil stir fry. The chef/owner of the Thai restaurant group that includes the fabulous Fav Bistro, Sooksri says basil stir fry is a go-to comfort food in Thailand.
Sooksri says most Thai natives prefer the Siam Queen variety of basil, which imparts a licorice or anise flavor. But because of its short shelf life, U.S. restaurants typically use Thai sweet basil.
Sooksri stresses the importance of using all fresh ingredients and taking care not to overcook the vegetables. “You want them to be crisp and still nutritious,” she says. Another Thai tradition is to place a fried egg over a serving of rice and then ladle the stir fry on top. Keep the yolk runny, Sooksri advises. “I love that fried egg.”
Basil Stir Fry (With Chicken Mince) Serves 2
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-5 cloves of garlic sliced or minced
Crushed Thai chile (optional for spice)
½ pound minced chicken
(meat from one chicken breast)
¼ cup carrots, peeled and cut
in half ovals or coins
¼ cup sliced yellow onion (thinly
sliced lengthwise into thin wedges)
¼ cup each of red bell & Jalapeno
peppers, cut into strips
¼ cup sugar snap peas, with pod
stems and strings removed
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 bunch basil leaves (about 2½ ounces,
or about 1 cup of packed basil),
chopped if using a larger leaf basil.
Optional: 1 egg to fry in oil
Cooked white rice
Remove skin from and debone a fresh chicken breast, rinse and pat dry. On a cutting board, with a sharp knife, cut raw meat into 2-inch-wide strips. Then, use a meat clever to chop raw meat cubes by hand into a medium mince.
In a wok or large skillet, heat oil on low heat and cook garlic and Thai chili. Add chicken mince and break it up with spatula. Cook on high heat until chicken starts to turn white, about 1 to 2 minutes.
To the meat, add carrots and onions, stir fry over high heat until onions become translucent. Add oyster sauce, fish sauce, chicken stock and sugar, heat until liquid begins to boil while mixing in with other ingredients. Then, add bell peppers, snap peas and basil, and gently mix over heat for half a minute, then remove from heat.
In a small skillet, fry an egg in hot oil, sunny-side up. Cook the white crisp and keep yolk runny. Place egg over serving of rice, then cover egg and rice with stir-fry ingredients.
1984 E. Murray Holladay Road, Holladay
Siam Noodle Bar
5171 Cottonwood St., No. 160, Murray
Chabaar Beyond Thai
87 W. 7200 South, Midvale
Tea Rose Diner
65 E. Fifth Ave., Murray