• Chicken and holy basil stir-fry (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin

This recipe is for one of the favorite dishes of the Thai people and make sure you use holy basil, as it goes especially well with pork






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (321 votes)

The chicken can be substituted with pork, beef, squid, shrimp or seafood. This dish is often served at breakfast with a deep-fried egg, sunny side up, on top. One particular favourite is to make it with ground pork and lots of Thai chillies.


  • 10–12 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 10 long red chillies, sliced, plus 1–2 long red chillies extra, finely sliced
  • 2–3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into 3 cm lengths
  • 2–3 tbsp chicken stock
  • ½ bunch holy basil, leaves picked

Fried eggs

  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, cracked into a bowl

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Put the garlic and chillies in a mortar and pound to a rough paste. Heat a wok until smoking hot then add the oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the pounded chilli and garlic and stir-fry for 15–20 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, or until most of the chicken has changed colour. Stir in the oyster, soy and fish sauces and add the pepper, onion, spring onion and extra chilli. Keep stir-frying and when the chicken is just cooked, add the chicken stock. Turn off the heat and toss through the basil leaves. Transfer to a serving plate.

To fry the eggs, wipe out the wok and add the oil. When hot, gently pour in the eggs. Be careful as they crackle and pop. Fry the eggs until golden (they should stick together), then lift out with a slotted spoon and place on top of the chicken stir-fry.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgina Larby. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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