As I work at the finishing touches of my herb book I realized that all along I have been cutting down on my meat consumption while creating this book. I’ve made a conscious effort now to reconsider each recipe with meat as a main ingredient. Many of my friends and family now are vegetarians and I too lean this way. This thai dish is one of the last recipes I’ve removed from my book. I’ll blog it as a way of preserving the intent behind it, that there are alternatives to meat. Just ask my grandson about how much he loves his tofu.
Thai Basil Stir Fry
Many years ago in Harrison, there was a wonderful Thai restaurant where Wanta made her tasty dishes from her mother’s recipes from Thailand. Our daughter Charmaine eventually worked with Wanta and told me Wanta cooks everything from scratch. Don’t let the list of ingredients deter you; I've recreate the spirit of Wanta’s authentic-ness in this recipe. I like to use Tamari sauce as it is lighter and less salty than regular soya sauce. We use Michel’s dehydrated chilies in any recipe that calls for chili flakes. This stir fry can be served over cooked rice as well as noodles. You may also substitute marinated tofu for the chicken this recipes calls for.
Cooked rice noodles, enough for four servings
1 can coconut milk, reserve ¼ cup for simmering
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 thin slice of hot chili, minced finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced or use bottom white part of green onions
2-inch piece of ginger root, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch strips
1 cup of chives, chopped
1 ½ cups Thai basil leaves, cut into slivers
¼ cup of peanuts chopped, for garnish
Basil flowers for garnish when in season
1 lime, quartered
In a wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
Add chicken strips to the cooked veggies and stir fry about three minutes until chicken is browned. Stir in the coconut milk sauce, bring to boil then turn down to simmer. Cook until sauce is reduced by half about ten minutes.
Add mushrooms, green onions, basil, and the remaining coconut milk. Cover and simmer until heated through. Add noodles and stir evenly to coat. Serve individually, adding garnishes and a squeeze of one quarter lime over noodles.