Stir Fry Basil Chicken

I’ll keep it short and sweet today since my dirty toilets are beckoning and after the grind of cleaning, the day is too beautiful to be wasted inside.

Make this dish. As soon as you can. It is fast (2o minutes, people!), healthy, and the sweet and spicy Thai-style flavors combined with the fragrant basil are so very, very delicious. (Thank you Emily for the recipe!)

What To ServeI served it over this brown rice and because the entire meal was so healthful, I ate three of these to compensate.

One Year Ago: Southwestern Turkey Burgers
Two Years Ago: Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes

Stir Fry Basil Chicken

Yield: Serves 4

Stir Fry Basil Chicken


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it – I used 1/4 teaspoon and it perfectly warm but not too spicy)
  • 1 yellow (or other sweet) onion, cut in half and sliced in thin half moon strips
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pound), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh basil (about 1/2 cup), torn into pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly and cook for 30 seconds to one minute, until fragrant (don’t let the garlic burn!). Add the sliced onions. Cook until translucent, stirring every now and then, about five minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
  2. Add the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and stir until everything is well coated. Reduce the heat to medium low and sprinkle the tomatoes over the top of the mixture. Tear the basil by hand and sprinkle it over the tomatoes. Over medium heat, let the tomatoes and basil sit, without stirring, for about 5-7 minutes. Stir the mixture until everything is well combined and heated through.
  3. Serve immediately over rice.

Recipe Source: adapted (according to what I had on hand) from Emily, a MKC reader

27 Responses to Stir Fry Basil Chicken

  1. Mary says:

    Could I substitute fish sauce for oyster sauce?

    • Mel says:

      Mary – Definitely worth a try although oyster sauce has a different flavor/consistency than fish sauce so I’d add gradually and taste as you go.

  2. Danielle says:

    This was delicious, even with the tweaks I had to make, because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. It even worked well with the dried basil I used. I subbed in a little baby spinach to give the illusion of some green. I am never, ever disappointed when I try a new recipe from your blog, I know it is going to be great. Just want you to know how much I appreciate all the work you put into this site. Thank you so much!

  3. Deb says:

    Delicious in every way. I made this with the fried rice (that’s not actually fried) I usually make and they were a fantastic pair. Basil adds such a great flavor. Leftovers will be amazing.

  4. Tiffany says:

    My mom just made this it was amazing it had great flavor. Thank you Mel.

  5. julie says:

    Do you find the oyster sauce by the hoisin sauce?

  6. Tami G. says:

    I’m new to following your blog and I have to say that i’m truley inspired to learning to make better dinners. Basil chicken was the first recipe that I tried from your blog and well…… “I loved it and my husband did too!” I didn’t use the oyster sauce because I couldn’t find it, and was a little hesitant to, but I subsituted olive oil instead. Don’t really know why, I just thought to use it and it worked out perfectly. This recipe was yummy, the flavor was so different tasting and I like the spice kick it gave off! I absoultely loved this dish and enjoyed the delicious smell it made in my house.

    • Mel says:

      Tami G. – thanks for your comment! I’m glad that the first recipe you tried met with great success! Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Valerie H. says:

    I had my husband make the Stir Fry Basil Chicken today for me for Mother’s day. It was so good I licked the plate. Also, I am incharge of
    the weekly church bulletins in our church Ward. I put a copy of this
    recipe in it as an insert. Hopefully a lot of people will be thrilled and
    want to make this too. It was really good. Thanks so much for the recipe and all that you do. Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. Veronica M. says:

    Oh, yum! I’m planning on growing my own basil this summer and will make this with some of it.

  9. Linda says:

    I LOVE Thai food… and the basil with it is uniqely refreshing. Not sure what my deal is, but I’ve tried a few asian or “thai” style dishes at home (two of them being your recipes) and without fail, they don’t turn out good. My family says the same thing. I’m always hoping and trying for something super yummy, but I’m always disappointed. What is the deal? I follow the recipes exactly. The last time, I thought it had to work because it called for “hoison sauce” and I’d never tried that before, but still so “blah.” I’ve come to the realization that good Thai food must be ordered “out” at my home. I just haven’t figured it out. Any tips??

    • Mel says:

      Linda – you’d have to let me know what recipes you’ve tried that didn’t work out. Perhaps the homemade style just doesn’t suit your family’s taste – thank goodness take-out is still an option, right? Let me know what recipes they were and maybe I can help. If the recipes are turning out bland then it sounds like you need a little more spice to your Thai food – try adding red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch.

  10. grace says:

    basil is an unexpected herb for this dish–i like it! quite the opposite on the scale of things i like would be cleaning toilets…

  11. Brittany says:

    I’m so glad I found your new blog site. I lost ya for a while, and I missed you! Your recipes are amazing!! I just wanted to say thanks because I love them. I gave you an award at πŸ™‚

  12. Sara says:

    Hoisin sauce is so great when making Asian food! You can find it in the Asain food/seasonings part of the grocery store. It’s a dark, thick liquid that comes in a skinny, medium sized glass jar (or at least mine did). πŸ™‚ YUM!

    • Mel says:

      I second Sara’s comment – I find my hoisin sauce everywhere from Walmart to my everyday grocery store and it is usually in the Asian foods section next to the soy sauce, plum sauce, etc.

  13. Margaret Pavithran says:

    I love your blog. Thanks for including so many healthy recipes. I can’t wait to try this Stir Fry Basil. Love, love, love basil and anything Thai.

  14. P.s.

  15. Mel !
    I’m going to finally try your Tri Color Pasta Salad…
    can’t wait !

  16. Marian says:

    So this looks great! But what is hoisin sauce and where do I find it in the grocery store? Where do I find oyster sauce? Thanks!

  17. Kim in MD says:

    Yum…I love the Asian flavors! I have been craving any and all Asian lately, and since I can’t eat Chinese or Thai in a restaurant (life threatening shellfish allergy developed suddenly 3 years ago), I have to make it at home. I will definately try this recipe! Thanks for sharing, Melanie! πŸ™‚

  18. May make it tonight. It looks delicious!

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