Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Basil & Cashews


I fancied some Thai tonight and didn’t want to just resort to one of the million Thai takeaways around my neighbourhood. So I made one myself. It was pretty easy and tasted just like a take-away, which is delicious incidentally. Cost me more to make than buy though! If you’re not as fortunate as me and don’t have a small city of Thai takeaways near you then this may just be worth it. This will feed 2-3 people.


I used to panic when I was stir frying and would always forget something and end up pulling the contents of an entire cupboard out while frantically trying to stir and search… To make it stress free when stir-frying this dish, prepare all the ingredients first and place into 2 separate bowls (see below).

1 lemon grass stalk (bottom 3/4 only – very finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
3 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 red chillies (seeded and finely chopped)
10 coriander stems (finely chopped)

1 heaped cup fresh Thai basil leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 large chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)
60g unsalted cashew nuts
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornflour

Combine everything in bowl one and set aside.

In a wok, heat 1 teaspoon of oil and swirl it around. Add the cashew nuts and cook for about 1 minute until they brown. Remove from the pan. Turn down the heat to medium.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and when hot, add half the chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Keep stirring, remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Return all the chicken to the pan, then everything in bowl 1, add more oil if needed. Add 1/2 cup water, then everything in bowl 2.

Turn up the heat and stir until boiling. Finally, add the cornflour, stir quickly until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the cashew nuts and serve.

With plain basmati rice and some steamed bok-choi with light soy sauce and sesame oil.

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