"Serve hot": Those words often appear at the end of recipes.
But some dishes benefit from a few moments off the heat. It allows the ingredients to meld with one another.
This is one of those dishes. Taste the difference for yourself.
Servings: 2 - 4
- 1 cup tightly packed holy basil, Asian basil or Italian basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks or wide half-moons
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh green chili peppers, such as Thai, serrano or jalapeno (optional)
Cut the basil into chiffonade (very thin slices) or tear it into pieces. Set aside.
In a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and toss to coat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until golden on all sides but not cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar and cook, uncovered, tossing now and then, just until the chicken is cooked through and a thin, smooth sauce forms, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili peppers, if using, and basil and toss well. Remove from the heat; set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Serve warm, not hot.
Adapted from "Quick & Easy Thai" by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle, 2004).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.