My husband’s best friend from Detroit Country Day moved to Germany with his wife just after we were married. That year, we travelled to Deutschland to visit them and enjoyed a week living like the locals. We shopped in their adorable village and made dinner together each evening after exploring the nearby sites. One evening, we made this plate and drank Thai beer. The rice takes longer to cook than it does to assemble and prepare the chicken and sauce. In under fifteen minutes, piping hot bowls of this flavorful dish will be on the table. Thai Basil made with sirloin strips makes an equally appealing weeknight in-a-hurry meal in minutes. My children look forward to the mangoes in coconut milk served on the side. If the jalapeño is particularly spicy, the coconut milk cuts the heat instantly. The heat in this dish is easily adjusted: cut back on the garlic chili sauce and jalapeño, or even add more if it suits the taste buds arriving for dinner.

Kitchen Notes
Regular basil may be substituted for Thai basil. It isn’t as intensely flavored so double the amount if using traditional basil. H-Mart, or any other Asian grocery store, usually has fresh Thai basil. Light brown sugar may also be substituted for the palm sugar. 

Thai Basil with Jasmine Rice


  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce

  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar

  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño chili, minced

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 1 cup packed Thai basil leaves

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2” wide x 3” long pieces, or 2 pounds sirloin sliced into  1/4" wide x 3" long strips

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth

  • 4 cups Jasmine rice, cooked


1. Whisk the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Add the sliced chicken pieces to the bowl and coat with the sauce.

3. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet over high heat for 2 minutes.

4. Add the oil to the pan.

5. Use tongs to add the chicken or beef pieces to the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add the basil leaves and then the broth and cook for 2 more minutes.

7. Serve over Jasmine rice.