Thai Basil Minced Chicken

This Thai Basil Minced Chicken can be cooked with one hand tied behind your back. It’s that easy. Here’s how!

Everyone and anyone who knows me knows that I love a good Thai meal. I mean, I have no relatives or blood line that connects me to the land of smiles but I love Thailand, and of course this love affair started with a bowl of Tom Yum when I was 14.

Thai flavours are complex and balanced. Every recipe calls for a bit of sugar, a bit of something salty, sour. Just like in life, the Thais make use of every sensory zone in the palate when eating. Thai Basil Minced Chicken is not any different, I can assure you.

This dish is not unknown to us Singaporeans. Almost all of us love Thai food, a fact that can be observed with the many, many Thai restaurants peppered all over town. Not many of us are obsessed enough to make it at home, unlike me.

This chicken dish is extremely easy. In fact, when I first made it, I was stunned at how ridiculously easy it actually was to make this. I always thought it was a more laborious process, involving a multitude of pastes and sauces to get the nuances of flavour just right. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I made this dish with basic, store cupboard ingredients.

If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, you can substitute the chicken with tofu. Tofu acts as a good substitute because of its ability to crumble like mincemeat. If you’re using tofu, then remember to break it up in a bowl before adding it to the hot pan. Everything else in the recipe can remain the same.

The only ingredient that you don’t find in most Singaporean store cupboards is the Basil. You understand that it’s of course kind of the main ingredient here, so best to get it from the market. I like plucking the leaves off the stem and discarding the stems afterwards. I don’t like the texture of stems in general and will end up throwing them away anyway. The leaves are highly pungent, so don’t feel like you need to add the stems in for extra punch or anything.

Another quick note about mincemeat: I bought 300 grams of chicken mince from the market for this recipe, but I personally believe in making my own mincemeat for recipes. You can buy the equal amount of chicken breast or boneless thigh and blitz it in the food processor for a bit. You’ll get an even mince.

Enjoy the recipe!

Thai Minced Basil Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Serves 2


  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, peeled and sliced into thin semi-circles
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Chilli Padis, chopped
  • 300g Minced Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • Splash of water
  • 20 - 25 Basil Leaves


  1. In a frying pan or wok, heat the oil. Then add the onions and saute till the soften. Then, add the garlic and chilli and continue to stir fry, about 2 mins.
  2. Once fragrant, add the minced meat or tofu, if you’re making a vegan version. Lightly brown the chicken for a bit, about 3 to 4 mins. Then, add the soy and oyster sauces, followed by the sugar. Give everything a good mix. If the mixture gets too dry at this point, add the splash of water.
  3. When the sauces have coated the chicken and you have a darkly gleaming, bubbling and spitting chicken mixture, add the basil leaves. These will take barely a minute to wilt down, after which you can remove from heat.
  4. Serve with warm rice and fried egg (sunny side up) for that authentic touch.
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