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Friday, July 8, 2011

It's More Than Thai Basil Chicken - Lemongrass Basil Chicken

My mind is still on vacation. Ugh.

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July and enjoyed yummy food with friends and family! My friends and I got together at a friend's apartment to have some food and watch fireworks. It was so fun especially since the weather was so nice.

The day before, Roxan @SweenShanti and I met up. Yes, she was in town for her friend's wedding! It was the first time we met in person after we had been "talking" through the blog and Facebook. I was nervous at first because I didn't want to look or be different from what she might have imagined I would be hahaha. It was fun and I felt like I was hanging out with friends (at least to me!).

Here's a picture of us at Sculpture park.

Photo Credit: Roxan
 Now back to the food.  For the get-together function with friends I made Korean tacos, Vietnamese salad with grilled shrimp, and so called "Cookie Singapore" which I will share with you soon. The Korean tacos were the bomb! Although I've made it before, I dressed them up a bit more this time. The key is the meat and the sauce - recipe here.

Korean taco with homemade saamjung sauce

Without further ado, the recipe I'm going to post today is lemongrass basil chicken. It's another version of Thai basil chicken. In fact, if you take off the lemongrass and other vegetables, it's a regular Thai chicken basil.

I wanted to spice up my regular chicken basil so I added lemongrass and featured Summer vegetables. I found a beautiful Japanese pumpkin and some green beans at the market. They went perfectly with this basil. Also, I used basil from my little herb garden! It's sure organic and I felt super good to use my own herbs. You can use red basil a.k.a Thai basil if you wish and for a more authentic recipe. If you don't, I would say forget about it and use what you have on hand.

Chicken thigh and dark meat are my favorite. I ignored the hubs' white meat fondness for once and went ahead with chicken thigh - all in. Lemongrass adds a deep flavor and aromatic smell but doesn't over power the rest of the flavor. I hope you like it if you have a chance to try.

PS: If you serve with rice, the sauce should be a little saltier.

Oh, almost forgot! I recalled a great dish from Lazaro and craved for a light, good, flavorful dish. If you remember his pan fried cod and black bean soup dish, it's one of my all time favorites. I made one from my memory and adjusted seasonings based on my taste buds.  Here we go. Thanks to Laz for a great recipe!

Although this doesn't look like his dish, you get the idea of the deliciousness.

Lemongrass Chicken Basil
Yield: 4-6 portions

2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1.5 lbs chicken thigh, cut to small pieces
2 cups Japanese pumpkin, peeled and cubed
2 cups green beans, cut to 1.5" length
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 stalks lemongrass, minced or out in a food processor to release oil
8 oz. sliced white mushroom
3 coves garlic, minced
3 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbs black soy sauce
3-4 fresh Thai chilies, tabbed with a side of knife to release flavor and heat (optional)
White pepper
Vegetable oil

  •  Heat up wok over high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat.
  • Add lemongrass and garlic and stir fry for a min or so. The aromatic scent is just so good.
  • Add chicken and stir fry until it's cooked. Season with fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Add onion and pumpkin. Stir fry until onion is translucent and pumpkin is getting soft.
  • Add green beans. Correct seasoning.
  • Stir fry until it's all cooked and flavorful!
  • Add basil and cilantro and turn off the heat. Stir fry basil until it's all mixed. Remove from heat.
  • Serve with rice.
When you work with wok, the longer you have food in the wok, the more liquid it will come out from vegetable. The key is to have everything on hands, stir fry fast so you get a nice and crisp chicken basil.

Basil and Cilantro from my garden!

Sorry lemongrass is a little burn

Add onion and pumpkin

Serve with rice and enjoy!

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Jessica said...

This looks unbelievably good!! I love all the ingredients in there. Must have been so much fun to meet up with a foodie friend!

Pacheco Patty said...

I want to try this recipe!, it looks flavorful and so delicious-your instructions are excellent.
I'm so happy that you and Roxan met in Seattle, you're both so attractive in your lovely photo;-)
Hey Tanantha- your garden herbs look amazing, you must be so proud of them;-)
Enjoy your weekend and happy cooking!

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks so flavourful and delicious!

spcookiequeen said...

That is so cool you and Roxan got to meet in person. I love all these flavors in all these recipes, I haven't made this at home, going on the must try list for sure. I want one of those tacos too. Hope you are having a great weekend.

Lazaro Cooks! said...

I like your version better, T. Love the addition of lemongrass. Such a bright beautiful flavor.

More guitar videos...

LeQuan said...

Oh I love blogger meet-ups! I'm sure you girls had much to talk about and a lot of fun.

You're tempting me with so many dishes in just one post Tanantha. That's almost beyond the point of cruelty, almost. Teehee. Love the Lemongrass Basil Chicken recipe. Anything with lemongrass and I'm so there! This looks absolutely wonderful and flavorful. I also see fish sauce in this recipe. The magic sauce in Vietnamese cooking :D.

Roxana GreenGirl said...

you two girls are so beautiful. So excited to meet with another blogger.
The chicken looks great Tanantha!

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

This recipe looks scrumptious. I love Basil and lemongrass. Such a great combination.

Evan @swEEts said...

How fun to meet up with Roxan!! Your dishes look amazing as usual.. I'd love for you to come over and make dinner for me tonight because MM is out of town :)

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Wah, the photo of you and Roxan didn't load so I couldn't see you two! So great to meet online friends IRL. I love the addition of lemongrass to the Thai chicken basil - looks so fresh and delicious! Wish my basil looked like yours - slugs keep chewing on it :(

Magdalena said...

Hello Tanatha: thanks a lot for remembering my blog (I do not publish so often lately, we moved to Poland, I started a new job, no time, not time....). However, I follow your beautiful recipes on Facebook. I must say that here, in Kraków, I do not cook Thai food (no good ingredients) and Thai restaurants are bad. I am a bit unhappy because of this; in Paris, I was cooking Thai at least once per week....I cannot wait my visit in Paris and shopping at the "Tangue freres", where they sell a lot of quite nice Thai products (including fresh vegetables)....Best regards !

Magic of Spice said...

How fun you and Roxan got to meet up!
I love the flavors you have here and I have been looking for fresh lemongrass with no luck :(
Maybe I will have better luck this weekend...
Lovely recipe :)

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