I was at the farmers market this past weekend and came across lemon basil. I have used Italian sweet basil and Thai holy basil but never this divine smelling citrus basil. The produce vendor told me to use it quickly for the leaves wilt within a couple days. I guess for a first trial it is safer to experiment around familiar Thai/Laos recipes such as larb, “minced meat mint salad” or padkrapow, “basil minced meat stir fry”.
- 1 lb of organic minced chicken (season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cooking wine, 2 tsp cornstarch)
- 1 “brinjal” asian eggplant, thickly sliced and quartered
- 3-4 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
- 1 chili, thinly sliced
- A handful of lemon basil leaves
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Lightly salt the eggplant and leave at room temperature for 1 hour. Eggplant will produce brownish bitter liquid. Discard the liquid.
- Season minced chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cooking wine
- Heat wok with 2 Tbsp of oil
- Add chicken and spread it out to form a pancake.
- When the underside of the minced chicken “pancake” caramelizes and turns brown, break into pieces and continue to stir-fry
- Remove from wok and set aside.
- Heat another 2 Tbsp of oil in wok.
- Stir fry ginger, garlic, and lemongrass until fragrant
- Add eggplant
- Add 2 Tbsp of fish sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar
- Eggplant will soften and produce liquid
- Add chicken back into wok and stir together to combine flavors
- Turn off heat and add lemon basil
- The residual heat will cook the lemon basil
- Serve immediately
To keep the minced chicken moist use a blend of chicken breast and thigh meat.