Minced Chicken Stir Fry with Lemon Basil and Eggplant

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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”.

Ingredients:

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  • 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

Steps:

  1. Lightly salt the eggplant and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.  Eggplant will produce brownish bitter liquid.  Discard the liquid.
  2. Season minced chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cooking wine
  3. Heat wok with 2 Tbsp of oil
  4. Add chicken and spread it out to form a pancake.
  5. When the underside of the minced chicken “pancake” caramelizes and turns brown, break into pieces and continue to stir-fry
  6. Remove from wok and set aside.
  7. Heat another 2 Tbsp of oil in wok.
  8. Stir fry ginger, garlic, and lemongrass until fragrant
  9. Add eggplant
  10. Add 2 Tbsp of fish sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar
  11. Eggplant will soften and produce liquid
  12. Add chicken back into wok and stir together to combine flavors
  13. Turn off heat and add lemon basil
  14. The residual heat will cook the lemon basil
  15. Serve immediately

Cook’s Notes:

To keep the minced chicken moist use a blend of chicken breast and thigh meat.

 


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