recipe: Thai noodles with chicken, beans and holy basil

Holy (or Thai) basil is one of the heroes of the herb world. It looks like familiar old Mediterranean basil but whip off its Clark Kent glasses and you find somerhing full of aniseed. This quick and tasty stir fry makes the most of those little leaves.

Not sure where to get Thai basil? Two of the greengrocers in Jersey’s market routinely stock Thai basil or make the tiny pilgrimage to Thai Smile in Colomberie. This little shop sells essential Thai ingredients and, luckily, they get a weekly shipment of  herbs and vegetables, including great big bags of the good stuff.

Ingredients, serves 2

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed into a paste
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced (seeds removed if you want less heat)
  • Half a red onion, finely sliced
  • 400g of chicken, mince is ideal or finely sliced into thin, small pieces
  • 200g of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 150g Thai flat rice noodles
  • 1 lime
  • Ground white pepper
  • Bunch of Thai / holy basil
  • Sesame oil


  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Wok
  • Spoon


1. Cook the noodles according to their instructions. Ours needed to sit in boiling water for 10 minutes, were drained then tossed in a little sesame oil to prevent them sticking.

2. Heat the oil in the wok until it’s smoking (don’t worry about the smoke, you need this heat for wok cooking).

3. Add the chicken (in batches if needed) so that every piece touches the wok. Leave the chicken (resist the urge to move it) for 3-5 minutes until it’s brown on one side, then give it a stir and cook until the chicken is cooked.

4. Remove the chicken into a bowl. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry for 30 seconds.

5. Add the beans to the wok and stir fry for 2 mins. (If the wok is smoking add a tbsp of water.)

 6. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and chicken back to the pan. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.

7. Add the noodles, rice wine vinegar and a good dusting of white pepper. Stir fry for 2 minutes.

8. Squeeze the lime juice over the noodles and add the entire bunch of Thai basil. Stir and serve

Grab a plate and enjoy!

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