Spicy hot chicken with basil

The surprise lies in the anise-flavoured basil, which is a nice counterpoint to the other seasoning

Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 450g/1lb chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 11⁄2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp chilli bean sauce
  • 2 tsp hoi sin sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Large handful fresh Thai basil leaves, rinsed and removed from the stalk

Remove the skin and bones from the chicken thighs, or have your butcher do it for you, then cut the meat into 2.5cm/1in chunks and place in a bowl.

Combine the light soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour, pour over the chicken and turn to coat well.

Heat a wok or large non-stick frying pan until it is very hot then add the groundnut oil, then the chicken. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, then remove the chicken from the wok and drain off the oil.

Return the drained chicken to the wok and add the rest of the ingredients except the basil leaves. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.

When the chicken is cooked, toss in the basil leaves and give the mixture a good stir. Spoon onto a platter and serve at once with plain rice and a salad or green vegetable of your choice.
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