Who likes squid? Raise your hands, please. Anyone?
Who likes chicken? Raise your hands, please.

If you are with other 499 people being asked the above questions, assuming you are not pescatarians or vegetarians, would you raise your hand for squid or chicken?

OK, say you like squid, how about your family?

My guess is that chicken lovers are going to be a lot more than squid preferrers. My family is a typical example.

The other day I planned to make one of my favorite Thai recipes, a pan-fried squid with green beans, onion and tons of fresh basil leaves. I asked my brother-in-law Felix and his girlfriend Stephanie if they like squid. They immediately shook their heads.

 “How about I make this recipe with chicken instead?” I said.

Both of them nodded vigorously.

That’s why I decided to redo the recipe with chicken. And you know what? My family inhaled it. Seriously.

 To me, this chicken version is actually quicker to prepare since cutting chicken tenderloin into biteable sizes pretty much takes no time. With pre-made minced garlic, this recipe couldn’t get faster. The cooking sequence is fairly straightforward. Cook garlic, onion and chili in hot oil, followed by chicken, then add green beans, season with fish sauce and oyster sauce. Once everything is done, toss basil leaves. That’s it.

How does it taste? Very very Thai!

The chicken is infused with garlic and onion. Then it catches the flavor of the mixed sauce, brown sugar, and Thai chili while cooking. When it meets the crunchy green beans, that makes a great tender-crunchy combination. Your final touch of tossing fresh basil leaves into this dish is going to set it 10X better than a regular chicken sauté.
Serve it with rice. That’s one pan, one dish, one delicious dinner ready in 20 minutes! Did I mention that you can also substitute chicken with beef or tofu? I bet a vegetarian version is just as good.

By the way, if you are concerned that your leftover fresh basil leaves are going to be bad before you can finish them all, here is a simple trick that can help preserve fresh basil for up to three weeks.
Hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear from you. Happy cooking as always!

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Thai Sautéed Chicken With Basil Leaves

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Thai
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An authentic Thai sautéed chicken with tons of fresh basil leaves that’s ready in just 20 minutes. It goes extremely well with rice. 


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 medium-sized garlic cloves)
  • 1 Thai chili, sliced (other hot chili works fine as well)
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloin, cut into bitable sizes
  • 1 cup green beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1.5-inch long
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • a pinch of chili powder (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add onion, garlic and hot chili. Stir until the garlic and the onion are fragrant and you can smell the hotness from the chili, about 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken. Increase to high heat and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Now place green beans in the pan, then add fish sauce, oyster sauce and brown sugar. Stir and cook until the green beans are tender but still crunchy, about 1-2 minutes. By then, the chicken should be completely cooked though.
  4. Turn off heat. Add basil leaves. Stir once again.
  5. Sprinkle with a pinch of chili powder if desired. Dish and serve with rice.


  • Serving Size: 4

About the Author

Sharon Chen, StreetSmart Kitchen

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.