Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant

Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant is very tasty and surprisingly simple dish to make.  It utilizes the classic combo of Thai cooking, salty, sweet and sour, along with the heat of the chilis, to produce very satisfying results.  Feel free to include additional Thai chilis, if you like; this dish is prepared for “American hot” taste, as the Thai like to say. Serve Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant on a platter or deep serving bowl for an elegant presentation.

Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant

Marinade Prep Time: 30 minutes, Meal Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cooking Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes plus marinating time. Serves 4.


  • 3 Tbs freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • 3 Tbs Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tbs granulated Sugar
  • 1 ½ Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 6 Thai (Bird’s Eye) Chilis, sliced into very thin rounds, divided into two parts
  • 1 Lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breast*
  • 1 lb Eggplant
  • 2 Tbs minced Shallot
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 4 Makrut Lime Leaves*
  • 3 Tbs. Cooking Oil (Peanut/Canola Oil blend is recommended)
  • 7 oz drained Peeled Straw Mushrooms
  • 10 oz drained Bamboo Shoots
  • 1 Tb Oyster Sauce
  • ½ Cup Thai Basil leaves

Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant


  1. Make the marinade by combining the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and half the Thai (bird’s eye) chilis in a deep bowl, stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Slice the chicken breast(s) very thinly, no more than ¼-inch thick, and then cut these into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Add the sliced chicken to the marinade, mix together, cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably longer.
  4. Remove the marinating chicken from the refrigerator to bring it to room temperature prior to cooking.
  5. Using tongs, remove the chicken from marinade to a separate bowl, reserve the marinade.
  6. Trim the ends from the eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes and set aside in a bowl.
  7. Mince the shallot and garlic and combine in a small bowl. Each makrut lime leaf is double-lobed set of leaves.  Remove the central rib from each leaf, discard it, mince the leaves very finely and add them to the bowl with the minced shallot and garlic.
  8. Julienne the bamboo shoots and reserve in a bowl with the straw mushrooms.
  9. Gather the Thai basil leaves on a cutting board, slice into thin strips and set aside in a bowl.
  10. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over a high heat, swirling it round to coat high up the sides of the wok.
  11. Add the chicken to the wok and stir fry until the chicken begins to brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned chicken from the wok to a bowl, leaving the oil in the wok.
  12. Add the cubed eggplant to the hot oil in the wok, stir fry until the eggplant has browned and softened. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned eggplant from the wok to the bowl with the chicken.
  13. Add the shallot, garlic, makrut lime leaves and remaining sliced Thai (bird’s eye) chilis to the wok and stir fry until the shallot and garlic begin to soften and brown.
  14. Add the straw mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chicken and eggplant to the wok, mixing all ingredients together and stir fry for a minute or two.
  15. Stir the oyster sauce into the reserved marinade then pour this into the wok and stir fry until the liquid is greatly reduced.
  16. Add the Thai basil to the wok, stirring together all ingredients until the basil wilts, approximately 1 minute.
  17. Remove from heat and serve accompanied by freshly steamed white rice or not.

Thai Basil Chicken and Eggplant


  • Omit the chicken for a vegetarian version.
  • Makrut lime leaves can be purchased at Asian supermarkets, either fresh or frozen; never use dried makrut lime leaves. You can substitute 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest for the makrut lime leaves.


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