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Thai Basil Chili Tofu

Thai cuisine is about lightly balancing the five flavor profiles: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. This recipe is easy to prepare and can be made with chicken or vegetarian chicken chunks if desired.

Makes 4 servings. Total preparation time: 20 minutes.


  1. Dice 1 cup basil leaves, garlic and jalapeño chiles by hand or in a food processor until finely chopped, about 6 to 10 one-second pulses.
  2. Transfer 1 tablespoon basil mixture to small bowl and stir in fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  3. Transfer remaining basil mixture to a 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet with shallots and oil.
  4. Bring to a sizzle over medium-low heat then stir constantly until garlic and shallots are golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add tofu, increase heat to medium, and cook until tofu is brown on each side. Depending on the size and depth of your pan, you may need to cook tofu in a separate skillet.
  6. Once brown on each side, remove tofu from skillet and add vegetables. Cook for 5-7 minutes until tender, adding 1/4 cup water to steam vegetables.
  7. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until vegetables are crisp tender.
  8. Stir in remaining cup of basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add red pepper flakes for extra spice. Serve immediately over quinoa rice.


2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed

3 medium garlic cloves, peeled

2 green or red Thai chiles, stemmed, or 2 jalapenos

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce

1 teaspoon white vinegar or rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 lb. firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes

3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)

1 1/2 lb. Asian style mixed raw vegetables or 2 frozen bags stir-fry vegetable mix

2 tablespoons coconut oil

red pepper flakes to taste

We realize that you may not always have the time to cook meals from scratch, and that a quick and easy substitution may be needed. We always recommend cooking the real thing, but in a pinch you can try this instead:

Buy premade Thai Basil Chili sauce. Add browned tofu with frozen Asian vegetables and warm together in skillet. Pour sauce on top and heat. Serve over brown rice, topped with basil and serve with lime wedge. Make it into a wrap for a healthy lunch version of the same dish. Enjoy!