Spicy Thai Chili Basil Tofu


Chili and Basil are integral components of Thai cuisine and this dish highlights the use of these 2 core ingredients. I guess you will be more familiar with the Thai Chili Basil Chicken. However this is a pure vegan dish substituting chicken with Tofu as the core protein.

Ingredients (Serves 3)

Garlic : 2-3 cloves, minced
Thai Birds Eye Chilis : 4-6 (Adjust as per your tolerance and use hot green chilis if you don’t get the birds eye)
Shallots : 1 diced into small pieces.
Salt : To taste
Soy Sauce : 2 Tbsp
Stock : 1/2 cup…You can use store bought stock cubes or just use plain water if you don’t get them.
Sugar : 1 Tsp
Peanut or Sesame Oil : About 1 Tbsp or as much as you need.
Holy Basil or Regular Basil Leaves : A big bunch, cleaned and roughly torn. Remember the core flavor comes from Basil. So don’t skimp on it…
Firm Tofu  : 200 gms
Cornflour : 1 Tbsp, mixed in 1 Tbsp water.


  1. Dry out the Tofu using a kitchen towel and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  2. Pound the garlic, shallots and chilis with some salt into a chunky rough paste.
  3. Heat a wok and add the oil in it. Ensure you swirl the oil around so that it coats all around the wok and is smoking.
  4. Add the pounded paste to the wok and stir-fry for about 15-20 sec.
  5. Add the tofu and stir fry for a minute or two. If you have swirled the oil around your wok it will not stick to the sides.
  6. Add the Soy Sauce, Sugar and Stock to it. Check salt and adjust if needed. If you are going to have it with steamed rice, this dish can be slightly more salty.
  7. Stir-fry for another minute, add the corn flour water to it and let it thicken.
  8. As soon as the sauce thickens, add the torn basil leaves.
  9. Stir-fry just a little more until the basil leaves wilt. Take the wok off the heat.

Additional Tips :

  1. If you have more patience and you prefer, you can fry the tofu pieces first. It tastes better but of course will be more oily.
  2. You can sub tofu with chicken, beef or pork, adjust cooking time accordingly and also add some oyster sauce if you like it.
  3. You can also add other veggies like Red or Yellow Peppers, Mushrooms, Baby corn and Broccoli for variety.
  4. If you cut Tofu or chicken into very small pieces, you can also serve it on fresh cleaned lettuce leaves as Chili Basil Lettuce Cups 🙂

Serving suggestion : Best had with simple steamed Jasmine rice.

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