As excited as I am to be moving into Barclay’s house when we get married in June, I’m definitely starting to feel All The Feels about leaving the River Market in downtown Kansas City — the neighborhood I’ve called home for these past five years.
Gosh, there are a million reasons why I have loved living down here. And there are, I’m realizing, a million things that I’m deeply going to miss about calling this neighborhood home — namely, walking next door every morning to order an iced pour-over at my home-away-from-home, and of course, bumping into dozens and dozens of the world’s best neighbors every day as we’re all out and about. But, I’ve also been realizing lately how much I’m going to miss the central spot that originally inspired me to move downtown way back in the day — our amazing City Market.
Oh my goodness. Living across the street from Kansas City’s largest farmers market for so many years has been just as magical as I had dreamed it might be, back when I first moved to town over a decade ago and started making the trek downtown every Saturday morning to visit the City Market. And then once I started this site and — as any food blogger will tell you — started making more and more and more drives to the grocery store each week, I . But man, having had the chance to spend these years simply walking across the street, browsing through produce in the open-air sunlit markets, getting to chat with vendors who amazingly now know me by name, and then carrying my groceries back to a beautiful loft I call home has been even more meaningful than I had imagined. It’s just a rhythm that has felt so good. And I already know it’s a season of life that I will forever look back on with such gratitude.
So anyway, with just a little over three months left here, my little River Market-loving heart seems to have clicked into the gotta-soak-up-every-second-of-my-remaining-time-here mode these past few weeks. Which has meant — amongst other things — that I’ve been making almost daily trips to the City Market to buy fresh fruit and veggies and spices and herbs and find inspiration for what to cook next. And I’m happy to say that there have been some absolutely delicious results, such as this awesome chicken stir-fry that came about after gorgeous bunches of fresh Thai basil happened to be on sale at the market yesterday.
City Market FTW!
Actually, I hardly know anyone who wasn’t at the City Market in Kansas City yesterday because it was absolutely gorgeous out all weekend.
75 degrees and sunny…in February!
Nice weather is also always a sign — as any River Market resident will tell you — that pretty much the entire population of Kansas City will be descending upon the River Market. And sure enough, they did, and the neighborhood was absolutely packed with visitors all weekend long. Some neighbors complain about the crowds, but I actually love the hustle and bustle, and I especially appreciate seeing so many Kansas Citians out and about exploring the area on foot instead of being isolated in their cars. ;)
Sure enough, the City Market was packed with people (which is rare in February!), but they had an awesome selection of good produce to keep everyone happy. I arrived in a go-with-the-flow kind of mood, looking for inspiration to make something fresh and tasty for lunch. And then once I saw the gorgeous bouquets of Fresh basil on display, I knew without a doubt that it was a stir-fry kind of Sunday.
So I grabbed some colorful fresh broccoli, garlic, bell peppers, and red onion to make it happen…
…then came home and sautéed everything together….
…and in less than 20 minutes, this gorgeous rainbow of a meal was ready to enjoy.
And you guys, it was so good! And so simple! And so versatile!!
Seriously, if you’re not into chicken, you could substitute any protein from beef to pork to shrimp to tofu here. And you could also add/substitute just about any other veggies. I just recommend that you do add in lots of veggies. Because while traditional Thai Basil Chicken is delicious, it’s usually served on its own with rice, and I much prefer to have a much higher veggies to meat ratio in this recipe…because why not?! ;)
Definitely a winner winner of a chicken “dinner”, and one I look forward to making again soon. So thanks, City Market, for the delicious veggies and inspiration. And hope that you all enjoy this one too!
This 20-Minute Thai Basil Chicken recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and full of bold and delicious savory flavors!
Thai Basil Chicken Ingredients:
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly-sliced
florets from 1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
optional: 3-5 Thai bird chiles*, thinly-sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
leaves from 1 bunch of Thai basil (about 2 cups, lightly-packed)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly-sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 batch simple soy marinade (see below)
Simple Soy Marinade:
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
freshly-cracked black pepper
To Make The Thai Basil Chicken:
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, broccoli, and Thai chiles (if using), and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and Thai basil and saute for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. (Time saving tip: slice your chicken and make the marinade while the veggies are sauteeing!) Then transfer the entire mixture to a separate plate, and set aside.
Return wok/pan to high heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chicken and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Add in the marinade, and toss to combine.
Remove from heat and add in the vegetable mixture, tossing to combine.
Serve warm, over rice or noodles if desired.
To Make The Simple Soy Marinade:
Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
*These little chiles are pretty spicy, but also delicious and traditionally used in this dish. I didn’t have any on hand the day I made and photographed this dish, so I just subbed in a few pinches of crushed red pepper instead. But I typically use them for Thai basil dishes and love them!
Oh God, this looks so good right now. My family would love it.
I understand how you feel about your market. Since 2013 I have been living in Montana and our farmer’s market operates only on Saturdays April-maybe October. I was so use to our farmer’s market back in Raleigh, NC where it is 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). But in just a little over a year, heading back to NC and the availability of fresh produce year round was one of my top ‘can’t wait to get back to’ things.
I just got sad for you! I remember the feeling of leaving my beloved loft apartment and neighborhood when I got married. If you ever need an example to define “bitter-sweet” THAT’S IT! :) But – and I know you know this – the change will be beautiful in all the ways it’s meant to be. xx
City Market is my happy place. So jealous you live in the area, because trying to park for our frequent trips is a nightmare. ;)
what oil would you recommend as a best substitute due to a peanut allergy ?
Hi Laura! We would suggest a neutral oil (canola, vegetable, or grapeseed). We hope this helps!
This is absolutely delicious, I didn’t have tai chili peppers the day i was making it so i used scotch bonnets and jalapenos pepper. I also don’t have fish sauce so I substituted with Rice wine vinegar, and I came out absolutely taste. This is a must keep recipe.
This looks great for a quick and easy weeknight meal, and who doesn’t love anything packed full of basil. It’s my go to herb and I always have a basil plant growing in the kitchen window to ensure we always have it on hand.
Thank you, Sarah — we hope you enjoy it! :)
looks so good! x
Hey I live in KC too and LOVE the City Market. Unfortunately I live down south so it’s about a 20 min drive so I don’t get to visit as often as I would like.
I have a question about Thai Bird chiles. Where do you find them? I’ve checked most grocery stores around here and have been unsuccessful.
Cheers to KC! I usually buy mine at Chinatown down in the River Market. :)
I love thai basil but it’s so hard to find!!! I love going to farmer markets and it is probably my favorite weekend activity. This thai basil chicken look seriously delish. Will be trying it out soon :)
I loved reading this. I envy anyone who can go to a farmers market daily. I miss that since I’ve moved from NC to the Pacific NW. That said; I’m sure y will be an adjustment for you when you move. ?. Back to the question I wanted to ask you. I’ve never never heard of Thai basil? And I’m guessing I might not be an lento find it and if that is the case, would regular seeet basil be just as fine for this recipe?
Hi Janelle! No worries if you’re unable to find Thai basil (though you can usually find it in most Asian markets), you can just use regular. We hope you enjoy!
This is exactly my type of a dinner! Love the look of Thai basil – never seen it around here though.
Thanks, Julia — we hope you enjoy this!
Looks wonderful. Can I use regular basil. I have a large plant outside my patio.
Love your recipes and the pictures are outstanding.
Thank you, Nan, we hope you enjoy! And yes, you can totally use regular basil for this! :)
Omg this looks delicious! Making me extremely hungry!
This looks healthy and delicious and would make great leftovers.
Thank you, Gerlinde — we hope you enjoy it!
Whoa this looks divine!
Thank you, Sara — we hope you enjoy it! :)
Beautiful chicken and look super delicious!
I will try to prepare it as soon as possible. It looks amazing and this combination of ingredients is awesome. Here I found a lot of interesting ideas for cooking. :)
Thank you, Lina — we hope you enjoy!
Looks good! I’ll try it and post it here.
Wonderful, we hope you enjoy it!
It is wonderful, I hope I will turn out well in the photo. Thank you for the recipe.
Thank you, Jane — we hope you enjoy!
What a great dinner! fabulous flavors and healthy too – everyone in my house is going to like this one!
I love thai basil!! Such a fresh flavor. This looks delicious. All those colorful veggies make me excited for spring and summer produce season. Things are very root veg and potato this time of year in the PNW. I bought a head of broccoli that could have been made of rubber the other day:/ Your veggies look so lively (read: not made of rubber)! I am jealous!
Thank you, Maria — we hope you can try this soon! :)
I made this recipe and it was very fast! I did not go more than 20 minutes.
We’re glad to hear that, Sandra!
Do you think this would freeze well? As I’m trying to pack lunches more often having a quick meal that I could freeze and just take to work would be great.
We think it probably would — we hope you enjoy it!
Thank you for a recipe that was easy to make and so delicious! I plan on making this again for a friend who has fish allergies. Is there a good substitute for fish sauce? Any suggestions on how to make this with more sauce? Adding more soy didn’t work. Thanks!
Hi Fred! If you didn’t care for adding more soy, you could try: (for every 1 tsp of fish sauce: 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce,
2 parts broth to one part soy sauce, or coconut aminios). We hope this helps
Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with your move! Is there a different soy marinade I can make without the fish sauce? I followed the marinade recipe as stated and the entire dish – while extremely flavorful – was just too “fishy” for me. Any suggestions appreciated!
Hi Meg! You can just use extra soy sauce in place of the fish sauce, or you can use worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos. We hope that helps!
I love this recipe, mostly because it seems super quick and simple. I love your stories and really hope you make the most of your remaining time in the town!
Simple and good recipe! Congratulations!
I’ve recently discovered your site and I am so glad I did! Made this thai basil chicken tonight and the whole family loved it :)
I’m currently on maternity leave but looking ahead to when I return to work, I’m particularly interested in quick mid week recipes and big batches I can make at the weekend for the days ahead…looking forward to trawling though your site for more inspiration.
Thank you from this Irish girl x
Thank you for your sweet words, Victoria — we’re so glad you and your family enjoyed this! And enjoy the rest of your maternity leave! :)
Fyi, Thai basil grows SUPER easy in a container garden, as do all the varieties, and it smells scrumptious!. Ditto on the others. Get a seedling and go for it – you’ll have t giant bush before the years out easily :)
OMG! This was soooo good I had to immediately leave a comment! Literally just took the last bite of this dish and can’t wait to make it again. I did have to make one substitution for Serrano Peppers since I couldn’t find any Thai Bird Chilis, but it was still fantastic! Thanks for sharing, and can’t wait for your next recipe!
Thank you so much, Taylor — we’re happy you enjoyed the recipe!
Made this a few minutes ago and it’s very delicious! I didn’t have all the soy sauces at home for the marinade, so I combined black soy, chili sauce and a few drops of hot sauce (sambal). Also was very nice. Also the chili sauce helped caramalize the chicken and veggies a bit which I think adds a lot of dimension to the flavours.
Also used regular basil and regular chiles and served with wholegrain rice. It looked EXACTLY like in the picture :D.
Definitely going to make this again, thanks!
Hi Rick! We’re so glad to hear you enjoyed this, thanks for sharing with us! :)
Made this tonight! So yummy. Kids loved it too.
Awesome, so glad you all enjoyed it!
This is late but I wanted to comment about the fish allergy substitution. You wouldn’t want to use Worcestershire sauce as it contains anchovies. :)
Ahhh, thank you for this Arden, you’re absolutely right — our mistake!
I want to try this. I love thai basil chicken. My only worry is that sometimes fish oil can make things a bit fishy. Do you taste the fish oil much?
Hi Jermaine! Do you mean fish sauce? We feel it’s subtle in this, but if you’re worried, you can use less, or you can just use soy sauce in its place. We hope this helps and that you enjoy the recipe!
So delicious and quick to make. I didn’t have the Thai bird chilies so I used crushed red pepper flakes and it worked great. The only ingredient I didn’t have on hand was the fish sauce but that was readily available at my grocery store.
Thank you, Michele — we’re happy you enjoy it! :)
So delicious and really did take only 20 minutes. The only ingredient I didn’t have was fish sauce. I served over cauliflower rice since I am trying to watch the carbs. I made it for my daughter when I was visiting her in NYC–she loved it too and took it to work for lunch the next couple of days. She will be following the blog too. Keep the great recipes coming!
Thanks, Michele, we’re so happy you and your daughter enjoyed this! :)
I made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly. It was delicious, my husband was mad at restaurants – he said I whipped it up in less than an hour, from start to finish – and it was better than most restaurants! I was afraid of putting five thai chili’s in but it was not too hot – just had a nice pleasant heat to it. Delicious, thank you for the recipe!!!
Thanks for sharing, Cathy, we’re so glad you both enjoyed it!
hey there…just a thought on how you use the basil…it’s typical to ad the basil towards the end, for max flavor…other than that, this is a great dish!
This recipe I realy liked a lot. Gonna try, but the ingredients in Brazil are a little bit hard to find. Let me try. Thanks a lot.
Fast & delicious! Fussy hubby didn’t even realize it was healthy :)
Simple and good recipe, good
This is NOT Thai basil chicken!!!!! Real basil chicken used GROUND chicken, Thai basil leaves, fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce and Thai Chili’s and doesn’t have broccoli, giant chicken chunks, Bell peppers, and looks significantly different than the dish posted. I’m not sure what exactly you made, I’m sure it tastes great but I promise you, it’s definitely NOT Thai anything. Perhaps KC basil chicken is more appropriate
Made this tonight and it was very tasty. I deboned a small pasture-raised chicken and had 2# of meat. Doubled the sauce and used a jalapeño as that is what I had. Served with brown rice. Will make it again and perhaps add some peanuts for crunch.