Thai Chicken Stir-Fry With Coconut, Chili, and Lime

Thai chicken stir-fry with vegetables and garnished with basil

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
376 Calories
19g Fat
22g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 376
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 1294mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 79mg 395%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 795mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Thai chicken stir-fry is authentic and easy to make, with a no-fail stir-fry sauce that pleases every palate. The recipe is versatile, so you can alter it according to how many people you're cooking for, or the types of vegetables you have on hand. It's a saucy stir-fry with the spicy-salty-sweet flavors of Thai cuisine coming through beautifully, and makes a quick and delicious dinner, perfect served over rice.


  • 2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts, or 5 to 6 chicken thighs, cut into strips or bite-size pieces

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup chopped purple onion

  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 thumb-size pieces galangal or ginger, thinly sliced into matchsticks

  • 1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced, or 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon dried chile flakes

  • 2 cups halved green beans

  • 2 to 3 makrut lime leaves, optional

  • 7 to 8 shiitake or other type mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips

  • A generous handful of fresh basil

Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chile (chili flakes)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

For Serving:

  • Thai Jasmine rice or noodles

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Ingredients for no-coconut Thai chicken stir-fry recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients together, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Taste-test; you're looking for spicy-salty-sweet flavors balanced with the rich taste of the coconut milk. Adjust these flavors to suit your taste, adding more lime juice if too salty or sweet.

    Ingredients for stir-fry sauce combined in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour over 1/4 cup of the stir-fry sauce, or enough to coat the chicken. Toss well and set aside.

    Boneless chicken pieces marinating in stir-fry sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the shallot or onion, garlic, galangal or ginger, and chili. Stir-fry until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Shallot, garlic, ginger, and chile being stirred in a frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the chicken, green beans, and lime leaves (if using). Stir-fry 5 to 6 minutes or until cooked, adding more of the stir-fry sauce as you go.

    Chicken, green beans, and lime leaves being stirred into the mixture in the frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the mushrooms, red pepper, and enough stir-fry sauce to keep the ingredients moist and simmering. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have turned bright in color but still retain some crispness.

    Mushrooms and stir-fry sauce being stirred into the mixture in the frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Reduce the heat to low and do a final taste-test, adding a little more fish sauce if you'd like more flavor or saltiness, or more lime juice if too salty or sweet.

    Fish sauce and lime juice added to the dish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Top with a sprinkling of fresh basil and more fresh-cut chili, if desired. Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice or noodles. Enjoy.

    Thai chicken stir-fry garnished with basil leaves, a bowl of rice to the side

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • A successful stir-fry is a result of following a few steps, such as making sure your pan is very hot, the meat is room temperature, and not crowding the pan.
  • Depending on how many vegetables you're using, you may have leftover sauce. You can store it for 5 days in a covered jar or another container in your refrigerator for future stir-fries, such as a vegetable side dish (broccoli, green beans, and/or bok choy work well), or shrimp or tofu stir-fry.