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

Coconut chilli chicken stir fry

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
960 Calories
37g Fat
101g Carbs
65g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 960
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 1952mg 85%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 29g 103%
Protein 65g
Calcium 357mg 27%
*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 (cut into strips or bite-size pieces; or 5 to 6 chicken thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 cup purple onion), finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 thumb-size pieces galangal or ginger (thinly sliced into matchsticks)
  • 1 fresh red chili (thinly sliced), or 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 2 cups halved green beans
  • Optional: 2 to 3 makrut lime leaves
  • 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 dried crushed chili (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 Thai coconut chicken chilli
    The Spruce / 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.

    The Spruce / 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.

    Marinate chicken
    The Spruce / 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.

    Onion in wok
    The Spruce / 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.

    Add chicken
    The Spruce / 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.

    Add mushrooms
    The Spruce / 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.

    Add fish sauce
    The Spruce / 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.

    Fresh basil
    The Spruce / 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.