Thai Lime Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe

Thai lime chicken stir fry
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  • 01 of 10

    Gather Your Ingredients.

    Frozen Lime Leaves (purchased at an Asian Food Store). D.Schmidt

    For a one-page printable version of this recipe, see: Lime Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe.

    Note: Kaffir Lime Leaves are needed for this recipe (there are no substitutions). Look for them in the fresh or freezer sections of your local Asian/Chinese food store. Some supermarkets are also starting to sell them in the fresh herbs section!

    Gather Together Your Ingredients

    • 4-5 chicken breasts or thighs
    • 2 bell peppers (red and green, or other colors)
    • 1/3 cooking onion
    • handful of fresh basil leaves (to serve)
    • 2 Tbsp....MORE oil (such as coconut or canola) for stir-frying


    • 3 spring onions, sliced
    • 1 fresh red chili (or more if you want it ultra spicy)
    • 6-8 [kaffir] lime leaves
    • 4 cloves garlic (or 1/2 Tbsp. bottled pureed garlic)
    • 1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
    • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian/Chinese food stores)
    • 1/2 loose cup fresh basil leaves
    • 2 Tbsp. coconut, canola, olive, or other healthy, good-tasting oil
    • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian/Chinese food stores)
    • 1 tsp. brown sugar
    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    Rinse the Lime Leaves under Hot Water.

    Rinsing the Lime Leaves. D.Schmidt

    Thai Lime leaf, also known as 'kaffir lime leaf', is not merely the leaf from a lime tree. Kaffir lime is actually more of a shrub. The limes they produce have very bumpy skin and aren't eaten - only the leaves are edible. Some gourmet-style supermarkets are starting to sell fresh lime leaves in the herbs section. If you can't find them there, look for them at your local Asian food store (either fresh or in the freezer section).

    If using frozen lime leaves: briefly rinse them...MORE under hot water to quickly thaw them and release their wonderful aroma. Shake off excess water.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Cut the Lime Leaf away from the Stem.

    Removing the Lime Leaf Stems. D.Schmidt

    Using a sharp knife, cut the leaf away from the central stem. Discard the stem.

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Prepare the Paste.

    Preparing the Paste. D.Schmidt

    If you have a food processor or small chopper: Place all paste ingredients, including the prepared lime leaves, in your chopper (pictured here) or food processor.

    If using a pestle & mortar: Cut the lime leaves into thin strips. Leave out the liquid ingredients. Pound all other ingredients until finely minced and mashed together, then add the liquids and stir to blend.

    Other method: Finely mince all ingredients by hand and stir together.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Process to a Fine Paste

    Fragrant Thai Paste. D.Schmidt

    Process well to create a fragrant Thai paste. Set aside.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Prepare Other Ingredients.

    Preparing the Bell Peppers. D.Schmidt

    Chop the bell peppers into bite-size pieces. Do the same for the chicken. Also roughly chop the cooking onion.

    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Stir-Fry the Onion, then Add the Chicken.

    Stir-Frying the Onion. D.Schmidt

    Place a large wok or frying pan over medium to high heat.

    Add 2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the onion. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the chicken. Continue stir-frying for another 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is well cooked.

    Stir-Frying Tip: Whenever your wok/frying pan becomes dry, add a little water (1 Tbsp. at a time) instead of more oil. This will save you unnecessary calories and fat.

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Add the Bell Peppers.

    lime chicken stir fry step 8
    Adding the Bell Peppers. D.Schmidt

    Add the bell pepper pieces and continue stir-frying another minute or two, until the peppers have softened slightly and are bright in color.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Add the Paste.

    chicken stir fry step 9

    Turn heat down to medium. Add the paste and stir in well.

    Taste-test the stir-fry, adding more fish sauce instead of salt, if needed. If too salty for your taste, add more lime or lemon juice. If you'd like it spicier (hotter), add another 1/2 to 1 fresh-cut chili. If you'd like more 'sauce', add a few Tbsp. chicken stock, coconut milk, or cream.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Serve the Chicken Stir-Fry and ENJOY!

    Lime Chicken Stir Fry
    Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Lime Leaf and Fresh Basil: Tantalize Your Taste-buds!. Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt, 04/23/10

    Serve the stir-fry with rice and a little fresh basil sprinkled over.