2-3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil for stir-frying
10-12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 shallots, slice thinly (optional)
1 lb boneless breast, sliced thinly crosswise
12-20 Thai chillies (prik kee noo), cut into very thin rounds; or substitute 4-6 serrano, jalapeño or fresno peppers, cut into large slivers with seeds.
2-3 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam bplah)
2 tbsp sugar
1 c fresh Thai basil (bai gks-prow) or Thai sweet basil (bai horapa) leaves and flower buds; or use 1/4 cup dried holy basil soaked to soften plus 1/2 to 1 cup fresh Thai sweet basil.
Dash of ground white pepper
Heat wok until its surface is smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the work surface. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then stir in the garlic, followed a few seconds later with the shallots or onion.
Stir another 15 to 20 seconds before adding the chicken. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until most of the chicken has changed color on the outside and is no longer pink.
Toss in the chillis, Stir-fry another 1/2 to 1 minute, or until the basil is wilted and the chicken coocked through. Sprinkle with the pepper.
Stir and transfer to a serving dish, or spoon directly over individual plates of plain steamed rice.
Serves 6 to 8 with other dishes in a shared family-style meal.