Tagliatelle with Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

Hello everyone! Glad to be back after my long absence from blogging! Hope you guys are doing well. 🙂

I’d like to thank you for all the well wishes received during my absence. Because of the accident, I’m staying off driving for now and have been taking bus rides and catching a lift from friends here and there. Definitely feel like a teenager waiting to get his/ her driving licence. Hopefully I’ll gain my confidence back. This sucks big time!

At least, what doesn’t suck is this pasta dish! 😛

Thai basil chicken is one of my favourite Thai dishes and it’s a dish that make me proud of my ability in Thai cooking, hehe! I love mine to be super garlicky and spicy to complement the pungent fish sauce balanced with the sweet scented basil. Seriously, the moment you add the fish sauce, you begin to doubt whether this is going to be good (due to the smell of fish sauce that one may find unpleasant). But all the unnecessary concern is evaporated when basil is added towards the end. Well, this is how I feel everytime I make this dish.

Anyway,  I hope you’ll like this pasta version – a minor twist to my favourite dish.  🙂

ps: This recipe is also being featured in the HomeAway.co.uk under the Travel Cookbook section. Thank you HomeAway.co.uk!

Tagliatelle with Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

(A Fuss Free Cooking Recipe)


  • 250g tagliatelle (or any flat long egg pasta is preferred)
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 bunch of basil – about 160g / 6 oz (weight includes stalks)
  • 1 large carrot  – about 260g / 9 oz (weight before peeling)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies (caution: they are EXTREMELY HOT!!!!) – otherwise, try with 1 fresh chilli instead but you’ll lose the “chilli fragrance” you’ll get with bird’s eye chillies.
  • 3 to 4 tbsps of fish sauce
  • 2 to 3 tbsps of sweet soy sauce
  • 17 times grinding of black pepper ( I KNOW IT’S A LOT BUT DEFINITELY NECESSARY! :))
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Recently boiled hot water for the  pasta
  • Salt for cooking the pasta


  • Pour hot water into a large pot, add salt and let it continue to simmer. (This is to get yourself ready to cook the pasta at the later stage of this cooking process.)
  • Get your tagliatelle, chicken mince, basil (removed from stalks and washed) and sauces ready and within your close reach. (Generally, making stir frys is  a swift process and it’s always a good idea to get all the ingredients close by before the wok action begins! lol)

  • Slice the carrot lenghtwise, followed by chopping of garlic and chillies. I think it helps to go in this order by chopping the chillies last to avoid touching the seeds by accident  (it would be a traumatic experience for contact lens wearer!)

  • Heat 2 tbsps (or less if you use a non-stick pan) in a wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot (it sizzles when you try with a tiny piece of carrot), add the carrots to the wok and fry for a 1 minute.

  • This is followed by garlic and chillies and stir gently to combine ( this is can be done over low to medium heat –  you want to wake up the garlicky aroma without burning the garlic).

  • When some garlic bits start to become slightly golden brown….like the photo below…

  • Add in the mince chicken and toss to combine. While waiting for the chicken to be 80% cooked, I threw the pasta into the SALTED boiling water. As per packet instruction, it takes about 10 minutes to cook the pasta. But I undercooked it by 2 minutes (so the total pasta cooking time was down to 8 minutes instead). To make sure I don’t forget the time, I’ve used the oven timer as a reminder  to ensure I didn’t overcook the pasta.

  • When the chicken is about 80% cooked (looked something like the photo below), add 3 tbsps of fish sauce, 2 tbsps of sweet soy sauce, 1 tsp of brown sugar and lots of black pepper (I grinded the pepper mill about 17 times :P). Stir to combine all the ingredients and cook them until the chicken is 100% cooked.

  • Add in the cooked pasta (drained, of course!) and toss to combine everything. Taste the noodles if you wish to add more fish sauce or sweet soy sauce (or both). For me, I’ve added an extra  tbsp of fish sauce and sweet soy sauce.

  • Turn off the heat and add in the basil.

  • Toss gently to combine the basil with the noodles. I prefer to wilt the basil slightly rather than “cooking” it over direct heat. Therefore this should be done with the heat off.

  • Serve immediately…..


Meat Recipes, Poultry. permalink.

14 thoughts on “Tagliatelle with Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

  1. Wow, this looks awesome! I bought a bottle of fish sauce a few months ago and have been too scared to open it…however, this dish might just help me overcome my fear. It looks just like the noodles I like at our delish local Thai place. Thanks so much for the step by step….beautiful finished product 🙂

    • Well, fish sauce doesn’t bite, haha! And therefore, you shouldn’t be scared of it…. 😛
      Thanks for your lovely comment and I hope you’ll enjoy the dish when you make it. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions and the great-sounding recipe. I especially appreciate that you included the number of pepper grinder turns — too often, a recipe will specify an amount (like 1 teaspoon) and then I have to guess at how many grinds that is. This way, I can just count to 17. Hooray!

    I can’t wait to try it!

    • Hi Sarah,
      I was hesistant about using this “unconventional” measurement in this recipe…haha! But I’m glad you find it useful as I do agree with you about the common tsp measurement for pepper…too hard to estimate sometimes.. Anyway I hope you will enjoy this dish. 🙂

  3. Hi,

    The recipe sounds lovely, but I can’t cook poultry/meat with fish sauce.

    Can you suggest a substitute?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Shoshana,

      Firstly, thanks for leaving me a comment! 🙂

      To substitute the poultry, I would recommend you substitute with a block of firm tofu or a 200g (7 oz)-300g (10 oz) of sliced white button mushrooms + a handful of vegetables like broccoli, baby sweet corns, sugar snaps and/or snow peas.

      I hope this helps. 🙂


      • First of all thanks. But my problem was not the poultry but rather the fish sauce.

        Do you have a substitute for the fish sauce?


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