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Induction Recipe: Thai Basil Chicken with Green Beans

We had a luscious induction cooking livestream webinar yesterday thanks to our hosts Brian Stewart and Joseph Wachunas at Electrify Now! I was so excited to be in the stunning live teaching kitchen at Monark Preminum Appliance in Santa Clara, CA. We had over 170 atendees for the experience. We at Kitchens to Life are thrilled to share our love for electric kitchens and induction cooking.

I cooked one of my favorite quick cooking Thai recipes, Thai Basil Chicken with Green Beans. The recipe can be done with ground meat, minced chicken thigh meat or made with a vegetarian protein (and of course you can leave out the fish sauce). Most of the ingredients are quite readily avaiable except for possibly the Thai basil. You can substitute any basil for Thai basil but if you can get Thai basil, it is exceptional. It is spicy and holds up to cooking, retaining flavor and color. You can add a fried egg on top if you like as cooking eggs on induction is a revelation...

As far as wok cooking on induction is concened, I have a few tips. First, give your wok the "magnet test". If a magnet sticks to the wok, it will work on induction. Secondly, my induction cooking culinary science genius friends, Andre Saldivar (Senior Advisor for the SCE Foodservice Technolgy Center) and John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen (Managing Director for Hestan Smart Cooking) agree with John's statment that "the main thing is to get a good, thick base (wok) to help transfer heat up the sides of the wok". I would add that you should look for a wok with a large flat bottom so more of the wok is in direct contact with the induction surface. Finally, as recommended by chef and food scientist Kenji-Lopez Alt, I cook my larger stir fries in batches (as I do even on high BTU gas). I cook the meats, remove them, cook the vegtables and then and it all back in to the wok with my sauce components. For the recipe below, I have had no problem cooking it all in one big, delicous batch!

Thai Basil Chicken with Green Beans

For the stir-fry:

1 pound of ground chicken or turkey (or one pound of finely chopped chicken thighs or vegetarian protein)

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch x ¼ inch slices

12 ounces of green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 to 3 thinly sliced shallots, approximately ¾ cup

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 to 3 sliced Thai chilies or 2 sliced serrano chiles

1 cup of Thai basil (or Thai Holy basil) or basil, sliced thinly (plus extra for garnish)

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Sauce for Stir Fry: (measure all into small bowl, stir well)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons of oyster sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Optional: 1 tablespoon of garlic chili paste

Optional garnishes:

Fried egg

Sliced lime wedges

Cilantro sprigs

Directions: Induction Cooking Version

1. For induction cooking: Prep all ingredients and measure out the sauce before you begin cooking. Trust me, the cooking happens quickly!

2. Heat a flat-bottomed wok on medium high. The wok will heat quickly so be prepared to reduce the heat if need be. Add the oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the wok and quickly add the bell pepper and green beans*. Toss and cook on high heat for about one minute.

3. Add the chicken or protein and toss to quickly cook, breaking the meat up as you cook for about two minutes.

4. Add the shallot, garlic, and chilies and toss and cook for one minute. Stir prepared sauce again and add to the wok, tossing to coat and cook for another two minutes to thicken the sauce slightly. Turn heat off. (No need to remove wok from induction hob, there is little residual heat.)

5. Toss in the chopped Thai basil and toss to combine. Serve over steamed rice with extra basil on top and optional fried egg, lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

*If you are using very thin green beans (hericot verts), add them in when the chicken is just cooked, cook for one minute and then procced with step #4.

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