Chicken, Bok Choy and Basil Stir-Fry

August 27, 2013

Chicken, Bok Choy and Basil Stir-Fry

This recipe was passed to me from my good friend Ratana.
Ratana is a whiz kid, die-hard fashionista, compassionate human being AND awesome cook.
She’s half Thai and half Chinese but 100% American (if you know what I mean...)
Her dinner parties are legendary. When you get an invitation from her, you know you’re up for a real treat.
In my opinion, when you pair passion for cooking with traditional family recipes, greatness comes out. And that’s Ratana's cooking, pure bliss.
There are many dishes Ratana makes that I love (well, probably all) but her chicken bok choy stir-fry has to be my fave. The only adjective that can properly describe it, is mouthwatering. That good.
When I do compliment her about it, she smirks at me and tells me: “If you knew how quick and easy it is to make...”
Because yeah...Ratana is one of those people who doesn’t shares her recipes. I think she sworn to her mum that she would never do it, or something like it. Bummer.

Bok Choy

However, things change. And the other day she called me up and said “Hey Mike two months ago I registered for a half marathon. I’ve been training quite hard as I want to complete it in less than 1 hour 40 minutes but I can’t seem to get anywhere near that. Can you help me out?”
BOOM! Just what I was waiting for.
I told her that I was more than happy to help; and that if I have to run the half marathon along side her, so that she can reach her goal, I would.
But in return she had to give me the chicken + bok choy stir-fry recipe and - in addition - I could share it on TheIronYou.
All right then” she conceded.
About 30 minutes later I got an email from her with the full recipe.
I hurried up to the grocery store, bought all the ingredients needed and got busy in the kitchen knocking up this delicious recipe. In a wee bit-of-time I could finally enjoy Ratana’s awesome chicken bok choy stir-fry in my own kitchen. Hurray!

Chicken, Bok Choy and Basil Stir-Fry

As anticipated by Ratana making this dish is really simple and quick. It takes about 20 minutes; which is great especially during the week, when you get back home from work late and you need to whip up dinner (for a hungry family) at the end of the day.
Serve it with some cauliflower rice or sweet potato mash on the side and you’ll get a balanced and nutritious meal.

Chicken, Bok Choy and Basil Stir-Fry Chicken, Bok Choy and Basil Stir-Fry                                                                    Print this recipe! 
Adapted from Ratana’s family cookbook
I just added a few paleo friendly options such as coconut aminos and arrowroot powder; but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
1 ½ teaspoons coconut aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder*
1 garlic clove, minced
3 boneless, skinless free-range organic chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 red chiles, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup thinly sliced bok choy stems
1 cup thinly sliced bok choy greens
handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
juice of 1 lime

*arrowroot powder acts like cornstarch, I found it at Whole Foods in the spice section


In a large bowl mix fish sauce, soy sauce, arrowroot powder, garlic and ginger. Add chicken, toss to coat and set aside to marinate.
Heat the olive oil in a wok (or a large nonstick skillet) over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer add onion and chiles. Stir-fry the onions until they start to brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Stir in the bok choy stems and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until it’s nearly cooked through about 6 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in bok choy greens, basil and lime juice. And stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, until the greens are wilted. Serve immediately.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs and 22 grams of protein.


  1. Yes please I would like 2 servings! Delicious : )

  2. Half marathon training in exchange for this recipe sounds like a fair trade!
    The pairing of the fish and soy sauce with the caramelized oninons and chicken is making my mouth water! Throw in all the other ingredients and oops - serious droolfest!
    Thanks for sharing this one!
    Shashi @

  3. You sneaky little one, you! But hey... I'd have conceded the recipe too to have you as a trainer / half marathon partner!

    Thanks for fighting this fight for us and being such a trooper. I hope you guys kill this half marathon in an hour and a half time!

    This dish looks to die for, btw... but since I can't get my hands on that red boat fish sauce, I might have to add that to my special "All American" order! ;)

    1. No Red Boat fish sauce, no Omghee, no....what else you don't get in Canada Sonia?
      There's whole load of stuff I need to smuggle for you then ;)

    2. You couldn't even start to imagine... So many good things are so darn impossible to get across the border, ESPECIALLY here in Québec!

      Clearly, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. I may use and abuse you without shame or restrain, you poor thing... Still time to back out, you know!

      Oh, and don't forget mate... I have dibs on that one bite, there. It's totally mine. Mine, mine, mine! :)

  4. Made this last night: sooooo good! Thanks for sharing

  5. perfect recipe for my dinner...amazing

  6. Oh yes please, this looks super healthy and nice. This would be perfect after a great workout..

    1. I agree to you Asha. I would also want to try this recipe, because I really love eating healthy foods. I wish I could find more recipe like this so that I can cook lots of delicious dishes.

      Beef Stir Fry

  7. So I just made this for dinner and IT WAS A WINNER. I swapped olive oil for coconut oil and arrowroot starch for a scant tsp. of coconut flour and used 2 dried chillies. SO GOOD. My only critique is that it's so good that it probably wouldn't serve 4 people.