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Mar 22, 2013 10:39 AM

Serving suggestions for Thai Basil chicken other than rice?

I plan to make Thai Basil chicken this weekend and would rather not have it with rice so am looking for another alternative. I pondered lettuce wraps but I think SO and I both would prefer a hands off substitute. Do you think it would work as a salad or perhaps over a bed of sauteed greens or cabbage? I'm not looking for completely no carb recipes, but probably something in the veggie category to amp the volume.

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  1. How about a shredded cabbage and rice noodle bed? Or even cabbage and soba noodles?
    Maybe throw in some peanuts for crunch. Oh, and add scallions too!

    10 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      I always put extra veggies in my thai basil chicken, totally non traditional but works well. I like peppers, green beans and savoy or asian cabbage. I just have to make sure I increase the 'sauce' significantly. I serve over rice. I could see it with rice noodles, glass noodles or maybe even chow mein or udon. I like the quinoa idea.

      1. re: cleopatra999

        Great, I planned to use peppers and green beans. Do you cook the green beans ahead? Also how many chilis do you usually use? I love spice but am not very familiar with the ingredient.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Green beans are great as a bed for a saucy dish. I don't use chiles, (as my saucy element is usually the spice-bearer) but saute to crisp-tender, then give them just a little bit of sesame oil to flavor.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I like my green beans crisp so I don't pre cook. If you like more tender it wouldn't hurt to blanche them.

            I vary the chilis, usually at least 3 or 4 thai red chilis. I chop up the garlic, shallots and chili then throw in a mortar and grind up further. This goes directly into my hot wok followed shortly after by meat then 'sauce' then veggies, taste and add more sauce if needed, then basil, and I like lots of basil (unfortunately I have no access to Thai basil. The sweet is fine)

            this is the recipe I started with, but it is mostly committed to memory now. I almost never use ground meat, usually chicken breast that I slice really thin/small.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Yes, I am quite the basil fanatic and SO is biting his nails in fear that I'll throw in way too much :)

              Do you just not prefer ground meat? I have both on hand and was debating but I think I prefer sliced/diced chicken to ground which is actually what our local place uses but it seems that a lot of the recipes suggest ground meat.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                fldkhy - too much basil? huh? that means nothing to me.

                I also prefer ground over sliced chicken (just sometimes hard to find) a pork/turkey mix subs in well.

                I realize this is after the fact, but rolled in VN rice paper, like a Summer "fresh" roll could work next time.

                1. re: hill food

                  Yup, it doesn't exist in my book either but SO likes to kid. Actually tonight even with 2 cups, I think next time I'll add more. Thanks for the idea, sounds refreshing with a nice dipping sauce.

                2. re: fldhkybnva

                  I too notice they all call for ground. I have tried both and prefer the sliced. I like chicken best too.

          2. re: monavano

            A big second on monavano's suggestion of cabbage. I use sauteed cabbage ribbons as noodles a lot with Thai flavors and have been so happy with the combination. Pad Thai with cabbage as the "noodles" has become our preferred interpretation of the dish, for example.

            1. re: cayjohan

              Thanks for the suggestion, I love love cabbage and have to restrain myself from eating the entire head at one time because my gut bacteria also love it

          3. I would just stir-fry some veggies with garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger. Top with nuts, soy sauce, and dark sesame oil. Simple and delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sandylc

              Oooh, this sounds like a great idea!

            2. + on the veggies increase. How about serving on cellophane noodles (bean noodles). You know, the ones that puff up when you put them in hot oil. You can make little nests for fun. Or not. Maybe just use for a crunchy sprinkle on top.

              1. Do you like "cauliflower rice"?


                I use that most of the time instead of rice for Korean and Thai foods. I think it goes well (plain) with spicy foods. Of course you can also "dress it up" for any type of cuisine, parsley, cilantro, peppers, whatever.

                7 Replies
                1. re: sedimental

                  I'm not sure I've tried it but it's very intriguing.

                  1. re: sedimental

                    I have been recently intrigued by cauliflower as a lower carb substitute. Do you find that when mixed in it absorbs a lot of liquid?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      No. Not like actual rice. It does allow you to eat a sauce with it though. I mean the sauce gets scooped up with the rice just fine, but it doesn't really "absorb"the sauce. I think it works best with thicker sauces like cream sauces, pesto sauces, tomato sauces or sauces that have been thickened a bit, rather than thinner pan sauces/butter sauces.

                      1. re: sedimental

                        I have noticed a lot of play lately with roasted or grilled cauliflower. often chopped after cooking into rice size particles.

                        I tried smoking some on the grill not too long ago, it was an experiment less than 100% effective. I'll have to try again (shrug). I liked it but the grumpus contingent wasn't so keen.

                        1. re: hill food

                          I'm with you in this club I guess. I was going to use the cauliflower rice as rice, but alas I decided to try out the cauliflower crust pizza. Well, I just enjoyed a lovely pizza...the toppings, that is. The soggy flobby crust was rapidly discarded.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            You have to let the cauliflower get really dry to do the pizza crust successfully. Leave it in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge all day and then lay it out on paper towels for a while. Also, if you use Parmesan for at least 1/3 of the cheese in the cruse it will be crispier on the bottom. It takes some playing with but you CAN get a crispy cauliflower pizza crust that you can hold with one hand.

                            I also let my cauliflower "rice" dry quite a bit before using it with sauces. Cauliflower holds an insane amount of water.

                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                              OK, great thanks for the tip. I went through probably 20 kitchen towels wringing it out but I guess that wasn't enough. I mixed Parmesan and Mozzarella. The worst part was that the flavor of the crust with the cheese and my favorite crust seasoning mix was great, but the texture was awful. I was planning to give up on that idea but maybe I'll try it again. I'm also a pizza overpiler so perhaps that won't work with crust and I'll have to save it for flour crusts.

                              What's your best method for just the rice? Would you just use it for recipes which don't have much liquid as it'll get soggy or does it work for like stir fry or stews as well?

                  2. This snap pea recipe is my "go to" whenever I need a side for an asiany dish... I've done it with fresh green beans as well. Super easy and delicious.

                    Along similar lines, these garlic green beans are good too:

                    Lastly, I've had this one saved for awhile, but I have not made it: The 2 reviews from people who have actually made it sound promising though.