Seafood with Chilli and Holly Basil

This aromatic Thai dish has always been a favourite of my husbands, if he could get away with it, he would order it every time we ate at a Thai restaurant.. Many think that Thai food has to contain coriander to be authentic, but this far from the case. In fact Thai dishes contain many combinations of flavours. Holy basil is one ingredient that is used extensively in Thai cooking, giving food a sharp sweet flavour, it can be found at most East Asian grocers but if you are unable to obtain it use basil instead. This dish is very spicy but if you like you can omit some of the chillies.

6 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes



  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cm ginger or galangal, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stem lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 300g monkfish, sliced into 1.5cm pieces
  • 4-6 crab claws, cracked with the side of a knife
  • 6 green lip mussels on their half shells (sold frozen in boxes from East Asian grocers or individually from many supermarkets in the U. K.) or 6-12 fresh mussels, scrubbed and de bearded
  • 2 small or 1-2 medium squids, prepared (see below)
  • 6 scallops, roe trimmed (optional)
  • 4 birds eye red chillies., finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • a generous handful of holy basil leaves, roughly chopped

To Serve

  • steamed jasmine rice


  1. To Stir-Fry: Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the garlic to the oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger and lemon grass and cook briefly. Stir in the crab claws and allow them to cook for around 5 minutes, turning them half way through (visible flesh should become firm white with a red tinge). Add the mussels and if using fresh ones allow them to cook while stirring regularly until they have all opened (any that don't open discard), if cooking green lips on their half shells simply cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the monkfish pieces to the pan and cook until opaque (1-2 minutes). Stir in the squid and cook 1-2 minutes (the pieces should curl up). Add the scallops and cook for a minute. Stir in all the remaining ingredients and stir so that everything is well combined. Serve.
  2. To Serve: Accompany the "Seafood with Chilli and Holy Basil" with steamed jasmine rice.
  • Squid: Clean the squid, remove the quell, innards, beak and eyes, and peel off the outer skin. Cut the squid bodies so that they are laid out flat. Make criss cross cuts in the inside part of the body. Cut the squid into squares and triangles 3-4 cm long. Leave the tentacles whole