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Thai Basil Chicken
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4.63 from 8 votes

Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)

Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai) is a super fast minced chicken stir-fry in rich, spicy brown sauce with Thai holy basil. This dish is great served over rice with a wok-fried egg on top.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: easy Thai recipe, thai chicken, Thai main dish
Servings: 2
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00

Equipment

  • Wok

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Sweet Thai Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Light Thai Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Oyster Sauce

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 - 6 Thai Bird's Eye Chilis (these are very spicy; adjust according to your spice tolerance)
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil (a neutral oil like canola, vegetable, or avocado oil work well)
  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, finely chopped (sub ground chicken, see note)
  • 20 leaves Thai Holy Basil (see note)

For Serving:

  • Cooked Rice (cooked Thai Jasmine Rice is great here)
  • Wok Fried Eggs (check out the recipe here)
  • Fish Sauce

Instructions

  • In a mortar and pestle, grind the chilis and garlic until they are in rough pieces, but haven’t quite formed a paste. (Note: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle or prefer not to use them, you can finely chop the chilis and garlic. Be careful when handling Bird’s Eye Chilis - they can sting your fingers and anything you touch; these are best handled while wearing gloves.) Set aside.
  • Combine sweet Thai soy sauce, light Thai soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Set sauce aside.
  • Heat cooking oil in a wok over high heat.
  • When oil is hot, add chilis and garlic and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute.
  • Add chicken, stirring until chicken is nearly cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Pour sauce into wok and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce reduces and has coated the chicken.
  • Stir in basil until it is wilted, about 1 minute more.
  • Serve over rice with fried egg on top and extra fish sauce on the side.

Notes

Sauce substitute - If you don’t have access to the Thai ingredients listed in this sauce, you can still make a very good version of Thai Basil Chicken. Instead of the sauce listed above, try this version that uses common grocery store ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp Granulated (white) Sugar
  • 1 tsp Light Brown Sugar
 
Bird’s Eye Chilis - Don’t have access to Bird’s Eye Chilis? Try using red jalapeno peppers or use dried Red Pepper Flakes for the spice.
Chicken Breast - For an authentic texture in this dish, chop the chicken yourself into small pieces, roughly the size of peas. To save time, you can also use store-bought ground chicken, though you won’t get the authentic texture that is used in authentic Thai versions of the dish.
Thai Holy Basil - You’ll find Thai varieties of basil in two versions. “Thai Basil” has smooth leaves and is slightly sweet and citrusy. “Thai Holy Basil” has rough leaves and has a flavor that is peppery and and a bit sour. For authentic Thai Basil Chicken, you must use Thai Holy Basil. That said, I’ve made it with regular Thai Basil, and I still think it’s great. I feel confident that you’ll love the result with either of these varieties. You cannot make this dish with the Italian-style basil that is sold in most American grocery stores.

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 1185mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg