A restaurant-style Thai Basil Chicken, aka Pad Krapow Gai or Gai Pad Krapow. This stir-fry recipe is a classic Thai Dish, insanely delicious, very quick to make and inexpensive.
Thai Basil Chicken
Thai Basil Chicken or Pad Kra Pao Gai is one of the most popular Thai street food recipes. It simply means stir-fried holy basil chicken. You can easily find this on the menu at any Thai restaurant. It’s usually served on rice and with an additional topping of fried egg.
This Thai Basil Chicken is made with freshly chopped chicken breast, Thai Basil (known as Holy Basil) and seasoned well with a homemade stir-fry sauce. The savory stir fry sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar.
Check out more Thai recipes:
- GREEN PAPAYA SALAD (SOM TAM)
- THAI SALAD DRESSING (THAI PEANUT SAUCE)
- THAI RED CURRY CHICKEN
- THAI LEMONGRASS SOUP
- EASY LARB RECIPE WITH CHICKEN
To elevate the flavor of the Thai chicken dish, it’s very important to add some garlic and Thai red chilies. I also added a few shallots because when cooked, they can add a mild and slightly sweet flavor to the dish.
Thai Basil or Holy Basil
Thai Basil is commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese Cuisine. Thai Basil goes well with seafood, pork, or chicken. In Thai cuisine, there are three main types of basil used in cooking: Thai Sweet Basil (Ho-rapa ใบโหระพา), Thai Lemon Basil ( ใบแมงลัก), and Holy Basil (gapow กะเพรา).
For this Thai Basil Chicken recipe, I highly recommend using Holy Basil. It has a spicy, peppery, clove-like taste. Thai holy basil or Tulsi, is widely used in India for culinary, medicinal, and religious purposes.
You can find Thai Basil or Holy Basil at most Asian supermarkets. I understand that many of us may not have access to Holy Basil. For that reason, regular Italian Basil or Thai Sweet Basil will work just fine.
Oyster Sauce is a common condiment used in Asian cooking, especially for stir-fry recipes. It’s a dark brown condiment made from oyster extracts, sugar, salt, and water, then thickened with corn starch. It has a sweet and savory sauce with a deep, earthy flavor. You can purchase oyster sauce at any grocery store or specialty market.
Check out more Southeast Asia Recipes:
- NASI GORENG RECIPE (INDONESIAN FRIED RICE)
- ACAR TIMUN (INDONESIAN PICKLED CUCUMBERS)
- TAMARIND BEEF CURRY
- CHICKEN CURRY WITH INDIAN SPICES
- CHICKEN CURRY WITH INDIAN SPICES
- BEST VEGAN CURRY RECIPE WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Fish sauce is a sweet, salty, fishy condiment. It’s better than it sounds! It is a staple ingredient for seasoning in many Southeast Asian cuisines and adds umami-flavor (or savory flavor) to any dish from stir fry to the soup.
There are Fish Sauce varieties available in the market. For this recipe, I highly recommend using Thai fish sauce. It’s known for having a saltier and more pungent flavor than Vietnamese fish sauce.
If you are not a big fan of fish sauce, feel free to skip it but you may need to adjust the seasoning. As always I listed all the ingredients I used on this and every other recipe I make as a guide for you. Feel free to adjust the amount of seasoning according to your taste.
Thai Red Chili Peppers:
This chicken dish recipe called for 7 Thai Red Chili Peppers. I used the whole chili and didn’t remove the seeds. It gives a bit of a spicy flavor and vibrant color to the dish. You can use less or more according to your liking.
I also ground the peppers along with garlic by using a mortar. If you don’t have a mortar, you can finely chop the garlic and peppers or using a food processor.
Thai Basil Chicken or Pad Kra Pao Gai is one of the most popular Thai street food recipes. It simply means stir-fried holy basil chicken.
- 1 pound chicken breast (remove fat and excess skin)
- 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup Thai Holy Basil (stems removed)
- 7 garlic cloves
- 2 small shallots
- 5-7 whole Thai red chili peppers (use more or less according to your liking)
- 2 tbsp chicken broth
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp dark soy sauce
- 1½ – 1¾ tsp sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- white or brown rice
- 2-3 Fried Eggs
Pound the chilies, garlic, and shallots in a mortar. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk in broth, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar until well combined. Set aside.
Cut chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Drizzle in oil. When the pan is hot, add the chilies and garlic paste. Keep stirring to prevent burning for about 15-20 seconds.
Add the chicken into the wok/skillet. Stir fry until it loses its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the stir fry sauce, cook and stir until sauce begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and evenly coated with the sauce.
Turn off the heat and stir in the basil. Keep stirring until basil is wilted, about 20 seconds. Serve with rice and fried eggs.
Oyster Sauce: Available at Target, Sprouts, Walmart, Ralph’s, and Asian supermarkets.
Holy Basil or Thai Basil: Mostly available at Asian supermarkets.
Thai Red Peppers: You can find these peppers at Walmart superstore, Ralph’s, Sprout’s and Asian supermarkets.