Thai Basil Chicken – Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil & Chilies {Gai Pad Kra Pao}


 Try this authentic recipe for Thai Basil Chicken – a Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil and Thai Chillies { Gai Pad Kra Pao | Pad Krapow} for a quick & easy low carb dinner or lunch! 

Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil Thai Basil and Chilies
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Learn to cook authentic Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil & Chilies { Pad Kra Pao Gai | Gai Pad Krapow} for a quick Thai-inspired dinner!

Today, I’ll share with you one of my favourite quick dinner recipes and my go-to dish whenever that craving for Thai food hits me. Gai Pad Kra Pao, also sometimes seen as Gai Pad Krapow. It is basically a spicy chicken stir-fry with either Thai basil or Holy Basil and a lot of Thai chilies.

Thai basil chicken, or pad kra pao gai (ผัดกระเพราไก่ pad ka prao gai), was the first dish I ordered when I visited Thailand for the first time and I found myself craving it so often in the days to follow, that there was hardly a day we didn’t have at least a shared portion of this Thai street food classic.

Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry Pad Kra Pao
Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry is the perfect dish to cook whenever you are a bit pressed for time, but still want something special. It’s actually the perfect recipe to cook for a date you want to impress. There is almost no chopping and peeling involved, the meal comes together in no time and it is almost foolproof! Seriously, you would have to try really hard to screw this easy Thai meal up – it’s that simple.
Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil or Thai Basil and Chilies

Serve Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry {Pad Kra Pao Gai} the authentic way – with steamed rice and a fried egg !

Traditionally, Gai Pad Krapow is served over rice with a fried egg on the side! If you are trying to keep it lean or keto, you can omit the rice and serve it with cauliflower rice or a salad.The list of ingredients for my Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil and Chilies is quite short, but there’s one ingredient I would like explain to you a bit further. You guessed it: Basil.

The use of basil in thai cuisine

There are two types of basil commonly used in Thai Cooking, each one of them slightly different in appearance and flavour. The most known one is Thai Basil ( Horapa) with its sweet anise flavor and looks similar to sweet basil but with purple stems whose color intensifies as the plant grows larger. Its flavor is markedly different from the basil we are used to: Bolder and spicier with a liquorice-y note. It is mosty used for curries. The second, less known basil is Holy Basil (Kaprow). This variety tastes more medicinal, a bit like cloves, and is just as pungent as Thai Basil, which is why it is also known as hot basil. The basil leaves release their full flavor only when cooked and this basi is often used in fish dishes, and to add flavour to stir-fries with meat.

Which basil should I use for my Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry  { Pad Kra Pao Gai } ? Thai Basil or Holy Basil?

 By all means, if you can find Holy Basil, use it! From my experience it is really difficult to get and even most Thai restaurants use Thai Basil instead. If you get lucky and find some holy basil, be prepared that the taste will be a bit more medicinal than Thai Basil so give it a good sniff and let your belly decide whether you like or not. Otherwise, I suggest you go straight for Thai Basil, which adds a fresh, herbal-licorice flavor to our chicken stir-fry. The only no-no for Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry {Gai Pad Kra Pao} is normal sweet basil. Don’t go there for this dish.
I really hope you guys get to try this easy Thai Chicken Stir-Fry! YOu will love how quickly it comes together and the bold flavours of Thai Basil Chicken will impress everyone!
 Want more authentic Southeast Asian | Thai recipes?
Try my Pad Thai or my Chicken Larb

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Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil or Thai Basil and Chilies
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Spicy Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil and Chilies {Gai Pad Kra Pao}

Authentic recipe for Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Chilies { Pad Krapow | Gai Pad Kra Pao}. This easy, healthy Asian recipe with chicken, Thai Basil and chilies is one of the most popular Thai Street Food Dishes! With this recipe, you can create this healthy, protein-rich dish at home!

Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asia, thailand
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 People
Author Kiki Johnson

Ingredients

  • 200 g Yasmin rice
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 8 Garlic cloves
  • 5 Thai Chilies
  • 1 Tbsp Oyster sauce Or fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark soy sauce Or fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Bunch Holy basil or thai basil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Oil Coconut or avocado works well

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package and let rest while you prepare the stir-fry.

  2. Pat the chicken dry with a kitchen towel and cut into very small pieces. The chunks should be just a bit bigger than minced meat. Peel and chop the garlic, halve the chilies (use gloves !!) and scrape out the seeds. Cut chilies into small slices. 

  3. In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce with soy sauce and sugar. Stir well.

  4. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan on medium heat and fry the eggs to your liking. Set aside. You can also fry the eggs at the same time as the chicken, but only if you are reeeeaally good at multitasking! 

  5. Pluck the leaves of the Thai Basil from the stems and gather in a little bowl next to the frying pan.

  6. Heat another 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or skillet on high heat. Add chilies and garlic and stir well. Let fry, stirring, for about 20 seconds or until fragrant! Make sure not to burn the garlic! Add meat and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring all the time, until the meat is almost done.

  7. Add the sauce and give everything a final stir. Mix in the basil leaves, take the pan off the stove and serve immediately alongside rice and fried eggs.

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Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Basil & Thai Chilies { Gai Pad Kra Pao }


20 Comments

  1. Analida @ ethnicspoon.com

    Thai food is truly amazing and my daughter has sent me a few recipes after she was backpacking around Southeast Asia between teaching gigs. I love all the fresh ingredients they use in their dishes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Analida! Oh, I guess she must have become a real connaisseur by then! The freshness of the ingredients is key! Unfortunatly, it is sometimes hard to find that level of freshness in Northamerican grocery stores! Thanks for stopping by

  2. Dominique | Perchance to Cook


    I’m a huge fan of Thai chicken recipes and this one looks really yummy! I love the addition of the egg. I’ve never had it this way. Can’t wait to try!

    • Thanks Dominique! The egg is an addition most Asian restaurants leave out as it is more of a Thai preference but it has really grown on me! I am sure you would like it!

  3. Looks like I need to get my hands on some Thai basil. This recipe looks SO good, and that fried egg is #goals.

  4. Elaine @ Dishes Delish


    Wow. This dish looks so delicious! I love Thai food and want to try my hand at making it! I think I’ll start with your delicious recipe!! I love the egg addition as well!


  5. What a flavorful dish! I do love stir fry’s for quick meals during the week and always like that there’s usually leftovers for lunch the next day.


  6. I love seeing dishes that use basil as a hero ingredient. The flavour combination here is a real winner!


  7. This looks amazing, I love the freshness of Thai cuisine. Even their curries are made from fresh herbs. Saving this one, I bet my Thai-food-loving husband will go crazy for this.

  8. I’m not a big fan of spicy food so could I make this less spicy or would it affect the dish too much?

    • Hi Lynette! You can substitute the chillies with red bell pepper! It will not be quite the same but as most of the flavour comes from the thai basil, it will be just as fragrant! Cheers, Kiki


  9. I loved this recipe! The flavor combination is delicious! Even my picky teen ate it. Bravo!


  10. These photos are gorgeous! We have a favorite restaurant in New Orleans that makes the best Thai food. It always gets me in the kitchen trying to recreate the dish. I know the hubs will love this recipe and I can’t wait to make it soon!

  11. Michelle Blackwood


    I planted Thai basil last year and it was so hardy with a strong smell and flavor. I enjoyed using it in recipes for its unique flavor. Your recipe sounds amazing!


  12. This recipe looks AMAZING and I absolutely love all the protein packed in this dish!!! All the flavors sound delish and I love that you tossed an egg on top!!


  13. Eine tolle Lunch-Idee! Die sieht sehr schmackhaft aus! Vielen Dank für den Tipp! Mein Mann mag asiatische Küche. Die Gewürze könnten den Geschmack der Speise nur entwickeln.

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