What is Thai Basil Chicken?
One of my favorite dishes at Thai restaurants is the spicy Thai basil chicken rice plate—perfectly steamed and fluffy jasmine rice coupled with ground chicken meat infused with aromatic Thai basil leaves.
Also known as Gai Pad Krapow, this basil chicken was delicious, with a fine balance of fiery, hot, and savory. I just love this dish.
Main Ingredients for Basil Chicken
- Ground Chicken
- Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies
- Thai Basil Leaves (spicy basil)
- Fish sauce
For the basil leaves, if you can find royal basil leaves in your farmers market, use them. Otherwise, use Asian basil leaves with purple stems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Healthy?
This recipe is decently healthy, with only 250 calories per serving.
Can you use regular basil instead of Thai basil?
Thai basil is obviously the best basil leaf to use for this recipe. However, if necessary, you can also use sweet basil. You may be able to replicate the intensity of the herb by just using more of it than you would use the Thai basil.
Serve Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow) with:
For a wholesome Thai dinner, make the following dishes.
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Thai Basil Chicken Recipe (Gai Pad Krapow)
Thai Basil Chicken - super easy and authentic recipe made with ground chicken, Thai basil and chilies. Gai Pad Krapow is great with rice.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 10 oz ground chicken
- 6 bird's eye chilies, chopped and pounded with a mortar and pestle, or 1-2 fresh jalapeno cut into slivers
- 1 1/4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar or sugar to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon kecap manis or sweet soy sauce
- 1 bunch Thai basil leaves, lower stems removed
- 3 dashes white pepper
Add the oil into a heated wok, follow by the chopped garlic and shallots. Stir fry the garlic and shallots until aromatic, then add the ground chicken into the wok. Use the spatula to quickly stir-fry and break the ground chicken meat into small lumps.
When the chicken meat changes color, toss in the chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, and sweet soy sauce. Stir to combine well. Add in the basil leaves and do a few quick stirs until the basil leaves wilted and you smell the exotic fragrance of the basil leaves. Add the white pepper into the dish, do a final stir, dish out and serve immediately.
If you love Thai food, you should check out my authentic and popular Thai recipes on Rasa Malaysia. You can also serve Thai basil chicken as lettuce wraps, it tastes great with the fresh lettuce and Thai sweet chili sauce.