Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry is a quick and easy dish that is incredibly flavorful. Served alongside steamed rice it's perfect for weeknight dinners - much better and faster than take-out.
This popular Thai stir fry is one I've only recently discovered for myself. Why it took me so long? I don't know - because it is really awesome!
It is spicy, savory, saucy with something like a coolness from all the basil. If you are making it at home, it is also super quick. Thai stir fries are really awesome for weeknight dinners. High heat, thinly cut meat + veggies, and lots of stirring result in a delicious meal, that is on the table faster than the delivery guy at your door.
The very first time I had Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry it was made with sliced red chili peppers in it. I love the heat the chili imparts into the sauce but I am still not used to too much heat. So I make sure to pick out the chili slices.
The next time I tried Pad Krapao Gai (Thai name for Basil Chicken) it was made with green chili pepper slices. Which I didn't realize until I had a very spicy mouthful. For the remainder of the meal, I took great care to pick out green chili pieces from all the green basil and long bean pieces.
Yes, my version of Holy Basil Chicken includes long beans - because this is the way everyone here in Chiang Mai makes this dish. Any other recipe I've seen online, doesn't have it. Which leads me to believe this a Chiang Mai/Northern Thai spin. I've fully embraced it - extra veggies are never a bad thing in my books.
Thai holy basil is the variety that is used traditionally for this recipe. Try to use this kind if you can. It has a unique peppery taste. Only if you absolutely cannot find holy basil, you can substitute a different kind.
I love the sauciness of this stir fry. Extra sauce is perfect to moisten the rice served with it. We use our favorite red rice blend at home. My popular Thai Buddha Bowl also uses this red rice as a base.
When eating out in Thailand, you'll mostly see white rice; sometimes brown rice is available for an extra charge. Except for one little hole-in-the-wall shop right behind our apartment building that only serves this amazing whole grain rice mix.
The place is called "Organic Vegetables" and over time we have noticed, that they indeed add more vegetables to their meals than anyone else. Needless to say, we've been eating from them a LOT lately! We love them (and the extra veggies) that much.
Here is another Thai inspired stir fry recipe.
Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry - Pad Krapao Gai
- 200 g sliced chicken 7 oz
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 fresh Thai bird's eye chili pepper sliced (or 1 larger fresh chili pepper)
- ½ cup long/green beans cut into ½ inch pieces (I measured after cutting)
- ½ cup chicken stock or water
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons (palm) sugar or to taste
- 1 cup holy basil leaves
- In a wok or frying pan heat the cooking oil on medium high. Stir fry the garlic and chili until fragrant. Add the sliced chicken and stir fry until cooked through. It takes only a few minutes - don't overcook.
- Now add the long/green beans to the wok/pan and stir fry a couple more minutes until slightly softened.
- Stir in the chicken broth, oyster sauce, fish sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar until combined. Quickly stir in the basil leaves and take off heat.
- Serve with steamed rice.
Pin Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry (Pad Krapao Gai) recipe for later?
Thai basil is known for its strong, slightly peppery flavor that adds a distinctive taste to various Thai dishes. It is commonly used in stir-fries, curries, and noodle dishes, imparting a unique and aromatic essence to the cuisine.
Yes, Thai basil is often used in cooked dishes, especially in Thai cuisine. It is added to stir-fries, curries, soups, and other savory dishes, contributing its characteristic flavor to the overall taste profile of the meal.
While both Thai basil and holy basil are used in Thai cooking, they have distinct flavor profiles. Thai basil has a sweet, anise-like flavor, whereas holy basil has a spicier, peppery taste. Holy basil is also known for its medicinal properties in some cultures.
If you don't have Thai basil on hand, you can use other types of basil as substitutes, such as sweet basil or Italian basil. While they may not provide the exact same flavor, they can still add a pleasant herbal note to your dish.
Thai basil has a strong, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor profile with hints of anise and licorice. It adds a distinctive aroma and taste to various Thai dishes, contributing to the overall complexity and richness of the flavors.
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