Thai Basil Chicken – Quick and Aromatic Dinner

Thai Basil Chicken, also known as Pad Krapow Gai, is a staple in Thai cuisine, beloved for its simplicity and depth of flavor. This dish is a favorite for weeknight dinners because it’s quick to make, healthy, and delicious. It is typically made with ground chicken, fresh Thai basil leaves, a savory sauce, and served over steamed rice, with a fried egg on top if desired.


  • 500g ground chicken
  • 2 cups Thai basil leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small Thai chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Steamed jasmine rice, to serve
  • Fried egg (optional), to serve


  1. Prepare the steamed jasmine rice according to the package instructions, so it’s ready to serve with the chicken.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic and chopped chilies, stir fry for about 20 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add the sliced onions and red bell peppers to the skillet. Saute for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the ground chicken. Break it apart with a spatula, and cook until no longer pink.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, in a small bowl, mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar to make the sauce.
  6. Pour the sauce over the cooked chicken and continue to stir fry for another minute or two.
  7. Add the Thai basil leaves and toss them through the chicken until they wilt.
  8. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed. If you want it saltier, you can add more fish or soy sauce. Add more sugar for sweetness.
  9. Once the basil is wilted and everything is well mixed, remove from heat.
  10. Serve the Thai Basil Chicken over the steamed jasmine rice. For an authentic presentation, add a fried egg on top of each serving.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Thai basil has a unique flavor that is different from the sweet basil commonly used in Western cooking. It’s worth seeking it out at an Asian grocery store to get the authentic taste.
  • The dish can be adjusted for heat by increasing or reducing the number of Thai chilies.
  • If ground chicken is not available, you can substitute with ground turkey or even finely chopped chicken breast.
  • For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with crumbled tofu and use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
  • This dish is best served immediately but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan over medium heat.

Enjoy your homemade Thai Basil Chicken, and feel free to customize the dish to suit your taste preferences!

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