Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken – My Pad Krapow Gai

I don’t cook Thai food at home often, mostly because there are at least a dozen such restaurants within walking distance, but when I do, there’s nothing I enjoy more than this spicy Thai basil chicken. Thai basil sold separately. 

No, I didn’t use the real “Holy” basil, but even with regular basil, this simple recipe is spectacular. Aromatic basil is the perfect herb for pairing with the slightly sweet, sort of salty, and possibly spicy, chopped meat.

And yes, you really do want to chop, or grind your own chicken. Even if the worst-case scenario I shared in the video isn’t something you’re grocery store would do, it’s still very nice to know exactly what you’re eating, as well as being able to chop it as coarsely as you want.

If you decide to top with an egg, I should mention that they’re usually fried much more aggressively, with the edges getting brown and crispy. I tend to prefer something a little more gently cooked, but either way, or with none at all, I really do hope you give this delicious basil chicken recipe a try soon.  Enjoy!


Ingredients for two large or four smaller portions:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound freshly chopped chicken thighs
1/4 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced Thai chilies, Serrano, or other hot pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or as needed
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 bunch basil leaves, sliced very thin with a sharp knife (about a cup once sliced)

35 comments:

Mary Hammond said...

This looks damn yummy! I'm thinking a nice Saturday night meal..
How's about a good Tamale recipe?

Alex said...

Hey yo!

What up with that hole in the spoon? Can you explain?

Cheers,
R.

rwh824 said...

Made this tonight, it may be my favorite recipe of yours I've tried so far. Keep up the good work Chef John.

Chuy&Edith Chuy&Edith said...

Delicious! This recipe hits the spot! I found all the ingredients at Foodmaxx, who knew? A must try! Plus basil is super healthy πŸ˜‹ πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‰

Unknown said...

How would you turn this into a fried rice recipe? Make a little more sauce and add the rice in at the end?

Dave said...

Will be saving this one for a night my girlfriend is away and I can dial the spiciness up to my preferred level, I think. ;) Just curious, though, if I can find Thai basil, should I pull back the amount a little bit? Or is it best to just go full throttle?

Kevin Cowley said...

Thanks for the great recipe Chef John! You're my go to for new cooking methods even though I work in a James Beard award winning kitchen because you give more insight to techniques my Sous chefs don't have time to talk through. I do love Thai food, and wanted to make sure to point out to others looking to cook this that the sweeter basil we get here is actually going to be at least as suitable than the purplish Thai Basil that you can sometimes find at your nice markets. Holy Basil has a more earthy flavor, while Thai Basil is pretty strong stuff that almost has some minty elements going on with it. That being said, you are the season-er of your Thai dish du jour.

Scott McQuown said...

A favorite Thai dish for me as well. The Thais would fry that egg in more hot oil than we normally would, until it is crispy and a bit brown around the edges.

David McCutcheon said...

Tried it. Pretty good and easy to make, thanks to your video. Didn't put the egg on it, but will try it next time. Without the egg it seems to be missing a crunch like peanuts or something.

Colin said...

Looks great! Any possible substitute for the oyster sauce for someone that's allergic to shellfish?

Loodje van Slooten said...

Looks scrumptiously delicious! <3

jmes said...

If this is one of your favorite recipes, what are your top 5? Your Pork a Latte is probably in my top 5 (of things I can cook)!

JB said...

I made this last night. Delicious! I am lucky enough to be near an Asian grocery that sells Thai Basil in bulk and true thai chili peppers. Yum!

beemo said...

I just busted out the cast-iron skillet and made something as similar to this as ingredients would allow, and it was excellent, and the technique was a lot of fun. I also learned that there are things I didn't know about basil. My findings:

The specific kind of basil called for in this dish is 'holy basil' -- ocimum tenuiflorum or ocimum sanctum -- but the Indians also use it and call it tulasi, thulasi, or tulsi. So perhaps one could find it at an Indian grocery.

When you see 'Thai Basil' in a regular shop, it is almost certainly a Thai variety of 'ordinary' basil, and not quite what we're after here, although it is certainly the basil of choice for other Thai dishes.

Thomas Shier said...

Just made this! Easy to make and super tasty with just a mild bite of spice. As another added plus it wasn't too expensive to make which is awesome for this poor but starving university student! Definitely will make this again!

Michael Williams, D.O. said...

Made it last night......excellent!! You the tops!

Steve Akeson said...

Well I happen to have coconut sugar...so Yes I'm gonna try it for sure !

Jason Smith said...

MY FOOD WISH! YES!!! A new recipe for a Sloppy JOE!

Freehand said...

I always thought that, while preparing Asian dishes, you should fry the Shallots, garlic first then the meat.

Calvin Hori said...

Is it OK to add peanuts or will it alter the taste too much?

Thomas Dulovitz said...

Chef john,
This recipe was amazing!! I wouldn't change a thing. I ended up using this recipe and making spicy Thai basil egg rolls by adding a little rice and nappa cabbage, and thenow rolling them in egg roll wrappers and frying. I can't recommend it enough. Thank you for sharing ur knowledge and passion.

Thomas Dulovitz said...

Just made this and it was perfect. I wouldn't change a thing to the recipe. I ended up using the left overs the next day in some spicy Thai basil egg rolls by simply adding some nappa cabbage for some ceunch, and rolling them in agg roll wrappers in a cigar shape and frying. They will without a doubt be on the menu for my next get together. Thank you chef john!!!!!

Hans Kim said...

Can you substitute beef/steak instead of chicken?

Corey said...

A pretty excellent Asian grocery opened near me recently. I found palm sugar, but I've never cooked with it before. Chef John substitute
S white and brown sugar for palm sugar in this recipe. Question: if I have the real deal, do I keep the messaged amount the same?

Joseph Hammond said...

Thanks Chef! Paired this with your spicy rice noodle salad (circa 2012). Both were delicious, as always! BTW, you're not the Chef john I worked with at GNP. You're much better.

Cassie Ayres said...

I made this tonight and my family loved it. Extremely flavorful, thanks for the fantastic recipe!

Don Gringo said...

Wow CJ you hit this one out of the park! Super easy and super tasty. This is definitely going in the rotation!

therationalpi said...

I made this with eggplant instead of chicken and it was absolutely delicious! I'll be sure to keep this recipe on hand for the next time I harvest my Thai Basil plant.

Nunzio Lazzara said...

Delicious recipe! Just made it tonight. However, my sauce seemed to be soaked up by the chicken, rather than glazing it. Any advice on how to have it come out closer to yours? Thanks!

The Vegan Greenhorn said...

Can't wait to try! And Thai basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, and its dark green purple leaves are very handsome in an herb garden. I hope you try to grow some!

Golph said...

I put this together with Thai basil and about 8 red Thai chili. Note: If you plan to use the red Thai, you can expect about triple the heat than what is presented with Jalapeno and Serrano.

The only problem with the recipe is that it only calls for a pound of chicken and it was so tasty that I wished it would have been tripled (That was a joke, but what I'm not joking about is the fantastic flavor). A small alteration that you may like is using bib lettuce for half the recipe as a cup instead of full rice. I found the texture differences to be pretty awesome. In any event, wonderful dish that flies together and has amazing flavor.

akallday said...

Thanks Chef John. Made this for my girlfriend and myself. She is not used to your spice level but this was on point! I was lucky enough to find thai peppers and thai basil at my local Safeway.

BN said...

This turned out really great, I substituted rice syrup instead of brown/white sugar and added a bit of tumeric towards the end.

Daniel J said...

Thank you Chef John. I really love your asian dishes! This came out superb. Followed the recipe, but added like 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 tbp oyster sauce. I really thought the thai basil would overpower the dish, but it was just perfect.

Served with a lightly seasoned asian slaw, jasmine rice and Schneider Weisse which I think complemented it well.

Andrea Hughes said...

This was excellent! The recipe turned out well. Yummy! Thank you!