What is pad krapow? It’s a stir fried Thai dish. The meat can be pork, beef or chicken. Or dispense with the meat and use shrimps instead.
What cannot be excluded are the Thai holy basil and chilies. Without these two, the stir fry is not pad krapow.
Because the cooking time is so short (10 minutes!), it is a good idea to prepare the accompaniments before cooking the pad krapow. So, cook your rice and fry your eggs before mincing the chicken and cutting the spices for the flavor base.
Yes, I minced the chicken fillets myself. You can substitute ground chicken thigh meat if that is more convenient but you get better control with the size of the chicken pieces if you do the mincing yourself. It’s not that hard. Just cut the chicken fillets into thin strips, cut across the strips then use a heavy knife to chop until you get the size that you like.
The cooking begins with sauteeing the spices. In a little oil, gently cook the shallots, garlic and chilies until softened and aromatic.
Stir in the chicken, cook until the meat is just starting to lose its raw pinkish appearance then pour in the sauce. Chicken breast fillet is used here, and breast meat can really dry out fast, so as soon as the chicken pieces had soaked the sauce, I turned off the heat.
The basil leaves were stirred in and left to wilt in the residual heat. The pad krapow is ready at this point but I find that squeezing in a little lime juice heightens the flavor of dish even more.
Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 to 4 bird’s eye chilies - finely sliced
- 2 shallots - or one small red onion, chopped
- 2 chicken breast fillets - minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- 1 large handful Thai holy basil leaves
- juice of one lime - optional
- 3 fried eggs - to serve
- rice - to serve
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Saute the garlic, chilies and shallots or onion.
- Add the minced chicken. Stir fry until the meat changes color.
- Stir together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and fish sauce, and pour over the chicken.
- Stir fry the chicken for three to four minutes.
- Add the basil, stir and leave to allow the leaves to wilt in the residual heat.
- Optionally, squeeze lime juice over the pad krapow and toss a few times.
- Taste the chicken pad krapow. Adjust the seasonings, as needed, before serving with fried egg and rice.