Posts RSS Subscribe to Feed
Sign Up for Latest Recipes!

Thai Basil Chicken Stir-fry Recipe ~ Gai Pad Grapow

Monday, March 14, 2011 | Labels: , , , , , |

Simple is really the best sometimes.  Although I do love fried chicken now and then, there is nothing as easy and delicious as a good stir-fried chicken dish.  For today's feature, I made Thai basil chicken - an extremely popular Thai method of cooking chicken.  Flavours are clean and spicy, this basil chicken is simply stir-fried with garlic, shallots, bird's eye chilli peppers and of course Thai basil (you can substitute with regular basil which is milder) which gives the dish a delicious and refreshing hint of peppermint.  Savoury fish sauce (nam pla) complete the dish. For the gorgeous glaze you see, I added some thick caramel sauce from my favourite brand, Yuen Chun that complements the slight sweetness of the dish as well. This dish goes perfect with rice and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.  I actually love this chicken dish with pasta as well.

Thai basil chicken

As this is such a simple dish, again if at all possible, do use a Chinese wok - as long as you make sure your wok is hot enough before adding oil, you will not end up with bits of chicken sticking to your wok and that's a promise.  I have been touting the importance of wok breath in many simple dishes which is simply not achievable with non-stick pans as Chinese woks are usually heated to extremely high temperatures which will start melting the non-stick coating on such pans.  However, a perfectly delicious stir-fry is still possible with non-stick pans, in fact I have only recently 'graduated' to carbon woks but do try a wok if you want to recreate this elusive 'wok breath' at home which will add so much to your Chinese homecooking.

Thai basil chicken

This is part of my series in Yuen Chun recipes, an ongoing project for this blog.


6 chicken thighs (get boneless if you can), sliced into bite-sized chunks
Handful of Thai basil (or substitute with regular basil)
3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly (no need to mince)
2 shallots, sliced finely
3-4 bird's eye chilli peppers, seeded and sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
1/2 tsp thick soysauce or substitute with dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar, or to taste

Thai basil chicken

Yuen Chun thick soy sauce, indispensable in my kitchen.


1.  Heat up your wok until almost smoking.  Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil.  Swirl to coat.  Turn heat to medium and add in chicken chunks.  Stir-fry till about browned on the outside (not fully cooked).  Remove from wok and set aside. 

2.  Clean your wok.  Heat up until almost smoking again.  Add 1 tbsp cooking oil.  Turn heat to medium and add in shallots, garlic and chillis.  Fry till aromatic.  Turn heat up and quickly add in chicken chunks to avoid garlic from burning. 

3.  Add the fish sauce, sugar and thick caramel (or dark soy) sauce.  Stir chicken well to coat evenly.  With a close eye on the stove, continue stir-frying until chicken is entirely cooked. Do a taste test and see if you want to add more fish sauce or sugar.  Quickly add in the basil and stir well to coat.  Immediately remove from heat.  Serve hot with rice.

Thai basil chicken


Kristen said...

I love the flavors in this dish. Wow - yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

My Little Space said...

This sounds really tempting, Jen. A truly Asian flavour. Thanks for sharing. Hope you're having a great day.
Cheers, Kristy

Min {Honest Vanilla} said...

Delicious~ Eventhough I'm not a fan of Thai Basil leaf, I still clean up this particular dish with vigour ;P (I'll just pick the leaves aside)

tigerfish said...

I have cooked the ground chicken version of this. Very good with steamed rice :)

KB said...

I find it sad this site does not make printing recipes easy like other sites :-(

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

Hi KB! Not sure what happened when you tried but I just tested my 'print-friendly' button and it worked's at the bottom of the post. Alternatively, you can try to go to File and click print from there...sorry you had trouble :(

Anonymous said...

I've made this several times, and we love it. It's so easy and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

Anonymous said...

I've made this several times, and we love it. It's so easy and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

mariemunch said...

Thank you so much for this recipe!  I've always loved this dish, and it never occurred to me that I could make it so easily on my own - your recipe was fantastic!  Simple, and the flavors balance perfectly. I adore the whole site, actually, and it now occupies multiple bookmarks :D

Sadly, I was out of fish sauce tonight (I have to order it online, or drive three hours, so I was out of luck).  Does anyone have any idea what the best fish sauce substitute is?  I mixed soy sauce, lime juice, a little Worcester Sauce, and some minced anchovies and it mimicked the favor pretty well, but it would be fantastic if there were an easier/more accurate way to replace fish sauce.

Tastes of Home (Jen) said...

thanks Marie for your kind words, I'm really glad my recipes turned out good for you :)

What you did for the fish sauce substitute sounds great..u know there's a bit of fish sauce in worcestershire sauce anyway..I think light soy sauce can be a substitute although def not a perfect substitute but in a pinch, it will work..what you did is prolly better :)

Queenofhearts77 said...

I tried this and it turned out amazing! Only thing was hat it was a little on the dry side....I like a little bit more sauce. I tried making more sauce....but still kind of dry....I'll have to play with the sauce.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Creative Commons Licence
Smoky Wok by Smoky Wok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
No content from this website including images, recipes, writings may be reproduced without prior consent from the author.

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok

Smoky Wok