Pad Ped Gai is a delicious Thai chicken curry stir fry that bursts with authentic Thai flavor. Made with Thai Jungle curry paste, this dish perfectly represents Thai food and its love for spicy flavors. It's an easy recipe and ready to serve in 20 minutes!
Using homemade Jungle curry paste will elevate this dish. Here are other Thai recipe recipes that use that you will love. Thai Jungle curry with fish, Pad Prik Khing with shrimp, Pork belly stir fry with Prik Khing paste, Thai red curry with Kabocha squash, and Thai catfish stir fry with red curry paste.
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- What is Pad Ped Gai?
- Ingredients for Pad Ped Chicken
- Jungle Curry Paste Substitute
- How to Make Pad Ped Gai
- Garnishing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- What to Serve with Pad Ped Gai
- Variations and Substitutes
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Authentic Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Pad Ped Gai (Thai Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry)
- More Thai Curries You'll Love
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Pad Ped Gai is a must-try if you're a fan of bold, spicy flavors. The fiery kick of Jungle curry paste combined with aromatic Kaffir lime leaves is an exhilarating experience for your taste buds.
- This dish is quick and easy to make, perfect for those busy days when you crave authentic Thai cuisine without spending hours in the kitchen.
- It's an ideal choice for those seeking a low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free option, making it a versatile and health-conscious choice.
What is Pad Ped Gai?
Pad Ped is referring to the stir-frying cooking method. In this case, the stir-frying of Thai Jungle curry paste with chicken with sliced Thai eggplants, bamboo shoots and seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, and holy basil.
Pad Ped Gai, often referred to as Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry, is a classic Thai dish that packs a punch. The name "Pad Ped" translates to "spicy stir-fry," and "Gai" means "chicken." This flavorful stir-fry is known for its distinctive use of Jungle curry paste and its intense heat, making it a favorite with spicy food lovers!
Ingredients for Pad Ped Chicken
To create this mouthwatering dish, you'll need a range of authentic Thai ingredients, including:
- Jungle curry paste. Jungle curry paste is not as common even in Asian grocery stores. Make your own or use store-bought. Red Curry Paste is okay to use as a substitute. I recommend Mae Ploy or Mae Sri for store-bought paste. *See the section below for instructions on substituting Thai curry paste for Jungle curry paste.*
- Garlic. This dish can handle a generous amount of garlic. Feel free to add 2-3 more cloves of garlic if you love garlic.
- Thai eggplants. They are the round green eggplants sold at the Asian markets. They are a popular ingredient used in many Thai dishes.
- Bamboo shoots. Use the thin strips of bamboo shoots that come in cans.
- Thai Basil. Holy basil is difficult to find in the US. Thai basil is found in this recipe.
- Chicken. Use chicken breast or thighs. Other protein options can be easily substituted.
- Fish sauce. I used Squid brand fish sauce for all my stir fries, including this recipe. Adjust yours as needed, as each fish sauce has different salinity and salty levels.
- Kaffir lime leaves. These aromatic leaves add a very distinct flavor to the dish, don't skip it. Find these at the Asian market in the produce or the freeze section.
- Palm Sugar. Traditionally, most Thai recipes use palm sugar because that's what is most readily available. Over the years, as more Western influence entered Thai cuisine, other types of sugar were used. It is common now to see granulated, brown, honey, and other types of sugar used.
Jungle Curry Paste Substitute
If store-bought jungle curry paste is not available, make your own using my homemade Jungle curry paste here. For a jungle curry paste hack, use red curry paste, but add finely minced Krachai to your paste.
Krachai, also called finger roots or Chinese lesser ginger, is earthly with a hint of peppery ginger-like flavor. It has a highly fragrant aroma sets the herb apart from other Thai herbs. Read more about the different types of Thai herbs here.
How to Make Pad Ped Gai
Top Tips: Prepare your ingredients by slicing the chicken, chopping the vegetables, and having everything ready to go.
Step 1: Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, adding a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add garlic and fry for 15-20 seconds, then add the Jungle curry paste and fry for 1 minute until fragrant.
Step 2: Add the chicken to the curry paste, then stir until it's almost cooked.
Step 3: Add the sliced Thai eggplants and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is fully cooked. About 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Season the stir fry with fish sauce and sugar. Add the kaffir lime leaves and the stock. Stir-fry together to mix all the flavors in well. Cook for 2 more minutes and adjust the flavors with more fish sauce, sugar, or a little bit more curry paste.
Step 5: Turn the heat off and add the basil last. Let the residual heat cook the basil leaves until wilted. Serve this fragrant and spicy Pad Ped Gai over jasmine rice for a truly authentic experience!
Sprinkle thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves or fresh basil leaves to garnish your Pad Ped Gai stir fry.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Add extra red curry paste or fresh chili peppers according to your heat tolerance to make this dish even spicier.
- You can find red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, holy or Thai basil, and other Thai ingredients at your local Asian market or specialty grocery store.
- For bamboo shoots in tin cans, rinse and soak the bamboo in warm water for 15 minutes before using it to help remove the tin flavors from the can.
- Whole bamboo, in tins or a large bin, brined usually, is okay to use, too. Slice them into small, long pieces for cooking in this recipe.
What to Serve with Pad Ped Gai
Pad Ped Gai is delightful on its own, but you can serve it with steamed jasmine rice or even noodles for a satisfying meal. A side of fresh cucumber salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy stir-fry.
Variations and Substitutes
- Pad Ped Moo (pork) is very common in Thailand as pork is a popular meat. However, the recipe is flexible and includes protein options. Use your favorite.
- Protein Choices. Swap chicken for beef, pork, or tofu based on your preferences.
- Vegetable medley: Add more vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, or baby corn to diversify your Pad Ped Gai.
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a pan or microwave for a quick and delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Thai, "Pad Ped" translates to "spicy stir-fry," and "Gai" means "chicken." Together, it refers to a dish of spicy chicken stir-fry.
Yes! Pad Ped Gai is a healthy option using lean protein (chicken) and added vegetables and herbs.
You can find Kaffir Lime Leaves in your local Asian market or specialty grocery stores. They are sometimes available in the freezer section.
Absolutely! You can make Pad Ped Gai spicier by adding more red curry paste or fresh chili peppers to suit your heat tolerance.
While Pad Ped Gai is satisfying on its own, it pairs well with steamed jasmine rice, noodles, or a fresh cucumber salad to balance the spiciness.
More Authentic Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Pad Prik King with shrimp and long beans
- Stir-fried chicken with ginger
- Pad Thai with shrimp
- Kabocha squash dessert with coconut milk
- Homemade red curry paste
More Thai Curries You'll Love
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these delicious Thai curries.