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Thai Basil Chicken Gai Pad Kra Pao

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


Thai basil chicken Gai Pad Krapao is a classic Thai dish with ground or thinly sliced meat stir-fried with holy basil and a delicious spicy sauce. It's a simple dish that can be put together in less than 25 minutes, a perfect quick lunch or dinner! Get ready for one of the best Thai food you'll ever taste. 


  • 1 pound ground chicken. (turkey, beef, or pork is ok, too)
  • 1 1/2 cups Holy basil. (leafy parts and soft tips)
  • 1-10 fresh Thai chilis. (adjustable spiciness level here)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic. Minced
  • 1/3 cup shallots. Julienned
  • 1 cup fresh green beans. Diced small, about ¼ inch
  • 2-3 tablespoon oil. (vegetable, canola, grape seed, sunflower seed, avocado oil)
  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce


  1. Heat a small saucepan on med-high heat. Once hot, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil. When ready,  an egg or two into the hot and cook in oil until the edges are brown and crispy. Cook to your liking: runny, semi-runny, medium, etc. If you like your egg on the well-done side, flip the entire egg over and let it cook for 1 minute until you are happy with how it looks. Remove from the pan and set on a paper towel plate to drain some oil. Let it cool.  
  2. Make the stir-fry sauce. Mix all the sauces in a small bowl, stir, and set aside.
  3. Heat your wok, a large skillet, or a large frying pan over med-high heat. Wait until the wok is hot before adding 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add garlic, chilis, and shallots. Fry for 1 minute or until fragrant but not too brown.
  4. Add the ground meat, and stir together, breaking up the large chunks. Cook until meat is cooked, 4-5 minutes.  Cook until the meat is slightly browned. Add a little water if necessary if the meat gets too dry.
  5. Pour the sauce into the chicken mixture, stir together and cook for one more minute.
  6. Add the chopped green beans and stir them together for about 1 minute. Don't overcook the beans; the crunchy texture is part of the recipe experience. 
  7.  There’ll be some liquid forming in your pan or wok. That’s a very good thing! That’s all the flavors coming out. If not, add about 2-4 tablespoons of water or a stock pan to give the meat a little moisture. Stir it all in.
  8. Add Holy basil, mix it with the meat, cook 30 seconds more, and turn the heat off. Remove from stovetop. The residual heat will continue to cook the basil, so be sure not to overcook it, or it can turn bitter. 
  9. You're finished!  Serve with cooked Jasmine rice on a plate, add the Kra Pao stir fry on top, then scoop some spicy sauce into the serving platter and let some deliciousness seep into the Jasmine rice. Add your fried eggs on top and serve with sliced cucumber and spicy chili sauce on the side. Enjoy your Thai basil chicken or Pad Kra Pao! 


  • Thai chicken basil keeps well as leftovers. Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Gra Pao works well with ground chicken, pork, turkey, or beef because ground meat cooks faster. Pick your favorite and try another the next time you cook this recipe!
  • Holy basil thrives in hot climates. They are more abundant during summer. Check your local Asian or farmer's markets and stock up for the winter months. Wash and dry them with paper towels, pick the leaves and soft tips, and freeze them in Ziploc bags for those months when fresh herbs are sparse. 

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  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Easy recipes
  • Method: Stir fry
  • Cuisine: Thai