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Thai Basil Chicken, Pad Kra Pao

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4


Thai basil Chicken or Gai Pad Kra Pao is a classic Thai street food and it's full of delicious flavors. Ground beef, pork, or turkey work well for this dish and it's  great to serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This Thai basil Chicken stir fry recipe is hearty, full of protein from the ground chicken meat, eggs and green beans. It’s not too heavy either, that’s why Thai basil chicken is one of our family favorites for a weekend brunch.  


1 lb. ground chicken (turkey, beef or pork is ok, too)

1 cup Holy basil (leafy parts and soft tips)

5-10 fresh Thai chilis (spiciness level adjustable here)

2 generous Tbsp garlic-chopped very small

3 cup shallots-diced or sliced very small

1 cup fresh green beans-diced small about ¼ inch

2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp Sweet dark soy sauce

1 Tbsp Fish sauce

2 Tbsp Oyster sauce

1 Tbsp White or light soy sauce


  • Pre mix the sauces together in a separate bowl and set aside near the stove for ease of adding towards the end of cooking time.
  • I use all Thai brands, please see pictures of the bottles used.


  • Cook your egg first and set it to the side until ready to serve over your cooked Thai Basil Chicken. Instruction below with title, Side 1: Fried Eggs Recipe.
  • In a small bowl, add all the sauces together and wait until it's time to put the sauce into the stir fry.
  • Heat your wok or large skillet pan over med-high heat on your stove and wait until the wok is hot, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add 2-3 Tbsp of oil and wait 1-2 minutes until the oil is hot, add garlic, chilis, and shallots. Stir all together for 1-2 minutes until fragrant but not too brown.
  • Add ground meat, stir all together, breaking up the large chunks of meat as needed. Let it cook and keep breaking the chunks as you go along. Cook until meat is done, anywhere from 6-10 minutes, depending on your stove and what type of pan you are using.
  • Cook until the meat is slightly brown, and then pour in the sauces that you mixed earlier. Also, add the chopped green beans and stir all together for about 2 minutes. There’ll be some liquid forming at this point in your pan or wok. That’s a very good thing! That’s all the flavors coming out, right there. If not, add about 2-4 Tbsp to the empty sauce bowl, do a quick swish and pour that liquid into your pan to give the meat a little moisture. Stir it all in.
  • Add in your Holy basil, mix it in with the meat, cook 30 seconds more and turn off your heat.
  • Dish a portion of cooked Jasmine rice on a plate, add the Kra Pao on top, make sure to scoop some liquid, too, and let that deliciousness seep into the Jasmine rice. Add your fried eggs on top and serve with sliced cucumber and spicy chili sauce on the side. Runny eggs are even tastier with this dish, especially if you add just a dash of the spicy chili sauce with it.


* Important Kitchen Notes* 

  1. Best to not pour all the spicy sauce in one sitting into your Kra Pao or your mouth will burn to eternity and back. Use a spoon to scoop out just a tiny portion at a time. Forgo the spicy sauce if extra spiciness is not your thing. This recipe should provide plenty of kick from the fresh Thai chilis used in the cooking.
  2. To help with the sauce measurements, dip a scrunched up corner of a paper towel into a touch of vegetable oil, rub that on your measuring cups, spoons and bowls. Watch the sauce slide off effortlessly AND you will have more of an accurate measurement this way.
  3. My Thai basil chicken recipe is pretty forgiving. If you prefer more sweetness, add extra sweet dark soy sauce. If you like it saltier, add either fish sauce or white soy sauce. BUT, add ½ Tbsp at a time and taste it before adding more. However, if you  addedtoo much, add 2-3 Tbsp of water to help dilute the unwanted flavor.
  4. Make sure to refrigerate all your bottlesof sauces for your next round of Thai basil chicken. You will become a master at this dish in no time.
  5. Thai basil chicken keeps well as leftovers, however, more than 2 days is NOT recommended.
  6. As mentioned earlier, all other types of basil will not give you the flavor profile of this dish. It is best to look for Holy basil, grab a few bunches and freeze them if you must. The frozen leaves will cook fine, better than dried leaves. Enjoy!

Keywords: Thai Basil Chicken. Thai Basil Chicken Recipe. Gai Pad Kra Pao. Thai Chicken with Holy Basil