Thai basil chicken or – pad krapow gai – is a beautiful spicy dish of finely chopped chicken thigh, fried up with chillies, garlic, spring onions (scallions) and Thai basil in a light savoury sauce.
It takes a little bit of up-front prep, but it all cooks in 10 minutes.

A tall overhead image of thai basil chicken served on a grey dish with rice that has a sunny side up egg on top and sliced cherry tomatoes on the top right of the dish. There is a copper fork sticking out of the dish. On the bottom right of the image is a bunch of thai basil. On the top right of the image is the corner of an identical bowl of thai basil chicken and a small white jug of sauce. In the background on the top left of the image is another bunch of basil and a grey handkerchief. there are a few red chillies scattered around. The image is set on a dark blue background.

Also known as pad krapow gai, Thai Basil Chicken is such a tasty dinner that packs a HUGE flavour punch! The incorporation of the Thai basil makes this dish so incredibly vibrant and fragrant.

If you’ve never tried Thai basil before, look out for it in larger supermarkets. It’s quite different to Italian basil, being a little mellower and with a bit of an aniseed taste to it.

📋 Ingredients

A wide overhead image of the ingredients for thai basil chicken on a wooden cutting board, which is on a white marble surface. The ingredients are labelled in white, except where some ingredient labels flow on top of the white surface, in which case they are blue.
  • Thai basil is a Southeast Asian type of basil that has a flavour profile that’s quite different to Italian basil. Thai basil is more peppery with hints of mint and aniseed and is more spicy than sweet. You can usually find it in larger supermarkets with the other fresh herbs.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Cook the chopped chicken with oil in a wok until it is nearly nearly cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Add the chillies, garlic, and spring onion to the chicken and stir-fry.
  4. Add the sauce.
  5. Add the Thai basil and toss together.
  6. Serve with sides of your choice.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Get everything chopped and prepared before you start cooking as this dish comes together very quickly. About 10 mins cooking time altogether.

I like to serve mine with boiled rice, chopped cherry tomatoes (for sweetness), and a sunny-side-up egg (with a runny yolk of course!), the egg adds a wonderful bit of creaminess to the spice.

A tall close-up image of thai basil chicken served on a grey dish with rice that has a sunny side up egg on top and sliced cherry tomatoes on the top right of the dish. There is a copper fork sticking out of the dish. In the background on the top left of the image is a grey handkerchief. The image is set on a dark blue background.

🍽️ What to serve it with


I love the spiciness of this dish, and the fact it only takes 10 minutes to cook!

A tall overhead image of thai basil chicken served on a grey dish with rice that has a sunny side up egg on top and sliced cherry tomatoes on the top right of the dish. There is a copper fork sticking out of the dish. On the bottom right of the image is a bunch of thai basil. On the top right of the image is the corner of an identical bowl of thai basil chicken and a small white jug of sauce. In the background on the left of the image is a grey handkerchief. The image is set on a dark blue background.

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Thai Basil Chicken

A beautiful spicy dish of finely chopped chicken thigh, fried up with chillies, garlic, spring onions (scallions) and Thai basil in a light savoury sauce.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs trimmed and chopped into small chunks (this is about 800g/1.75lbs AFTER trimming – about 1kg/2.2lbs before trimming)
  • 4 Thai chillies thinly sliced (remove the seeds if you want a little less heat)
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 8 spring onions scallions sliced (use the white and green parts)
  • small bunch of Thai basil leaves (about 40g/1.4oz), sliced into thin strips (or use Holy basil if you can get hold of it)

Sauce:

To Serve:

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat.
    2 tbsp oil
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring often for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is nearly cooked through (it should cook fairly quickly as the pieces are small. The chicken doesn't need to be browned).
    8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • While the chicken is cooking, mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or jug.
    1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 4 tbsp water, 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch in USA)
  • Add the chillies, garlic and spring onions to the chicken. Fry, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
    4 Thai chillies, 4 cloves garlic, 8 spring onions
  • Add the sauce and fry for 1-2 minutes, until hot.
  • Add the Thai basil and toss together. Cook for a further 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and serve.
    small bunch of Thai basil leaves
  • I like to serve mine with boiled rice, topped with a fried egg, and some halved cherry tomatoes.
    boiled rice, fried egg, halved cherry tomatoes

Video

Notes

Nutritional information is per serving (based on this recipe serving 4) – NOT including serving suggestions (rice, egg etc)

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Potassium: 1022mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1268IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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Comments

  1. It’s worth noting the difference between Thai Basil (readily available) and Thai Holy Basil which is used always in this dish. It’s not so easily available though and the only places I have ever got it is from Thai cafes in Manchester. It’s much hotter too. I gave a bag of Holy Basil seeds to a few gardeners I know but none could grow it.