Thai Basil Chicken

Or to be authentic, Gai Pad Krapow.

Do you crave certain food ethnicities? When I was pregnant with Taylor I craved Mexican food. Everyone that I worked with knew how much I always wanted Mexican food. I am not pregnant right now, but lately I have been craving Thai food. I seriously can’t get enough of it. I have this big humongous Thai Basil plant out in my backyard and I am determined to use every last leaf off of that plant. Maybe I should just harvest it and throw it in the freezer in ice cubes. Well, until that I am using it in dishes like the fresh summer rolls from yesterday and this dish as well.

There is a new cookbook out that is called Easy Chinese Recipes and this recipe comes from the author of that book, Bee Yin Low. Since this dish is Thai I am not sure if this is in the book, but it was on her blog – Rasamalaysia, which I am now subscribed to. Now that I have tried one of her dishes, this cookbook is now the first cookbook I have on my Christmas list this year. Check out her site and you will get lost in all of the wonderful sounding recipes.

This dish couldn’t be much easier to prepare and the flavor is just awesome. The recipe calls for ground chicken and I only had chicken breasts. I figured I could do one of three things. Chop the chicken into tiny little bits (too long), I could get out the meat grinder my mom left at my house and grind it (too labor intensive) or I could pull out my food processor and chop it up into little bits (perfect!). It worked like a charm. I wasn’t totally sure what the consistency would be, but this was a great way to grind up my meat….yeah!

The other thing I want to mention before we I finish here is that yes, Fish Sauce doesn’t smell great. However, if you have ever had Pad Thai in a restaurant or this Thai Basil Chicken, then you have had fish sauce. So don’t leave out the Fish Sauce in this recipe just because of smell. It give Thai food that authentic taste that you don’t want to live without. You really won’t taste that smell in the dish and if you are a bit paranoid squirt some lime on top of your dish or sprinkle it with some peanuts. I promise you that you will love the dish with the fish sauce – pinky swear.

I served this over jasmine brown rice and I added some haricot vert from Trader Joe’s to the dish while I was sauteeing the chicken. That is really the only thing I changed about this recipe…and that isn’t necessarily a “change”, it’s more of an “add.”

So definitely, if you like Thai food and want to recreate it in your home, try this recipe, fish sauce and all. You will be sooo happy you did. Enjoy!

Thai Basil Chicken
Adapted from Bee Yin Low
Recipe type: Entree
  • 10 oz boneless and skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast (ground)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 8 oz frozen haricot verts or whole green beans
  • 1¼ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sweet soy sauce (I used regular lite soy sauce)
  • 1 big bunch of Thai basil leaves (stems removed)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Thai Chili Paste
  • 2 dashes ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a wok or skillet. Add the shallots and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add beans and chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add fish sauce, sugar, soy, chili paste and thoroughly combine. Add the basil leaves and white pepper - stir to combine until the basil wilts a bit. Serve immediately over brown rice. You can add more chili paste if you would like more heat.
  2. Note: You could also add some egg to the dish and let it cook right in the pan. Could also swap out the beans for peppers if desired. You might also want to top with some lime juice or chopped peanuts. Any or all of these changes would be delicious!


  1. I don’t think I have eaten Thai food before, but after seeing your Thai recipes I think I will have to give it a try.

  2. i used to crave chinese all the time… but now i don’t really get any ethnic food cravings.
    this looks wonderful


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