How to make authentic Thai basil chicken stir fry | pad kra pao gai

One of my all-time Thai street food favourites is a very simple and easy to make at home Thai basil stir fry. Traditionally this dish uses either pork mince or chicken mince. It is super tasty, easy and fast to make, and best of all it doesn’t cost much to make this in your own home.

In Thailand, this street food is called “pad kra pao”. “Pad” means stir fry, “kra pao” also spelled as “krapow” or “kra pow” is a type of basil known as Thai holy basil. This Thai herb is very common in Thailand and tastes slightly different from the more common Thai sweet basil that is easily available at supermarkets and Asian grocery stores in western countries.

I love making “pad kra pao” at home with lots of garlic, chilies, and Thai sweet basil. As for the meat, I prefer to use pork mince, which has more flavour than chicken mince. If I use chicken, I will go for chicken thigh fillets with nice chunky bite pieces so I get to taste the juicy chicken meat. In this recipe, I will show you how I make my “pad kra pao gai” using chicken thigh fillets.

How to make Thai basil chicken stir fry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print



  • 4 chicken thigh fillets (skin-off and boneless)
  • 10 green beans (or more if you like more vegetable)
  • 1 cup of Thai sweet basil leaves
  • 1 french shallot (or 2 if the shallot is really small)
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 2 long red chilies
  • 4 Thai small red chilies
  • light soy
  • dark soy
  • oyster sauce
  • fish sauce
  • sugar (I use palm sugar)


  1. Cut chicken thigh fillets into bite pieces. Optional (I like to marinate my chicken for stir fry): marinate with 1 teaspoon light soy, a dash of white pepper and salt, and 1 teaspoon corn starch in a bowl. Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours
  2. Separate the basil leaves and set aside
  3. Remove the skin of french shallots. Then slice thinly and set aside
  4. Remove the skin of garlic and set aside
  5. Roughly chop the chilies and set aside (remove the seeds if you prefer less heat in the chili)
  6. Cut the green beans into 2 sections and set aside
  7. In a small bowl, make the sauce with 1 tablespoon light soy, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix through and set aside
  8. In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chilies until they are coarse but not fine and smooth. Set aside
  9. Heat some cooking oil in a hot pan or wok. Toss in garlic and chilies first. Fry for a minute until fragrant but not burnt
  10. Add sliced french shallots. Fry for another minute until shallots are soft and translucent
  11. Add chicken and fry for 5 minutes on high heat or almost half-cooked
  12. Add green beans. Continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes before adding the sauces. Continue to stir fry for another minute or until chicken is cooked
  13. Lower the heat and add some corn starch liquid to thicken the sauce (mixing 1 teaspoon corn starch with 1/2 cup water or chicken stock). Mix through until sauce is thicken
  14. Turn the heat off. Then add the Thai sweet basil
  15. Remove and plate the dish

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