Sunday, February 10, 2008

OUR CULINARY GEMS: Thai Chicken Basil

Here’s a taste of Thailand that would heat you up for your date tonight.

Gai Pad Gra Pao (Chicken Basil) is a classic Thai dish famous for its distinct sweet-tangy and intense flavor. The kicker is -- it is surprisingly easy to make. This is just about the only dish I can cook by myself *wink wink* aside from pop corn via microwave.

Gai” means chicken (depending on how you pronounce it; it could also mean egg), “Pad” means fry/stir-fried and “Gra Pao” means Basil leaves (again, depending on how you pronounce it; it could also mean a bag!). LOL! An egg stir-fried with a bag? Whadda!?

This dish should be spicy, sweet and salty in perfect harmony. Don't be afraid to use what seems like too much Basil leaves - they make the dish.

Try it tonight! Here’s the recipe…

Preparation Time 5mins
Cooking Time 10mins
Servings 2


1/2 lb ground chicken breast (or chopped to tiny pieces)
4-7 Thai chili (or any hot chili), minced
1 cup of fresh basil leaves

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil


1. Sautee garlic and chili in oil over high heat.

2. When garlic starts to turn brown (not burnt), toss the ground chicken in. Stir constantly. The juice will start to come out. Keep stirring until all the juice is gone.

3. Add sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir, then add the fresh basil. It may appear like a lot of leaves, but the leaves will shrink when cooked and this dish's flavor comes from the leaves.

4. Stir a few times to mix the leaves with the meat and then remove from heat immediately.

5. Serve hot with rice.


In Thailand, we normally serve this with fried egg on top of the rice and fish sauce with chopped chilies as condiment. Fresh cucumbers on the side too! You can also substitute the ground chicken with ground pork, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s wrong! =)

Aroi mak!



curbside_puppet said...

just looking at the ingredients, i think this should be strong and spicy enough to make it as a remedy to common cold!

i wanna try this one - minus the chili peppers.

Arunny Chantou said...

This is my favorite Thai dish!

MischMensch said...

Can I substitute the Basil leaves with pesto instead?

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