Tuesday, April 7, 2009

weeknight dinner: thai basil chicken

subtitle: BOMB DIGGITY thai to make at home (get the theme here?)

first i ate at jitlada. then i learned i could make a dish at home that got me almost as excited as hollywood thai and maybe even more excited because i had made it myself. i came across this dish on my google reader and i filed it away. now i think it might make it into the regular rotation. but i'm getting ahead of myself here. first, major props to michele of serious eats for posting this one. now that we have that taken care of, i give you gai pad krapow (thai basil chicken)!!!

this dish has that classic yummy sweet, salty, spicy combination. you really can't go wrong. adjust the spice to your liking (remove seeds and membrane from chilies if you want the flavor without so much heat) as well as the sweetness level with the sugar. it is also surprisingly easy and quick to make. and it's a perfect one to feed a crowd and impress guests.

gai pad krapow (thai basil chicken)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • finely chopped chilis (you can use the kind of your choice here, i used 2-3 thai chilis for pretty decent heat)
  • 1 large shallot, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 lb green beans trimmed to 1 1/4"
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves only (use holy basil, if you can find it)
  • boiled rice
  • fried egg (over easy)
  • nam pla prik (recipe follows) or fresh lime wedges
  • heat the oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan. when you can see waves forming in the hot oil, add the chilies, shallots, and garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds.
  • add the green beans and stir-fry until cooked but still crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • add the ground chicken, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into small pieces. stir-fry until chicken is cooked through.
  • add the fish sauce and sugar to the pan, and stir to distribute. Taste, and add more fish sauce or sugar if desired.
  • reduce heat to medium-low. add the basil leaves and stir-fry until completely wilted. remove from heat.
  • serve with boiled rice, over easy fried egg (optional), and nam pla prik or lime wedges.

nam pla prik (chili fish sauce)

  • 3-4 parts fish sauce
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • chilies, finely chopped
  • shallots, finely sliced
  • combine ingredients. consume immediately, or pour into a clean jar and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.


  1. Yummmmmmmm!

    An Impressed Guest

  2. PS, I made this with:
    -Medium Firm Tofu (no chick for the veggies)
    -Frozen Trader Joe's French Cut Green Beans

    and it was, as Zo promised, delicious...I highly recommend!