Thai Chili Basil Chicken, also known as Pad Kra Pao Gai, is sweet, savory, and SO simple to make at home! With just a few ingredients, you can have one of the most beloved Thai street food dishes made right in the comfort of your home. Best of all, this quick and easy meal will be ready faster than any food delivery!
The Star Ingredient for Thai Chili Basil Chicken: Holy Basil
Thai holy basil is different from Thai basil. The Thai holy basil has been described as peppery and licorice-like flavors. Thai basil, on the other hand, can have more of an anise flavor. It does lack the pepperiness that holy basil has though.
Holy basil can be challenging to find, even at Asian markets! So, if you get lucky and get your hands on some holy basil for this recipe, bravaaa! If, however, you can’t seem to find it anywhere, don’t sweat it! Thai basil is much more accessible and can be used as a substitute. Even Italian basil would work!
The flavors will be slightly different, but still absolutely delicious, nonetheless.
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Thai Basil Chicken isn’t an incredibly saucy dish. The ingredients for the sauce are simple and commonly used Asian condiments. However, when they’re combined, they create such a bold intense flavor. It could even be overwhelming if it was drenched in the sauce!
Instead, the chicken soaks up most of the flavor and the veggies are lightly coated in it as well. Every bite is just bursting with a smoky savory flavor! AND what I love most about this dish is that it can satisfy my craving for Thai street food in 30 minutes or less. If that’s not winning, I don’t know what is.
If you’re ready for a quick and healthy meal from the streets of Thailand, try this Thai Chili Basil Chicken recipe! Then, let me know how it goes! Which kind of basil did you use in your dish and how did it turn out? Let me know in the comments below!
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Thai Chili Basil Chicken
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup chicken broth or water
- 2 shallots finely diced
- 7 garlic cloves minced
- 3 - 5 Thai chilies thinly sliced (adjust to your level of spice)
- 1 pound ground chicken*
- ½ cup green beans cut into 2-inch pieces (can sub. with long beans)
- 1 cup holy basil*
- In a bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large pan on medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil then the shallots. Cook until lightly golden. Add in garlic and Thai chilies and cook for another 30 seconds, or until soft and fragrant.
- Add in ground chicken. Break up the meat and cook until 80% done (you should still see a little pink in the meat).
- Pour in the sauce mixture and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and most of the sauce is absorbed.
- Add the green beans and cook until tender. Turn off heat and toss in holy basil until it wilts. Serve on a side of steamy hot rice or cauliflower rice and enjoy!
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce has an explosion of flavor! It's thick in consistency and adds sweet and salty flavors.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce may be pungent in scent for first-time users, however, don't let that deter you! It blends deliciously with the rest of the ingredients to create a depth of flavor along with its saltiness.
- Soy Sauce / Dark Soy Sauce: Both types of soy sauces bring different elements to the dish. Light or regular soy sauce adds saltiness and can be easily accessible at grocery stores. Dark soy sauce adds a deep rich color and can be found at local Asian markets or Amazon. If you can't find dark soy sauce, keep in mind that your Thai Basil Chicken will come out lighter in color.
- Basil: Holy basil can be challenging to find, even in Asian markets. If you can find it, great! If not, don't sweat it. Thai basil is much more accessible and can be used as a substitute. Even Italian basil could work. The flavor profile of the dish will be slightly different depending on which you use, but will be so delicious nonetheless!
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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