Chicken Stir-Fry with Chillies and Basil Leaves | Pad Krapao Gai


10 Minutes


10 Minutes




You will see this dish on the menu of any Thai restaurant. “Pad” means stir fry, “kra pao” also spelled as “krapow” or “kra pow” is a type of basil grown in Thailand known as Thai holy basil. This Thai herb tastes slightly different from the more common Thai sweet basil that is easily available at supermarkets and Asian grocery stores in western countries. We will use the later type of basil leaves in this recipe.

Traditionally this dish uses mince meat, either pork or chicken for a quick stir-fry. But I am going to use chicken thigh fillets in nice chunky bite pieces.

Chicken Stir-Fry with Chillies and Basil Leaves | Pad Krapao Gai


  1. Prepare and marinade the chicken

  2. Prepare and chop the other ingredients 

  3. Make the chilli garlic paste using mortar and pestle

  4. Stir fry spices until fragrantly aromatic

  5. Add and stir fry chicken and vegetable until cooked

How to make

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.

Separate the basil leaves and set aside.

Remove the skin of french shallots. Then slice thinly and set aside.

Remove the skin of garlic and set aside.

Roughly chop the chilies and set aside (remove the seeds if you prefer less heat in the chili).

Cut the green beans into 2 sections and set aside.

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.

In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chilies until they are coarse but not fine and smooth. Set aside.

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.

Add sliced french shallots. Fry for another minute until shallots are soft and translucent.

Add chicken and fry for 5 minutes on high heat or almost half-cooked.

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.

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.

Turn the heat off. Then add the Thai sweet basil.

Remove and plate the dish.



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  • 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)