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Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

Thai Basil Chicken – made with ground chicken, basil leaves, and chilies. Basil chicken is great with rice and this recipe is super easy and authentic! |

Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

Thai Basil Chicken – made with ground chicken, basil leaves, and chilies. Basil chicken is great with rice and this recipe is super easy and authentic!

Originally published on Dec 1, 2009. Updated with new photos.

Thai Basil Chicken – made with ground chicken, basil leaves, and chilies. Basil chicken is great with rice and this recipe is super easy and authentic! |

When I was working in Beverly Hills, there is this Thai restaurant that my colleagues and I would always go to. One of my favorite dishes was its spicy basil chicken rice plate—perfectly steamed and fluffy jasmine rice coupled with ground chicken meat infused with aromatic Thai basil leaves. It was delicious, with fine balance of fiery hot and savory. I just loved that dish.

Thai Basil Chicken – made with ground chicken, basil leaves, and chilies. Basil chicken is great with rice and this recipe is super easy and authentic! |

Now that I left the company, I often miss the basil chicken rice plate for my lunch. Living in Orange County, with no decent Thai restaurants within the 30 miles radius, I decided to learn making it myself.  And so I did, and I learned well.There are many gai pad krapow recipes scattered on the internet but I attempted and adapted the basil chicken recipe at Temple of Thai. The beautiful picture pretty much sealed the deal. It did not disappoint; it works and delivers the authentic flavors that I have been longing for.

Thai Basil Chicken – made with ground chicken, basil leaves, and chilies. Basil chicken is great with rice and this recipe is super easy and authentic! |

I love making this recipe at home because Mr. Rasa Malaysia really enjoys the dish. My son also loves the recipe because it’s made with ground chicken and it’s very easy for him to chew and eat. For the basil leaves, if you can find royal basil leaves in your farmers market, use them. Otherwise, use Asian basil leaves with purple stems. All in all though, this Thai basil leaf chicken recipe is very easy to make and will definitely be my keeper!

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78 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. i fell in love with Thai food when I was in Sydney.. I needed to eat Thai food at least once or twice a week, but I never did cook them.. I should try since this is easy :D and yummmmyyy !! Served with rice and sunny side up egg! * oh hungry… *

  2. This is one of my absolute favorites when I lived in Thailand: though usually with pork (moo) as opposed to chicken. Incredibly delicious over rice, or with the Thai rice crackers!

    Mmm. Now I’m homesick.

  3. I love this stir fry! Extra spicy for me please. :) Just a couple of tablespoons of this and a bowl of steamed rice and I call it a meal. But make sure I have a big tall glass of water near by. LOL If you can get holy basil it would even be super delicious. It’s what they used in Thailand. Holy basil is one of my favorite herbs. The aroma is a lil lemony and peppery and compliments well with spicy stir-fried dishes like this one. I have a picture of my holy basil plant that I used when I made a classic Cambodian dish called Fiery Stir-Fried Lemongrass Quail.

  4. this is one of my favourite thai dishes! doesnt look spicy but it sure is hot!
    never attempted to make it on my own cos i guess pg’s quite blessed with thai food restaurants :)

  5. That looks like a really nice dish Bee! I understand why you’ve been craving it. That’s the perfect lunch for any day of the week. I’ll be making soon! Thanks for sharing!

    (4 exclamation points in one comment. I think i exceeded my quota! :)

  6. Rashmi

    This look really great. I also like it extra spicy.
    You can find holy basil in Little Sigone markets.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  7. basil is pretty much my favourite herb so i definitely love this! will try and make it this week as my meals are starting to seem pretty boring and i’m craving thai food :)

    • zaphia

      This one is next on my list. I made Kung Pao chicken today for lunch and loved it as did my guests! Thanks for sharing your recipes. Whatever I have tried from your website has always turned out delightful.

  8. Mr Pomme

    I’ve tested it today and it was pretty fine(I’m in love with sweet basil), thank you for your recipe.I’ve put an adpation of it on my website in french.

    Mr Pomme

  9. Danielle

    Thank you for the delicious recipe! I love thai food and I had this dish at a thai restaurant before but it was way too salty. Your recipe is so simple and easy to make and it has just enough flavor to satisfy my taste buds. Thank you! =)

  10. Moondog

    I make this at least once a week, substituting brown sugar for the palm sugar and using very thinly sliced steak instead of ground chicken. The smell of fish sauce is, I find, overwhelmingly strong, so I usually add in the juice of half a lime during the ‘add liquid’ stage, and serve it over rice with a lime slice as garnish/further flavor to brighten things up.

    It’s very popular. =>

  11. Chris

    I cannot wait to give this a try! Could you also make it with Pork? If so, which cut do you think?

    It’s funny, I’ve ordered this at various restaurants in the UK and sometimes it comes like the above but other times it comes as sliced meat with more of a ‘sauce’. It definitely has the same English language name on the menus.

    Oh, also, will your book be available in the UK? Thanks again!

  12. Ben P.

    It is a good take although I don’t grind up the chicken meat, use Thai Basil and Brown Sugar. Also there are a lot of good Thai restaurants in the OC, you must not be from round here are yah???

  13. jimmattie

    I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and I absolutely love it. I do make a bit extra of the sauce but all the proportions are spot on. I actually like this one better than the local thai place! Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  14. Dave

    Oh my! I am currently eating this wonderful dish but I needed to take a break and simply say “Oh wow” and “oh my”! Such a wonderful dish and an easy one to make. Goes very well with jasmine rice.

  15. Dave Gebo

    Excellent recipe! I’ve made this many times and always a hit. Tonight, I substituted the chicken with shrimp. Chopped (not ground) shrimp. Ooh so very nice!! : )

  16. I made this last night with tofu instead of chicken and thought it was excellent. I substituted black soy sauce for the kecap manis (because I didn’t have any) and increased the fish sauce to 1 3/4 tablespoons. I also thought 3 thai chilies was plenty–it came out very hot.

    I served it with a Thai version of my fried rice recipe, using a combination of fish sauce and soy sauce, adding tomatoes and leaving out the Chinese rice wine. All around a really nice meal. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Jean

    This is such a wonderful recipe – so simple to make with only a few basic ingredients but incredibly delicious to eat. Thank you.

  18. presa1200

    this is my own modified version:

    1) 4 cloves garlic
    2) 4 big red chilies
    3) 8 bird’s eye chilies
    4) 500gm minced chicken or beef
    5) oil for sauteing
    6) 2 tbsp kikkoman soy sauce
    7) 2 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    8) 1 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
    9) a dash of white pepper powder
    10) 1 tbsp sugar
    11) a bunch of Thai sweet basil (or 1 tbsp dried basil if you can’t find any)


    blend 1, 2 and 3 until all incorporated. heat up oil in big frying pan or wok on medium fire, saute the blended ingredients until fragrant then mix in the minced chicken and stir well. add some water if too dry. when it’s cooked, add in all the sauces, pepper and sugar and Thai sweet basil. stir for 30 seconds and serve. trust me it’s spicy and delicious, you can eat it with rice, topped with a sunny side up.


    the reason i blended the chilies and garlic so that they release more flavor. you must adjust the seasoning so that it suits your taste. alternatively you can also toss in some yardlong bean, cut them 1 inch in length. use red chilies for best result.

  19. jimbo

    This recipe is fantastic as is, and it has quickly become one of my favorite dishes to make. Thanks to your recipes I don’t have to miss out on my favorite asian dishes just because I don’t live in a city anymore! Thanks so much, keep up the good work!

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