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Thai Basil Chicken Pad Krapow

Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow)

When I lived in Charlotte, NC, there was once Thai restaurant I’d visit often. For family birthdays, lunch special meetups with my best friend, and sometimes just to order my favorite seasonal dessert, Mango Sticky Rice. The one dish I’d ALWAYS order was this minced chicken dish full of soft onions, garlic, and fresh thai basil called Pad Krapow. It had simple ingredients, but packed so much flavor in every bite. Sometimes I’d even eat it as a cold leftover, it was that good.

The recipe below is not meant to be an authentic Thai recipe because, well, I’m not Thai 🙂 But, it’s close to what I’d order at my favorite restaurant. I hope you enjoy it! If you decide to make this recipe or have any questions about how to make it, head over to my instagram @thefamiliarkitchen so we can connect and I can see how it turned out for you!


  • Sesame Chili Oil, 3 tbsp
  • Red or Green Serrano Chilies, 2, thinly sliced
  • Shallots, 3, thinly sliced
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, thinly sliced
  • Chicken Thighs, 2 lbs, minced (or use Ground Chicken)
  • Chicken Broth, 1/2 cup
  • Thai or Lime Basil, 1 bunch (about a cup) (sweet basil is ok too)
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • Optional, Lime, squeeze half over the final dish
The Sauce
  • Just Date Syrup or Brown Sugar, 2 tbsp
  • Fish Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp
  • Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tbsp
  • Ground Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp



In a wok or wide skillet on high heat, add in the sesame chili oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the shallots, serrano, and garlic. Saute this until soft and lightly golden.


Add in the chicken and cook until brown. You will see moisture start to come from the chicken. Keep stirring the chicken so that the moisture reduces and cooks out.


Combine all of the sauce ingredients. Once the moisture reduces significantly, pour in the sauce. Continue to stir the chicken so that the sauce starts to reduce and coat the chicken. The sauce will start to caramelize on the chicken. Once this happens, add the whole basil leaves. Cook until the basil softens. Check for salt and optionally squeeze lime over the final dish. That’s it!

Note: If you had any leftover rice, you can add it to the same pan with the cooked bits and oil in it and make a quick fried rice. Dump the rice in the pan, make a well in the center and crack two eggs in. Scramble the eggs and add in some black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Done!

When I was a kid, one of the first things my mom taught me how to make was a hot cup of chaya (homestyle tea). It was like a rite of passage…and an invitation to her colorful, spice-filled kitchen. The most exciting part back then was daringly pouring the steamy, caramel-colored goodness from one steel cup to another so I could cool it down and get that classic, frothy texture to sit atop the tea. It’s a recollection of my childhood every time I do it. That same magical feeling still shines through my recipes, both new and old. There’s just nothing like creating a dish so full of evocative flavor and love. It’s what gives me joy and the inspiration to share this experience with you every day! It’s something I hope offers you adventure, a little piece of home, and maybe even something a little familiar.

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