When I lived in Charlotte, NC, there was one 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 for my Thai Basil Chicken 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)
- Thai or Lime Basil, 1 bunch (about a cup) (sweet basil is ok too)
- Salt, 1/2 tsp
- Lime, squeeze half over the final dish
- Chicken Broth, 1/3 cup
- Just Date Syrup or Brown Sugar, 2 tbsp
- Fish Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tbsp
- Oyster Sauce, 1 tbsp
- Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp
- Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tbsp
- Ground Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp
HOW TO MAKE IT
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 and most of the moisture has cooked out of the chicken. You will see moisture start to come out from the chicken. Keep stirring the chicken so that the moisture reduces and cooks out.
While the chicken continues to cook, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Once the moisture reduces significantly from the chicken, pour in half 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 remaining sauce to the pan to bring some moisture back into the dish. Continue cooking until the sauce slightly thickens.
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!