With a large family, I’m a huge fan of quick meals. Any recipe I can get on the table in less than 30 minutes is a win. If it uses only one pan, that’s even better! This Pad Krapow Gai (Thai basil chicken) recipe is both.
What Is Pad Krapow Gai?
In Thai, pad means “stir-fried,” krapow is “holy basil,” and gai means “chicken.” In essence, this recipe is a stir-fried basil chicken dish. It’s sweet and savory, but not spicy like many Thai dishes are, making it a great choice for those who are new to Thai food.
If you like spice, you can easily adapt this recipe by adding a bit more of the Thai chilies (sometimes I use the more easy-to-find jalapeños instead).
How to Make Pad Krapow Gai Healthy
Thai food isn’t too unhealthy to begin with, so it’s pretty easy to make it into something I feel good about feeding my family.
I like to use Kettle and Fire chicken broth because it’s made with organic ingredients including chicken bones from pastured animals. I also use homemade when I have time to make it.
Instead of using soy sauce (which contains soy, wheat, and additives that I like to avoid), I use coconut aminos. The taste is the same, but coconut aminos is made from coconut instead of soy.
Many Thai recipes call for sugar, but I prefer to use healthier sweeteners. Honey and maple syrup are my favorite choices since they are natural sources of sugar. I still don’t like to eat lots of them, but they don’t have the same negative effect on the body as table sugar does.
As you may know, I don’t ever use processed vegetable oils (like corn, soy, or sunflower). I use healthier oils like coconut, olive, and avocado. These oils offer healthy fats to support a healthy body.
The seasonings in this recipe are about the same as many other recipes. I like to use fresh basil from my garden when I can to create a really fresh and flavorful dish.
How to Serve Pad Krapow Gai (Tai Basil Chicken)
Typically, Thai food is served with long-grain jasmine rice or short-grain sticky rice. This dish is amazing over rice, cauliflower rice, or on its own. I like to switch it up and use cauliflower rice sometimes for added nutrition.
You can also add a shallow fried egg and a slice of lime for a fun and delicious variation.
25-Minute Pad Krapow Gai Recipe (Thai Basil Chicken)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (or wheat-free tamari)
- 2 TBSP fish sauce
- 2 TBSP honey (or maple syrup)
- 3 TBSP coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (coarsely chopped)
- ½ cup shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 TBSP Thai chilies (or other hot pepper, optional)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- In a bowl, stir together the broth, coconut aminos, fish sauce, and honey, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until hot.
- Add the chopped chicken and fry for about 5 minutes until mostly cooked.
- While the chicken is cooking, slice the shallots, and mince the garlic and chilies.
- Add the shallots, garlic, and chilies to the chicken and continue cooking for 4 more minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture to the skillet and let it brown and caramelize for a minute or two.
- Add the remaining sauce and cook another 2 minutes until the sauce is hot.
- Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Thinly slice the basil and add to the pan.
- Stir just to combine and serve immediately over rice or cauliflower rice.
Want More Asian-Inspired Recipes?
My family loves Thai, Japanese, and other Asian inspired dishes. Here are some of my favorites:
- Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Coconut Soup) – This tasty soup recipe is simple to make but is loaded with flavor. I like to whip this recipe up when it’s cold out and we need a tasty and warming meal.
- Coconut Shrimp – Though coconut shrimp sounds fancy, it really only takes a few minutes to prepare. I often bread the shrimp ahead of time (and leave them in the refrigerator until it’s time to cook) so that dinner time is simple and easy.
- Asian Color Burst Salad – I love this simple salad that can be easily turned into a meal with some leftover chicken or steak. The dressing adds amazing flavor to this nutrient-packed salad.
- Thai Chicken Curry – This recipe is so easy to throw together and is full of amazing flavor. I like to throw it in the slow cooker in the morning (or the Instant Pot in the late afternoon) and let this dish cook while I do other things.
- Sesame Crusted Salmon – Salmon is a great fatty fish that adds a lot of healthy omega-3 fatty acids to the diet. This recipe turns it into a Japanese dish with ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds.
Many of these recipes are simple and quick meals for busy weekday nights. I love being able to offer my family something tasty that doesn’t take all day to prepare!
What is your favorite Thai meal?