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.
- Thai Shirataki Noodles – The savory Thai-inspired peanut butter sauce is to die for!
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?
Discussion (1 Comments)
This was so good and easy to make! I added in bell pepper slices with the shallots, etc. Had to reduce it down for much longer to get the sauce consistency but it was worth it! Thanks!