Charlotte and I both love to travel and we love to cook. So what’s more fun than returning home after a trip and making one or more of the dishes we tasted on the road? In this case, it was Charlotte who took a cooking class while traveling to Thailand.
One of the dishes she made was Thai chicken with basil.
In Thai, Phad means stir-fry, kaprao means ‘Thai basil’ and Gai (or Kai) stands for chicken. There, you’ve picked up your Thai a bit. I think Thai basil is essential for this dish, but unfortunately it is not always easy to find.
Common basil vs Thai basil
Alternatively, regular basil is ok to use, but I do find the taste really different. Thai basil has a totally different flavour. A bit of a combination between mint and basil. Italian basil is also called sweet basil because it is said to be sweeter. Now I don’t think sweet is the best term, but okay let’s go with that.
The Phad Kaprao Gai is easy to make and can be on the table in 20 minutes. I like to pair this with rice, but you can also serve it with cauliflower rice or noodles.
Phad Kaprao is not only made with chicken. You can find this dish with pork, beef or shrimp. The dressing is usually made with fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and nice hot peppers.
If you are not a fan of very hot chilli peppers, you can of course also just use red pepper.
2-3bird's eye chili pepers substitute with regular red chili if you want it less hot
Add the oil to a wok on low heat. As soon as the oil is hot you add the garlic, onion, chili peppers and the chicken. Bake until fragrant and cooked.
Briefly cook the green beans for a few minutes. Drain and add them to the wok with the fish sauce, sugar and the oyster sauce. Add a bit of water and stirfy the whole. As soon as it is cooked, add the basil.