Look no further, I have the perfect weeknight dish for you: Thai basil chicken. This dish is bursting with flavor, easy-to-make and will likely be something you make on repeat.
If you’re looking for more Thai-inspired dishes, then try my Thai Chicken and Rice Soup recipe, next!
I LOVE Thai Basil Chicken and I LOVE this recipe–it’s absolutely delicious! My mom shared with me her take on Thai basil chicken whom she learned from my Aunt, who owns a Thai restaurant. If you’re looking for restaurant quality Thai basil chicken–save yourself a few bucks by making this recipe.
What is Thai Basil Chicken?
Thai Basil Chicken, better known as Pad Kra Pao Gai is the infamous Thai street food dish. In America, Thai basil chicken is commonly ordered at Thai restaurants.
Thai basil chicken is a stir-fry dish that is fairly simple to prepare. The flavor profile is a balance of sweet and salty, with bright basil aroma.
If you’ve ordered this dish at a Thai restaurant, you’re probably used to seeing ground meat used rather than chicken thigh. I like both, but prefer chicken thigh meat as I feel this particular cut yields more flavor.
Thai basil chicken is typically served with jasmine rice and topped with a fried egg. You can skip this, but I recommend putting in the extra few minutes to fry up some eggy goodness–the flavor pairing is unmatched!
What you need to make Thai Basil Chicken:
- Chicken thigh
- Avocado oil or ghee
- Thai bird’s eye chili
- Brown sugar
- Oyster sauce
- Light soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce
- Fish sauce
- Thai holy basil leaves
What is Thai Basil?
This recipe calls for a specific type of basil, known as Thai basil–not to be conflated with Thai holy basil. Thai basil is different in that it has purple stems, a slight anise flavor, and is what gives this dish its signature flavor.
Thai holy basil is another fine substitute and both can be found at your local Asian market.
Ingredients to find at your local Asian market:
Below are a list of ingredients used to make this this easy and delicious dish:
- Light and dark soy sauce-these are the light soy sauce and dark soy sauce used for this recipe. They are not the same as Kikkoman brand soy sauce and helps this dish yield a certain taste.
- Oyster Sauce–Lee Kum Kee is a great brand.
- Thai Bird’s Eye Chili-small, red or green chilis found in the produce section of Asian market.
Tips and Tricks
Ever wonder how to get those perfectly sliced strips of chicken? Simply place chicken breast in the freezer for 30 minutes, then remove chicken from freezer and cut into ¼ inch diagonal slices. A slight freeze allows for more control of the chicken and cleaner slices.
Looking for more delicious eats?
- Tender and juicy: Fish Sauce Meatballs
- Super quick-and-easy: Caramelized Ginger Pork Bowls
- Aromatic and bright: Coconut Lime Mussels
- Household favorite: Thai Red Curry Chicken
These recipes are perfect for weeknight eats and bursting with flavor.
Loving this Recipe?
- 1 pound chicken thigh, boneless + skinless and chopped into small pieces
- ½ tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
- ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Thai bird’s eye chili, deseeded + chopped (optional)
- 1½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 35-45 Thai basil leaves, separated from stems
- Steamed jasmine rice
- Fried egg (optional, but highly recommend!)
1. In a small bowl, add brown sugar, oyster sauce, light + dark soy sauces, fish sauce, and water and whisk until brown sugar dissolves. Set aside.
2. In a wok or skillet over medium-high heat, add avocado oil. Add shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add chili and mix stir to combine.
3. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
4. Pour in sauce mixture and mix well, make sure chicken is coated in mixture. Cook for 1 minute or until sauce is slightly reduced.
5. Turn off flame and add holy basil. Stir until leaves are wilted.
6. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!