Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Recipe (Pad Krapow Gai)
The Best Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken, traditionally known as Pad Krapow Gai, is one of my favorite go-to items at our local Thai restaurant. It is a fresh and simple stir-fry dish with bold spicy heat, and lots of fresh basil.
This Thai recipe is easy to replicate at home in a wok or a large sauté pan. Not only does it taste just as yummy as restaurant-quality basil chicken, you can feel good knowing exactly what ingredients are in every bite.
Homemade Pad Krapow Gai can be served with classic white rice or any number of low-carb options. It’s ready in only 30 minutes AND makes fabulous leftovers, so it is perfect for including in your weekly meal prep plan!
Ingredients You Need
The foundation of this classic Thai recipe is tender, juicy, wonderfully spicy chicken and lots of fresh veggies. They are cooked together in one pan with a sweet and salty sauce to make an easy and delicious stir fry dish.
This stir fry is spicy due to the inclusion of Thai Bird Chiles. If you would like to make a milder version, simply leave them out.
Most of these basic ingredients can be found in the Asian foods section of your grocery store, or at a local Asian market.
You only need 4 ingredients to make the tangy sauce:
- Oyster sauce
- Soy sauce – low sodium
- Fish sauce
For the Thai Basil Chicken you need:
- Peanut or coconut oil – for stir-frying
- Boneless chicken thighs
- Thai bird chiles
- Red bell pepper
- Green beans
- Fresh Thai basil leaves – or sweet basil
How to Make Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai)
From start to finish this fantastically simple stir fry dish is ready in about 30 minutes.
First, quickly make the stir-fry sauce: In a small bowl (or measuring pitcher) mix the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
Next, chop the chicken thighs and all of produce. You want everything to be as close to uniform in size as possible. Leave the produce in separate piles so it’s easy to add in at different times.
Set a large wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Once hot, add the oil and chicken pieces. Stir and sauté for just a few minutes, until the chicken pieces are slightly browned on the outside almost cooked through.
Move the chicken to the sides of the pan and add in the minced garlic, Thai bird chiles, scallion whites, red bell pepper, and green beans. Stir and sauté another 3-5 minutes to stir-fry the veggies. The peppers and green beans should be cooked but still firm.
Now pour in the Pad Krapow Gai sauce. Stir and simmer a minute or two, until the sauce thickens a bit. If the sauce seems too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons water.
Get the Complete (Printable) Spicy Thai Basil Chicken [Pad Krapow Gai] Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Lastly, stir in the chopped basil and scallion greens. Once the basil wilts into the sauce, turn off the heat and serve right away while warm.
Homemade saucy, spicy Thai Basil Chicken is delicious served over white rice or hearty brown rice.
For a lower carb meal, enjoy Pad Krapow Gai with Roasted Cauliflower Rice or healthy quinoa.
And if you just can’t get enough basil, feel free to add a sprinkling of fresh chopped basil on top of the dish!
Variations of This Thai Basil Chicken Recipe
- Make gluten-free Pad Krapow Gai by using GF-friendly soy sauce. Also, make sure to check the oyster sauce and fish sauce for gluten as well.
- Mix it up and add other colored peppers, like yellow or green bell peppers.
- Omit or swap other veggies as you like. You can substitute the green beans and/or add broccoli, snow peas, or whatever stir-fry vegetables you prefer.
How to Store Leftovers
This is a great make ahead meal, and leftovers are delicious! Transfer cooled leftover Spicy Thai Basil Chicken to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I suggest either storing leftover rice separately, or simply making fresh to enjoy with reheated Pad Krapow Gai.
I do not recommend freezing, as defrosting and reheating will cause the veggies to become mushy.
Looking for More Thai-Inspired Recipes?
- Easy Chicken Pad Thai Recipe
- Thai Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce
- Spicy Thai Chicken Soup
- Keto Thai Larb Rolls
- The Best Thai Panang Chicken Curry
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Recipe (Pad Krapow Gai)
- For the Sauce –
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- water if needed
- For the Chicken Stir Fry –
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or coconut oil
- 2 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- 3-6 Thai bird chiles minced
- 1 bunch scallions chopped and separated into whites and greens
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces green beans trimmed and halved
- 1 cup packed fresh Thai basil leaves or sweet basil
- In a small bowl (or measuring pitcher) mix the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
- Chop the chicken thighs and all produce. Leave the produce in separate piles so it is easy to add in at different times.
- Move the chicken to the sides of the pan and add in the minced garlic, thai bird chiles, scallion whites, red bell pepper, and green beans. Stir and sauté another 3-5 minutes to stir-fry the veggies, until the green beans are cooked but still firm.
- Pour in the sauce. Stir and simmer 1-2 minutes. If the sauce seems too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons water.