Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow Gai) Recipe

Recipe courtesy of my fellow ABC mom friend Hilda, who says this is a rough recipe because she doesn’t really use measurements when she makes this dish. She took some friends and me to this Thai restaurant in LA called Sanamluang Cafe after a summer hike in the Hollywood Hills and I have not forgotten how delicious the food was. My hard-to-impress husband and kids even enjoyed it when I returned here before going to Griffith Observatory over the summer. Mouth is watering. Enjoy.


  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced (optional, but I usually like to add more veggies)
  • 1/2 onion, sliced width-wise
  • Thai basil (regular basil ok too, but Thai basil has a stronger flavor which is better for the dish. I’m not sure how many leaves I use…maybe like 20-30?)
  • 1 lb ground chicken (I usually pick up from Trader Joes)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4-1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Thai chili power (Chinese chili powder doesn’t taste the same).
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Brown/White sugar (optional)
  • Chicken stock (I don’t usually use this, but it is optional if you want it more saucy)


  1. Saute veggies first. Sometimes I salt it very little for some flavor because the other ingredients will make the dish very salty. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil and add minced garlic and just sweat briefly.
  3. Add chicken and break it up.
  4. Once it is almost done cooking, add about 3/4-1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1.5-2 tbsp fish sauce, a little bit of sugar if you like and chicken stock if you like it more saucy.
  5. Add all the veggies and mix.
  6. Add a little oyster sauce and chili powder.
  7. Check for taste…I usually like mine to have more fish sauce flavor so sometimes I will add more of that. When it has the flavor and spice that you like, you can turn off the heat and mix the basil leaves in and let the heat wilt the leaves.
  8. Serve with rice bc it tends to be a saltier dish. If you are avoiding carbs, I find it goes well with roasted cauliflower, too.
* I notice when I add more chili powder, it makes the dish taste saltier so if I know I will be using chili powder, I usually stay at about 1 tbsp of fish sauce. If I don’t use any chili powder, I put more fish sauce in, but not more than 2 tbsp. And by tbsp, I mean using that Chinese soup spoon I used today. (I don’t know if that really equals 1 tbsp but it looks close)
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