Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

Thai Basil Chicken

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This Thai basil chicken recipe is one of the most popular and probably the most well-known street foods in Thailand. The traditional name for Thai basil chicken is “pad kra pao gai” (ผัดกระเพราไก่).

Here in North America, it’s comparable to Sesame Chicken! You can check out our Sesame Chicken recipe here.

Thai holy basil, also known as just Thai basil, is the not-so-secret secret ingredient that makes this Thai basil chicken recipe so delicious. Its use is not only limited to only this dish though.

Thai basil packs more of a spicy punch compared to its cousin, sweet basil, and can easily be used interchangeably in many different recipes.

Thai basil stands up to cooking a little better than sweet basil making a great choice for soups, stir-fries and curries. It can also be eaten raw and goes well sprinkled over salads or cold noodle dishes

Its lovely licorice aroma is best paired with meat or seafood dishes and with garlic. There are also lots of peppery, anise-like, and warm spicy flavours in this herb. It’s a great way to add an extra kick to any recipe.

Something important to remember about any kind of fresh basil is to not be afraid to use it in large amounts. Fresh basil is a relatively fragile herb and can lose much of its fragrance after a few days in the refrigerator.

A traditional Thai basil chicken recipe is usually served with rice and a fried egg. Many Thai restaurants claim its mandatory to be served with the egg!

You can change up this recipe to your own taste though. The chicken can easily be swapped out for the meat of your choice and the dish will still taste amazing!

Now let’s get started in this Thai basil chicken recipe!

Thai Basil Chicken Recipe

This Thai basil chicken recipe is one of the most popular Thai street food dishes. The chicken is stir-fried with Thai holy basil and served on top of rice with a fried egg on the side.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: basil, chicken, stir-fry, thai
Servings: 2


  • 1 cup jasmine rice uncooked
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil divided
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 4-10 Thai chilli peppers
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 handfuls Thai holy basil leaves


  • First cook the rice following the directions on the bag and fry the eggs in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Set the eggs aside for later.
  • Rinse the chicken breast in cold water and pat dry with some paper towel. Then chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Rinse and peel the cloves of garlic and flatten them with the side of a knife. Remove the stems from the Thai chilli peppers. Then mince both the garlic and the chillies together. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to do this if you have one. This will help bring out the flavours when frying them in oil.
  • Rinse off your holy basil leaves in cold water and set them aside to dry off. Make sure to remove the stems from the leaves.
  • Now it’s time to start cooking! Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan or wok over high heat. When the oil is hot, add in the minced chillies and garlic. Stir-fry them for 20 seconds or until they become fragrant.
  • Then add in your chicken and stir constantly. Continue stirring and frying them until the chicken is completely cooked through. If you find that the chicken has become dry, add in a tiny splash of water.
  • After, add in the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and dark sweet soy sauce. Stir until the sauces and chicken are mixed well.
  • Grab your basil and toss it into the pan and fold it into the chicken. Then immediately turn off and remove the pan from the heat. The holy basil needs to only cook for around 5 seconds. Cooking the basil for too long will make it lose some of its flavours and become chewy. It will continue to wilt and its flavour will mix with the chicken with the existing heat.
  • Scoop a portion of rice onto each plate and place one egg on top. Split the Thai basil chicken between the two plates and garnish with a couple of basil leaves. Ready to serve. Enjoy!

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