Thai chicken with basil

Like everyone who is a bit busy, I enjoy very quick, healthy and usually low-carb meals for weeknight dinners.

This doesn’t mean, though, that I settle for boring or bland food. And yes, I do eat something else than Italian.

This is usually made with holy basil, unavailable in North America. Thai basil, I guess, has to be a good substitute.

If you want to make this gluten free, replace the soy sauce by Tamari or fish sauce, and the sweet soy sauce by palm sugar. If you don’t mind the carbs, this is usually served with steamed white rice. A steamed vegetable is also a perfect accompaniment. Make this now, and thank me later. You will want this every night of the week, including week-ends!

Pad Ka-Prao

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 tablespoons neutral tasting oil (I use avocado oil)
1 French shallot (or two Asian shallots)
2 garlic cloves
2.5 cm piece fresh ginger
1 cm piece galangal (optional)
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
2-5 bird’s eye chiles, deseeded
500 g ground chicken
1 tablespoon light soy
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (Kecap Manis)
1 bunch Thai basil leaves, whole
ground white pepper
fried egg seasoned with salt and white pepper


  1. Put the shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal (if using), lemongrass and chiles in a blender with a splash of water and purée until very smooth.
  2. In a wok or a skillet over high heat, cook the purée in the hot oil, stirring constantly, until fragrant, a few minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and stir constantly, mixing the meat with the fragrant purée, until the chicken is completely cooked through, a few minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce and season with pepper.
  5. Add the basil leaves and stir to combine, until the basil leaves have wilted.
  6. Serve immediately topped with a fried egg.

Thai chicken and basil


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