Thai food! It is a wonderful, exciting thing. If you like dishes with lots of chilli and fresh herbs, this is a good route to go down. Thai basil chicken or pad kra pao gai as it is also called has to be one of the classic street foods of Thailand. I highly recommend hunting down a nice big bunch of fresh Thai basil from an Asian supermarket (which nearly all of them should have) as this is what really brings the dish to another level. I know this dish looks like it has a slightly insane amount of garlic and chillies, but that is where a lot of the flavour comes from. I will admit that the amount of chillies I use makes a pretty spicy stirfry (which is how we like it), but if you are on the more sensitive side you can always remove the seeds, or use a less spicy type of chilli (like the long red ones), but I would recommend still trying to have at least the same quantity of cut up chilli as cut up garlic. Regarding the garlic, please, please do not crush it! There are definitely times where crushing your garlic is a great way to go, but as you are adding it straight to the hot oil with the chillies here, if it is crushed you will have burned, bitter garlic in seconds (the more technical speak of how crushing garlic breaks up all the cell walls…). You will also want to make sure your chicken is cut up into nice small bite size pieces, if it is too large it won’t cook through quickly enough. Stirfry recipes like this happen very quickly once you start adding things to the wok so I highly recommend having everything prepped and ready to throw in the wok before you turn the heat on. Finally, when you add that big handful of thai basil right at the end, you want to just slightly wilt it with the residual heat, not cook it, otherwise it will loose its fresh punch that brings this dish to life. Enjoy!!
Thai Basil Chicken
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 6-8 cloves of Garlic
- 4-8 Red Thai chillies depending how spicy you like it
- 1 tbsp Oil for frying
- 2 tsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- Drizzle of Dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 Big handfuls Thai basil leaves
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tbsp Oil to fry
- 1 cup Jasmine rice
- Finely chop up the garlic cloves and the chillies together, pick all the basil leaves off the stems and cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.
- Place jasmine rice in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. Place on a high heat with a lid on, when the rice comes to a boil, turn the heat down to minimum and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave on the stove top while everything else is being put together.
- Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a wok, or enough to cover the bottom, crack one of the eggs into the wok and fry, Spoon hot oil over the top of the egg to make it all bubbly. Remove the egg onto a plate when the white is cooked and the yolk is still a little runny. Fry the second egg the same way.
- Add the last tbsp of oil into the wok and add the chillies and garlic, cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant, but make sure it does not brown too much. Add the chicken pieces and continue stir-frying until the chicken is nearly cooked through.
- Add the oyster sauce, the two soy sauces and the sugar to the wok and continue stir-frying for a further 30 seconds. Throw in the basil leaves and fold them into the chicken and immediately turn the heat off.
- Place a serving of rice in a bowl, then add the chicken and top with a fried egg. Dig in!