Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Gkai Pad Gka-prow)

This is a a classic Thai dish. Its one of the most common and beloved dishes of Thai family-style dining. That is because it can be made out of anything, people often substitute the chicken with pork, beef, squid, shrimp, and seafood, anything you like. Thai Basil Chicken.

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Gkai Pad Gka-prow) 

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If you cannot find semi-sweet black soy sauce use regular soy sauce and a tablespoon of brown sugar.


  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 15 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs cut into small 1‑inch chunks
  • 12 thai chilies (prik kee noo) cut into very thin rounds
  • 2 small kaffir lime leaves (bai ma-gkrood), cut in chiffonades
  • 3 teaspoon black soy sauce (semi-sweet see-yew dahm wahn)
  • 2 tablespoon asian fish sauce
  • 2 cup fresh thai basil (stems, leaves and flower buds)
  • 1 pinch red pepper
  • more fish sauce and thai chilies for garnish
  • lime wedges, for serving


Start by putting the chunks of chicken into the food processor. Pulse the meat 8 or 9 times. Do not turn the meat into a paste. You want something a bit chunkier than ground meat. This will make for plenty of meat surface to come in contact with the flavorful sauce.

Heat a wok or very large skillet until its surface is almost smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the wok surface. It should “dance” and shimmer a bit if the pan is properly heated. Stir in the garlic and shallots. Stir continuously to keep them from burning. Though it is fine if they color some.

Almost immediately add the chicken. Stir-fry the mixture 1 to 2 minutes. When the chicken begins to change color but has not cooked all the way through yet toss in the chilies and kaffir lime leaves. Sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Season to taste with fish sauce.

Once the chicken has cooked through stir in the fresh basil and toss well. Stir-fry another minute or so, until the basil is wilted. Sprinkle with red pepper and transfer to a serving dish.

Serve with plain steamed rice and a small bowl of fish sauce with some chilie slices floating in it and a few lime wedges on the side.