Thai Holy Basil Chicken | Pad Kaprao Gai

April 10, 2019 (Last Updated: March 3, 2020)

thai holy basil chicken or pad kraprao gai in a white bowl

So you go to a Thai restaurant and feel overwhelmed by the choices available? Great, ’cause we get that too!

Whenever I go to a Thai dtam sang (made to order) place or cart with my friends, there’s always that one person, sometimes myself, who can’t decide what to eat and ends up ordering pad kraprao. Ask any of your Thai friends and you’ll be surprised to know that this holy delicious dish is known among Thai people as the dish to go for when we’re being annoyingly indecisive in a restaurant and everyone else is waiting for us to, for goodness’ sake, order.

thai holy basil chicken or pad kraprao gai in a white bowl

But guess what, you don’t have to be like us. If you don’t live in Thailand and are going to treat yourself to a Thai restaurant, get something that’s more difficult for you to prepare yourself and keep the Thai holy basil stir-fry something you make at home. It’s one of the most basic Thai dishes to make and when you make it yourself, you can have it as spicy or garlicky as you want. (I like mine pretty hot with lots of basil leaves because I have an endless supply of holy basil that my father grows.) 🙂

rice with thai holy basil chicken or pad kraprao gai

To make a great holy basil stir-fry, you want to make sure you really do pick the right kind of basil. You must get *holy basil* for this dish or your pad kraprao ends up a disaster. 🌪 Well, maybe not a disaster…but definitely something else. As far as chilies go, traditionally, this dish is supposed to be a little spicy so you’ll want a hot type. Of course, you don’t have to use as many chilies as I use in this recipe if you don’t like spicy food. I went to school with a dude who always got pad kraprao with no chilies, so that’s totally fine. 😂 And as always, cook your rice before you cook anything else! You’ll want to serve pad kraprao with rice and it’s best eaten when still warm.



Thai Holy Basil Chicken | Pad Kaprao Gai Recipe

thai holy basil chicken or pad kraprao gai in a white bowl

A quick and easy spicy Thai stir-fry. Delicious and filling over rice!

  • Author: Cooking with Nart
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Thai


  • ¼ teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 chilies
  • 270 grams chicken, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup holy basil leaves


  1. In a mortar, pound the white peppercorns, garlic and chilies with a pestle.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium heat and stir-fry the garlic and chili paste until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken and season with soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
  4. Turn off the heat when the chicken is done and stir in the holy basil leaves.

Keywords: thai holy basil stir fry, spicy stir fry, pad kraprao, pad graprao

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  • Reply
    April 11, 2019 at 10:03 am

    This recipe seems so easy to make. I’ll definitely be trying it out.

    • Reply
      April 11, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      It is! Hope you like it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Roslia santamaria
    April 15, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    This looks super tasty!! I can’t wait to give it a try! It’s all delicious ingredients 🙂

    • Reply
      April 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      Thank you! Please do give it a try! 🙂

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