chicken stir fry


This popular Thai dish is peppery, spicy and loaded with lots of unique exotic flavor from the Thai basil. The chicken is stir-fried in garlic and red Thai chilies. Delicious brown sauce made of dark soy sauce, thin Thai soy sauce, oyster and fish sauce, served over a bed of jasmine rice.  You will be surprised how quickly this dish comes together with just a few ingredients.


Pad krapow gai Thai basil chicken is a very popular stir fry Thai street food. 


THAI BASIL: One of the main ingredients of this dish that makes it authentic is Holy Basil (Krapow). This can be difficult to find. I have used Thai Basil which works well. Thai basil has a slight sweet flavor. It is not the same as Italian basil. I usually find Thai basil at our local international grocery stores. 

CHICKEN: Boneless, skinless chicken is great for this recipe. I have thinly sliced the chicken. But I have read that authentically chicken is diced into pieces or even ground. 

THAI RED CHILI: I have used Thai red chilies for the spice. These are bird’s eye chilies that are very spicy. I used 2 to give a mild spicy flavor.

THIN SOY SAUCE: I used thin soy sauce. This is also called Thai light soy sauce and is equivalent to the Chinese light soy sauce.

DARK SOY SAUCE: I also used dark soy sauce. It’s a little sweeter and less salty than regular soy sauce. But you can use regular soy sauce for this dish.

OYSTER SAUCE: The Oyster sauce does not have a fish taste. Instead, it has an earthy, sweet salty flavor.

FISH SAUCE: Fish sauce is a liquid condiment made from fish or krill and is fermented. You just need a light splash of this sauce to bring all the flavors together.

GARLIC & ONION: Try to use fresh garlic. Feel free to add more garlic if you like.  I like to use some onions in stir fry recipes. 


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 small red Thai chilies (adjust to taste)
  • hand full of fresh Holy basil or Thai basil
  • 1 tbsp. Dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Thin Thai soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Oyster sauce
  • Light splash of Fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Lime for garnish
  • 1/2 tbsp. neutral oil


  • Have all ingredients ready. Because stir fry technique moves quickly.
  • Pound garlic, red chilies and few basil leaves in mortar and pestle until coarse paste. Set aside
  • In small bowl, mix sauce ingredients dark and thin soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar. Set aside.
  • In a wok or skillet, heat oil. Sauté garlic and chili paste for about 15-20 seconds. Just until garlic gets fragrant and little golden brown.
  • Add chicken and sear for about 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce, coat chicken well in sauce. You can add little water or chicken broth to make little gravy.
  • Add bell peppers, onions & basil. Mix and just let the basil wilts.
  • add a light splash of fish sauce and squeeze of some lime juice.
  • Serve over boiled jasmine rice.
Author: Shazia
Course: Main
Cuisine: THAI