Gai Pad Grapow
(Thai spicy chicken and basil stir fry)
Amazingly easy to make and full of bright flavors, gai pad grapow is a favorite in Thailand. Prepare all your ingredients ahead and this meal comes together in just a few minutes. Thais use a specific type of basil called holy basil (grapow, gapow or kraphao) for this dish. If you can't find holy basil, your standard Thai or Italian basil will do just fine.
- Oil -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Chicken breast, boneless and skinless -- 1 pound
- Garlic -- 3 to 4 cloves
- Thai green chiles -- 2 to 4, or more to your taste
- Thai holy basil or other basil leaves -- 1 large bunch
- Stock or water -- 1/2 cup
- Fish sauce -- 3 tablespoons
- Palm or brown sugar -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt -- to taste
- Limes, cut into wedges -- 2
- Chop the chicken finely with a kitchen knife, by pulsing it in a food processor or by passing it through a meat grinder. Mince the garlic and chiles together until they almost form a paste. This can also be done in a small food processor or with a mortar and pestle.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the garlic-chile paste and stir fry for about 15 seconds. Next add the chicken and continue stir frying until the chicken is cooked through. Finally, add the basil leaves and continue to stir fry until the basil is wilted and mixed into the chicken.
- Stir in the stock or water, fish sauce and palm or brown sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and serve with lime wedges to squeeze and steamed jasmine rice.
Gai Pad Grapow Variations
- Other Meats & Seafood: Pad grapow can also be made with chopped or ground beef or pork instead of chicken. For a seafood grapow, use whole peeled shrimp, chopped squid or a mixture of the two.
- Vegetables: Too make your grapow a full meal, stir fry about 1 cup of chopped vegetables — onions, baby corn, green beans, long beans, red peppers — before you add the chicken.
- Other Seasonings: Use soy sauce if you're not a fan of fish sauce. Some recipes call for a tablespoon or so of oyster sauce.