Thai Chicken Stir Fried With Holy Basil (Gai Pad Graprow)

Recipe by Sandi From CA
READY IN: 35mins


  • 1
    lb boneless chicken thighs (coarsely chopped, or cut into small bite-size pieces. Smallest pieces soak up most sauce!)
  • 4 -6
    garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 -3
    shallots, thinly sliced (or substitute with 1/2 cup sliced onion)
  • 2 -3
    tablespoons peanut oil, for stir-frying
  • 2
    teaspoons black soy sauce (the semi-sweet kind, siew dohm)
  • 1 -2
    tablespoon Thai fish sauce, to taste (nam bplah)
  • 1
    cup fresh Thai holy basil (bai gka-prow (In a pinch, use ANY basil, SEE NOTES ABOVE.)
  • 2
    small kaffir lime leaves, very finely slivered (bai ma-gkrood) (optional)
  • 5 -10
    2 -3 fresh jalapenos or 2 -3 fresno bell peppers, cut into large slivers (these have the least amount of heat)


  • Leave the fresh basil leaves whole; the flowers may also be used. The dried holy basil will soften when soaked in tap water for 10-15 minutes. Pull off and discard the hard stems. Drain.
  • Heat a wok until the surface is smoking hot.
  • Swirl in the oil to coat the wok surface.
  • Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then stir in the garlic, followed a few seconds later with shallots.
  • Stir another few seconds before adding the chicken.
  • Stir-fry a minute or two, or until most of the chicken has started to change color on the outside and is no longer pink.
  • Toss in the chillies, slivered kaffir lime leaves and reconstituted dried holy basil (if using).
  • Sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture and stir-fry another 15-20 seconds.
  • Then add fresh basil leaves and fish sauce to taste. Stir and mix well.
  • Stir-fry another half a minute, or until the basil is wilted and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with white pepper.
  • Stir and transfer to a serving dish, or spoon directly over individual plates of plain steamed rice.