Introducing Thai basil chicken, a flavourful and nutritious dish that has its roots steeped in the culinary traditions of Thailand. This scrumptious recipe, locally known as ‘pad krapow gai’, showcases the harmonious blend of sweet, spicy and savoury flavours that define Thai cuisine.
A popular street food, Thai basil chicken has become a beloved favourite in households around the world, enchanting Australian palates with its irresistible taste and myriad health benefits.
At the heart of this Thai chicken dish lies the fragrant Thai basil, a herb known for its unique anise-like aroma and slightly spicy undertones. This culinary gem not only infuses the dish with its characteristic flavour but also brings with it an abundance of nutritional value. Thai basil is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
For this dish, we use free-range chicken, an excellent source of lean protein that works in tandem with the basil to make this recipe a nutritional powerhouse. Combined with the immune-boosting properties of garlic, the metabolism-enhancing effects of chillies, and the antioxidants found in bell peppers, Thai basil chicken becomes a delicious and healthful choice for any meal.
Chicken Chunks vs Ground (Minced) Chicken
In making Thai basil chicken, there are two main options for the free-range chicken: chicken chunks or ground chicken.
Chicken chunks are typically cut into bite-sized pieces and can be boneless or bone-in. One of the main advantages of using chicken chunks is that they tend to be more flavourful and juicier than ground chicken because the meat has more surface area to absorb the flavours of the sauce and spices used in the dish. Of course, using chicken chunks may require more cooking time.
Ground or minced chicken cooks quickly, making it a good option if you’re pressed for time. It also tends to be more tender than chicken chunks since it’s already broken down into smaller pieces. However, it may not be as tasty as chicken chunks since it has less surface area to absorb the flavours of the sauce and spices.
Ultimately, the choice between chicken chunks and ground chicken boils down to your preference. If you want more flavourful and juicier meat, free-range chicken chunks might be the way to go. But if you’re short on time or prefer a more tender texture, ground chicken might be the better option.
What To Serve With This Dish
Thai basil chicken is an exciting aromatic dish that pairs well with a variety of sides.
It is best enjoyed with steamed white rice or brown rice. However, you may also opt to serve it over a bed of rice or egg noodles.
Sautéed or stir-fried vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, and broccoli, make a great accompaniment to this dish. If you want something light, a refreshing salad with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato can provide a nice contrast to the rich flavours of the chicken. Crispy spring rolls filled with vegetables or shrimp also make for a tasty appetiser or side dish.
No matter what you choose, be sure to have plenty of Thai basil chicken on hand, as it’s sure to be a hit!
An appetizing yet uncomplicated Thai Basil Chicken dish can be whipped up in no time using either diced or ground chicken, along with yardlong beans and fresh Thai basil. This spicy version is enhanced by a mouthwatering umami sauce comprised of fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
- 1 500g Free-range Diced Chicken Breast
- ½ cup Yardlong beans (Green beans)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 Shallots
- 2 Birds eye chilli
- 1 cup Thai basil (leaves only or Italian basil)
Thai Basil Chicken Sauce
- Combine all the ingredients for the Thai basil sauce in a little bowl and keep it aside for later.
- Chop the garlic and chilies into small pieces and keep it aside for later. Cut the shallots (or small onion) into small pieces and keep them to the side.
- Remove and get rid of the stem end of the beans. Slice the yardlong beans (or green beans) into little pieces that are easy to chew.
- In order to prepare this dish, it is recommended to exclusively utilise the Thai basil leaves (or Italian basil) as the stems are typically robust and hard. Therefore, remove all the leaves from the stems and reserve them for the recipe while disposing of the discarded stems
- If you're not utilising minced or ground chicken, then cut the chicken into little pieces that are about half an inch in size and keep it aside.
- To avoid steaming or sweating the chicken, it is important to set the stove on high heat as this stir fry requires quick preparation.
- Once the pan is heated, add some oil to it, usually a few tablespoons. Put the shallots and chicken in the heated pan and continue cooking the chicken until it is cooked through.
- The duration required for cooking the food will differ based on the capabilities of your stove and also on the thickness of the pan used, whether it is a frying pan or wok. In our case, while using a carbon frying pan that was quite thick, with a gas stove, it took me approximately 5 minutes to cook the chicken completely.
- After your chicken is cooked completely, include the garlic, yardlong beans, birds eye chilies and sauce in the pan and cook for approximately 3 minutes until the green beans are fully cooked but still retain some crispy texture.
- Switch off the stove and incorporate the Thai basil into the mixture. Continue to stir until the basil becomes soft.
- Enjoy your meal by serving it with white rice and a fried egg.
- Our preferred method is to cook the fried egg separately beforehand and keep it aside, prior to beginning the stir-frying process. This allows the egg to be cooked on a fresh and clean frying pan or wok, preventing it from sticking due to any leftover stir-fry sauces.
- If your chicken begins to release water or “sweat”, which is more likely to happen with ground meat, continue cooking it until all the moisture has evaporated before chicken with the next step.
- If you get everything ready beforehand, creating this meal will be a breeze.
- To preserve the flavor, it’s important to switch off the heat before incorporating Thai basil in your cooking as it may lead to loss of some essential oils. However, when added after turning off the heat, residual heat produced by chicken can facilitate in softening and wilting the basil.
- It is recommended to always use freshly picked basil when preparing this Thai dish. The flavor and potency of dried basil does not compare to that of its fresh counterpart, even if using an entire package.
- Per serving
- Energy: 195 kcal / 815 kJ
- Fat: 11 g
- Protein: 15 g
- Carbs: 8 g
Get Free-Range Chicken From a Reputable Online Butcher
For Thai basil chicken and other meaty recipes, it’s essential to get fresh meat from a reputable neighbourhood online butcher like the Church Street Butcher in Brighton.
So, gather your ingredients, and embark on a flavourful journey with this delightful and nutritious Thai basil chicken recipe.
Drop by Church Street Butcher or shop online today!