Pad Krapow Gai

Authentic Thai Pad Krapow Gai Recipe

Pad Krapow is a favourite among Thai office workers. It’s the perfect quick lunch and is the go-to food for so many Thais. When you can’t decide what you want for lunch, pad krapow gai is always the default choice.

In Thailand, it comes with plain jasmine rice and usually with either a crispy fried egg or omelette on top. The egg helps to counter the extreme spice, as pad krapow is a fiercely spicy dish!

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This Is What a Classic Pad Krapow Gai Looks Like in Thailand, Complete With Crispy Fried Egg

So What Does Pad Krapow Gai Mean (ผัดกะเพราไก่)?

In Thai, pad translates to stir-fried; krapow translates to basil; and gai translates to chicken. So pad krapow gai translates to stir-fried chicken with basil.

EnglishEnglish TranslationThai (Script)

My Pad Krapow Gai Recipe

“Pad Krapow,” is a beloved Thai dish, and typically features either chicken or pork as the main protein component. The versatility of this dish is evident in how the meat can be presented in two distinct ways: in small, bite-sized pieces or finely ground into a flavourful mince. In many Thai households and restaurants, the recipe you’ll commonly encounter involves the use of minced chicken, making it a popular and accessible choice for both home cooks and diners.

When opting for minced chicken, you’re diving into a variation that is cherished for its ability to absorb the rich and aromatic flavours of the dish. The fine texture of the chicken mince ensures that every bite is a delightful burst of savoury goodness, as it readily soaks up the harmonious blend of seasonings and spices that define Thai cuisine.

I’ve included a lot of chillies in my recipe as it’s authentic and as I’m Thai, I like it spicy. If you can’t handle this heat level, just reduce the amount of chillies to a level you are comfortable with.

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Visual Guide (Recipe Below)

Pad Krapow Gai

One of the most popular dishes for Thai people. It really is their go-to meal choice when they just don't know what they want! It's very spicy and best eaten with some plain jasmine rice and crispy fried egg. You can reduce the amount of chillies though if you want.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: thai
Keyword: ผัดกระปัวไก
Servings: 2 person
Author: Manaow


  • 1 wok
  • 1 Pestle and Mortar


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 birds eye chillies Reduce if you don't like it spicy
  • 1 red chilli
  • 100 g Thai holy basil Use normal basil if you can't find Thai holy basil
  • 300 g chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp seasong sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce


  • Pull the leaves from the basil plant
  • Thinly slice the single red chilly
  • Mince the chicken, either with a machine or with a knife
  • Pound the garlic and birds eye chillies together using the pestle and mortar
  • Heat the wok and add a small amount of cooking oil
  • Add the chilli and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds
  • Add the chicken and stir-fry until it begins to change colour
  • Add seasoning sauce
  • Add dark soy sauce
  • Add sugar
  • Continue to stir-fry for another couple of minutes
  • Add the red chilli
  • Add the basil leaves
  • Continue to stir-fry until the basil leaves have become soft


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What Is Thai Holy Basil, and Can I Use Regular Basil as a Substitute?
Thai holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) has a distinct peppery and slightly spicy flavour. While you can substitute regular sweet basil or Italian basil in a pinch, it won’t replicate the authentic flavour of pad grapow gai. Thai holy basil is preferred for an authentic taste.

Can I Adjust the Level of Spiciness in Pad Grapow Gai?
Yes, you can adjust the spiciness to your preference by adding more or fewer Thai bird’s eye chillies. Remove the seeds for less heat, or omit them altogether if you prefer a milder dish.

Is Pad Grapow Gai a Healthy Dish?
Pad grapow gai can be a relatively healthy dish, especially if you use lean ground chicken and moderate amounts of oil and sauce. However, the final nutritional content can vary depending on the recipe and cooking method.

Can I Make Pad Grapow Gai with Other Proteins or Tofu?
Yes, you can make pad grapow with various proteins, including pork (pad grapow moo), beef (pad grapow neua), shrimp (pad grapow goong), or tofu (pad grapow tofu). Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on your choice of protein or tofu.

What Is the Best Way to Store Leftover Pad Grapow Gai?
Store leftover pad grapow gai in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can typically be kept for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving.

Can I Make a Vegetarian or Vegan Version of Pad Grapow Gai?
Yes, you can make a vegetarian or vegan version by using plant-based ground meat or tofu and substituting fish sauce with a vegan fish sauce alternative or soy sauce. Ensure all other ingredients are vegan-friendly, and you can enjoy a delicious vegan pad grapow gai.

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