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20 Minute Thai Basil Chicken

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Look forward to your weekday dinners with this QUICK & EASY Thai Basil Chicken Stiry Fry a.k.a Pad Grapao! Fragrant Thai basil protein-rich chicken in a sweet, salty, and spicy sauce. How can you go wrong? These flavours are unique, addicting, and taste like love at first bite. 

This is unlike any stir-fry you have had before

You may be used to large pieces of protein with vegetables in a soy based or sweet sauce. Although those are delicious in their own ways, Pad Grapao takes stir fry to another level. If you want to add vegetables to it, feel free! It would taste amazing with some chopped green beans and even eggplant! As I always like to say, get creative in the kitchen!

Holy basil vs. Thai basil

Traditionally this dish is made with Holy Basil. It’s peppery with a little more kick compared to Thai Basil. Who knew there were this many varieties of basil available?  I was able to find a beautiful bunch of fresh Thai Basil at my local Asian grocery store. During the summers, we also grow it in our garden since we usually keep this recipe in our weekly rotation. Thai basil has a wonderful licorice-like flavour. If you’re not a fan of licorice, don’t let that scare you! Combined with the flavours of chillies, garlic, and the wonderful umami sauce, you may just fall in love with this dish. 

Flavour foundations

The beauty of Thai food is how the combination of  sweet, salty, sour and spicy come together differently in each dish. Right beside Filipino food, Thai food is up there as one of my favourite cuisines. To add a sour element I like squeezing some lime juice on top. It adds brightness to what is already a flavourful dish. 

Enjoy the way you want

Rice is AMAZING with this but if you want something a little lighter, you can serve it in some lettuce leaves. Having this dish with cucumber on the side is also super tasty. What I love most about this dish is that although there are no vegetables cooked in the stirfry itself, it goes really well with fresh, crisp vegetables like lettuce and cucumber. The contrast between the deep flavour of the chicken and the refreshing flavour of lettuce and cucumber is SO GOOD!

Chopping the chicken

This recipe requires that your chicken be finely minced. I like to do this by using a sharp cleaver and chopping the chicken until I’m left with pieces about the size of a green pea. With a sharp knife, it’s easy to mince your chicken BUT if you don’t have time, feel free to use ground chicken. 

This is truly one of those recipes that will change the way you see cooking. It’s healthy, quick and flavourful. It’s a must try! 

Quick & Easy Thai Basil Chicken

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Recipe by asiamakes Course: Dinner, LunchCuisine: AsianDifficulty: 2


Prep time


10 minutes



Fragrant Thai basil protein-rich chicken in a sweet, salty, and spicy sauce. How can you go wrong? These flavours are unique, addicting, and taste like love at first bite. 

Cook Mode

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  • 3 chicken breasts

  • 3-6 Red Thai Chillies

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 2 cups of Thai basil leaves washed and cleaned

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil

  • Wedges of lime (optional)


  • Place your chicken breasts on a cutting board and using a sharp knife finely mince your chicken until it almost forms a coarse paste. A cleaver works best.*
  • With a mortar and pestle, crush the chillies and garlic until they form a coarse paste.
  • Heat a wok or skillet on medium high heat and add oil.
  • Once oil is heated, add chili garlic mixture and fry until fragrant making sure not to burn the garlic.
  • Add chicken and continue to stirfry for 5 minutes.
  • Add oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and continue to stir fry for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Turn the heat off and add Thai Basil. Stir until basil begins to wilt.
  • Enjoy with a bowl of steamed rice, or in a lettuce wrap. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice if desired.


  • *If chopping is not your thing, feel free to substitute 2 pounds of ground chicken.
  • **You can also use a blender if you do not have a mortar & pestle.

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