Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thai Basil Chicken

So the long-awaited summer vacation is here. The morning first hour is more relaxing now because no rush to make my kid ready for school. But later part of the day becomes busier to keep him active, taking him for sports and other classes. I had very high expectation that I would be able to spend more time for my next posts in summer vacation. But the way things are going, not sure if I have to scale it down. Looking for recipes which will be easy to prepare and take the snaps without requiring much setup.

Every country in the world has its own food habits that reflect their culture, environment as well as their lifestyle. Thai food always shows the color, the freshness, flavor and the simplicity. They use many kinds of herbs and spices that have health benefits and add good flavor at the same time. Few of the common ingredients used in Thai dishes are Holy Basil, Thai Basil, cilantro, chilies lemongrass, kaffir lime, Galangal, shallots mint. Thai style pays attention on not only how the dish tastes, but also on how good the dish looks and smells. What I love about their dish is strong aromatic components and mix of different spicy tastes. 

You have guessed it right; today I will share the recipe of Thai basil Chicken, which is known as Gai Pad Krapow. It’s one of the most popular street food dishes in Thai land. Whoever loves Thai food knows how common we order this dish when we visit Thai restaurant. It was in my mind for some time, but haven't made this because didn’t realize how simple and easy to prepare this dish. Also didn’t think Thai dishes could be this amazing. From the chopping board to dinner table, it needs only 30 minutes to prepare this lovely meal. The recipe is very flexible. I have tried with Chicken but you can try with Tofu if you are a vegetarian. Other than chicken the same recipe is supposed to go very well if you love pork or Shrimp too. When you make your own food, there are lots of options to tweak them in healthier ways. You can adjust as per your dietary needs or preferences. For example I used low sodium soy sauce. Authentic Thai Basil Chicken is supposed to be made with Holy Basil, but those are not easily available here. So I used Thai Basil. If you don’t find either type of these two basil near your home, you can use ordinary fresh Basil. You may try with cilantro too but the flavor will be little different and the name too.

Recipe of Thai Basil Chicken : serves 3 

Total time : 30 minutes, cook time : 20 minutes, prep time : 10 minutes 

Ingredients :

Chicken : 1 lb boneless, skinless thigh or breast, cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes 
Shallot : 3-4 thinly sliced ( if you don't get shallot, use half of one small red onion )
Garlic : 3-4 cloves, finely chopped
Red bell pepper : 1/2 of a small one, cut into thin 1 inch pieces
Thai chili peppers / Bird's eye chili / green chili peppers :  3 - 4, seeded and thinly sliced 
Thai Basil / Thai Holy Basil : 2/3 cup 

For Sauce :

Fish sauce : 2 tablespoons 
Soy sauce : 1 1/2 teaspoon 
Brown sugar : 1 teaspoon ( optional ) 
Black pepper powder : 1/4 teaspoon 
Oil : 2-3 tablespoons 

 Method :

1. Make the sauce, take a small bowl and add the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and black pepper. Stir it and mix well together. Set the bowl aside.

2. Take a large cast iron skillet or wok or a heavy bottomed pan heat it up and add the oil. Once oil becomes hot, add shallots to the pan and saute it. Add garlic and the chili, stir it over medium-high heat until onion is translucent. 

2. Add chicken to the pan, saute for couple of minutes until the color changes and chicken is almost cooked. Add the chopped red bell pepper pieces and keep stirring till everything is well cooked.

3. Add the sauce to the pan. Mix well till the chicken pieces are well coated with sauce. Add the basil and stir it well together. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle some extra basil leaves. Serve with steamed rice. 

Note :

You can use chili pepper flakes in the place of Thai chili.
I know, it's called Thai Basil Chicken, but you can make it with regular basil or cilantro.

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  1. Gosh Rumela! Thai basil chicken looks amazing... so simple and quick.. Love the pictures too :)

    1. Thanks ! This is one of my summer special recipes, when I have a little time to spend in the Kitchen :)