Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gai Phat Kaphrao ไก่ผัดกะเพรา Chicken Fried With Holy Basil

This is a bit of a Thai national dish, most Thai people I know would eat this at least once a week. You need very few ingredients for this dish and the star ingredient is the holy basil (or bai kaphrao in Thai) of course. You are more likely to get Thai sweet basil (bai horapha) instead when you order this in a Thai restaurant here in Melbourne; I think it's due to the fact that holy basil is four times more expensive. If you can't find holy basil you should still try this recipe with normal thai basil, it will be called phat horapha instead (I personally think the restaurant should do so too!) but never the lest delicious!! You may use minced prawns, beef or pork for this dish, I prefer to roughly chop the meat instead. Don't be alarmed by the amount of chilies used in this recipe, reduce it to your liking but a Thai person would say "mai phet mai aroy na!!!" (if it's not spicy it's not delicious ok!)
P.S holy basil is normally found packaged in plastic bags near the fresh herbs section of your asian grocer. Due to the unbearably hot weather in Melbourne, I'm going to start posting some cold dishes that required very little time around the hot stove!! Curries and soups will appear in the next Thai series.

serves 4 as part of a Thai meal or 2 as a one dish meal with rice
you'll need;
1 whole free range chicken (about 1kg) boned, skinned and roughly minced or 1kg of chicken mince
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 bird chilies, chopped
1 bunch of Thai holy basil (bai kaphrao), picked
1/2 onion, sliced
3 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of sugar

Fry chopped garlic and chilies for 30 seconds.

Add minced chicken and fry for 2 minutes, season with fish sauce and sugar.

Add basil, turn off heat and mix well.

I serve it with Thai stuffed chicken wings and Thai sausage salad.

Or serve with rice and a fried duck egg, a very satisfying one dish meal indeed!!


  1. Oh that's why the phad krapao here tastes different!! I have been using the normal thai basil for a long time too :( . Love your dish especially with that lovely fried duck egg!!

  2. Was going to request this dish! Now I'll never order it unless they can tell me the right basil is used. Looking forward to your new cold dishes. Drink lots of water when cycling on such hot days!

  3. It seems that we hardly find any holy basil in Brisbane here. Is there any difference between Thai sweet basil and sweet basil available at Coles supermarket?

  4. Do you grow your own holy basil?

  5. Thanks Anonymous!

    Haha I read your mind love to eat. Yupe we must only order correctly advertised dishes. And yes I have been drinking a lot of water thanks!

    Christine, Thai sweet basil is smaller than normal sweet basil and often comes with a hint of purple, it's call 九層塔 in Chinese. I've bought them in Brisbane's Chinatown.Not too sure if you can get holy basil there though.

    Hey KennyT, I buy them from the shops, just sow some seeds hopefully they will grow :)

  6. 我買不到holy basil, 只好用九層塔了!

  7. 大肥,用九層塔煮也很好吃但就變成 phat horapha 了!

  8. Are you Thai? looks very authentic!

  9. Awwwww! that reminds me of my last trip to Thailand!! I'm going to explore your blog now :)

  10. Thanks Anonymous!

    Thanks Mary G! please do!

  11. mmmm...I love this dish. I love basil. It goes so well with chicken. I had just cooked this dish a few days ago but we were so hungry that I forgot to take the final picture on the plate. We love Thai food very much.

  12. Thanks Mary! looks like you have been cooking a lot of Thai food too!! :)

  13. OMG!!!! everything here looks better than my local Thai!! I'll start with the glass noodle salad! Thanks again for sharing !

  14. Haha It's not very hard BIBI! It's all about the freshest ingredients you can lay your hands on and that little extra care and love that you put in, very few places are able to give you that these days :(

  15. I adore all of the herbs you've put into this dish. I think that is one thing that we miss when we dine out here the very very very fresh herbs in Thai cuisine.

  16. Another yummy Thai dish! The smell of Thai basil is just awesome!

  17. Yunmmy!!! I really love your cooking... feed me... :) ehhehe

  18. I totally agree with you! I always request for more herbs without much success :(

    Thanks petite nyonya! It's so true that the scent of both Thai basils are so wonderful, they stay with you even after the meal!

    Thanks mycookinghut!! That comment really make my day :)

  19. I love how you always use an fried egg with runny yolk to seduce us and it works!! This is a great looking dish. Haha I'll have to make sure they use holy basil next time I order this dish :)

  20. Haha it does work!!! Thanks I'm glad more people will demand this wonderful dish to be used in the first place!!

  21. oh this looks so good, especially with the runny egg on top of the rice! I cant help but stare at the stuffed chicken wings...yum, finger licking good!

  22. Thanks Maria! The egg is a must for me :) I'll post the recipe for the stuffed chicken wings after the heat wave!!


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