Thai Basil Chicken (2016 TSA recipe version)


  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 chicken breast (or any other cut of boneless chicken, about 200 grams)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 Thai chilies
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 splash of dark soy sauce
  • 1 handful of Thai holy basil leaves


Thai Basil Chicken (pad kra pao gai) – can substitute chicken with pork, shrimp or tofu

Serves 1-2


Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan on high-medium heat. When the oil is hot and sizzling, drop in the egg. Let it sizzle and bubble up. At the same time, splash some of the hot oil on top of the egg (don’t flip the egg, unless you really want to). After the egg looks about right to your cooked likeness, take it out, drain the excess oil, and set aside.

Cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Rinse and peel the garlic and chilies. Pound them in a mortar and pestle, or mince them with a knife. They don’t need to be super fine, you just want to bring out the oils and flavors from the garlic and chilies. Pluck a good-sized handful of holy basil leaves off the stems. Heat your wok on high heat, and add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chilies and garlic. Stir-fry them for about 20 seconds or so until they become really fragrant, but don’t let them burn or get too dry. Toss in your chicken. Keep stir-frying continuously. Continue to stir and cook your chicken until it’s just about fully cooked, about 2 – 3 minutes. If it starts to get dry, add a tiny splash of water. Add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar, and a splash of dark soy sauce.

Stir-fry another 30 seconds. Grab a handful of holy basil, toss it into the pan, fold it into the chicken, and immediately turn off the heat (if you’re using an electric stove, you’ll want to remove the pan from the burner). The holy basil only needs to cook for about 5 seconds; it will continue to wilt and cook from the existing heat of the chicken. This step is important, because if you cook the basil too long, it loses some of its glorious flavor and gets slightly chewy.