Thai Chicken with Basil (Gai Pad Gapow)


  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (you can use a light soy sauce if you want)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken
  • 1 bunch Thai basil (this dish typically uses holy basil which is similar)
  • 4-7 minced Thai chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


NOTE: You can substitute ground turkey for ground chicken. Some people like the meat cut up in bite size pieces rather than ground. I find that ground breast meat is dry and not as flavorful as dark meats. Ground pork or ground beef is a good substitute as well.

Mince garlic and chili pepper together. Clean and pick holy basil leaves from their stems. It may appear like a lot of leaves, but the leaves will shrink when cooked and this dish’s flavor comes from the leaves. Fry the garlic and chili pepper in oil over high heat. When garlic starts to turn brown, drop the ground chicken in. Stir constantly. The juice will start to come out. Keep stirring until all the juice is gone. It might take a couple of minutes. Add fish sauce. Then add holy basil. Quickly turn it over a few times to mix the leaves with the meat and then remove from the heat and put the gai pad ga pow in the serving plate or dishes. Serve hot with rice.
In Thailand, gai pad ga pow is served with a small bowl of chili pepper in fish sauce (recipe below), sliced cucumber and a wedge of lime.