Monday, 25 July 2016

Thai Basil Chicken (pad kra pao gai) !





Thai Basil Chicken , better known as pad kra pao gai (well thats not easy for me to pronounce) is a popular stir fry recipe from Thai Kitchens. I got introduced to this amazing and lip smacking recipe through my friend who used to live in Singapore. Since then this recipe has become a regular affair at home especially when I'm alone at home.  
First of all it is very easy, quicker than most chicken recipes and tastes spectacular when just eaten hot from the pan with some hot rice and fried egg. 
Thai chillis are really hot and you bring out the flavors by crushing them with some garlic and these two key ingredients takes this dish to a different level. Thai holy basil is widely used in this dish which has a unique peppery flavor. But I just used the sweet basil as I couldn't hunt for the holy basil.
This dish can also be made with pork, shrimp or even tofu.



INGREDIENTS

  • 250 gms chicken (boneless)
  • 3 - 4 Thai Red Chillis
  • 4 - 5 Garlic cloves (Bigger ones)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt as needed
  • 1 small red bell pepper (chopped)
  • handful of thai holy basil / Sweet Basil
  • 1 egg + 2 tbsp oil (for frying)
  • Steamed Rice
For the sauce
  • 1 tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar (preferably palm sugar)
STEPS
  • Crush together the thai chillis and garlic coarsely (preferably with a mortar n pestle)
  • Wash well and chop the chicken into tiny pieces. 


  •  Heat oil in a wok , and add the crushed garlic-chilli mixture to it. Saute for few seconds until fragnant and then on high heat add the chicken.


  •  Stir fry the chicken for 3 - 4 minutes on high heat until its fully cooked.
  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce for the stir fry by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl.


  •  Add the sauce to the chicken and toss well. throw in the chopped peppers and continue stir frying on high heat for another two minutes.


  •  Toss the basil in to the pan and combine well. Turn off stove and remove from heat so that the basil is not overcooked. 
  • For the fried egg, heat 2 - 3 tbsp oil in a pan/wok and pour the egg carefully in the oil as its almost like deep frying. You dont have to flip the egg. Once it turns crisp on the sides and cooked turn off stove.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice (preferably Jasmine rice) and the fried egg. Your pad kra pao gai is ready to dig in !

NOTES
  • Try chopping the chicken into very tiny pieces, the more tiny they are the faster they cook. Depending on the heat and size of the chicken the cooking time might vary, but make sure you cook it well.
  • If Thai holy basil is not handy , then feel free to use sweet basil. You might miss out the peppery flavor of the holy basil yet it tastes good with sweet basil.
  • Do not overcook the basil, just toss with the chicken for 10 seconds and remove from heat. The residual heat is more than enough for the basil.
  • Keep your rice cooked ready, and fry the egg before you start making the chicken. There is nothing more delicious than serving the hot chicken right from the wok to plate and digging in. 
  • Skip the fish sauce if you are not comfortable with its taste and smell. But trust me , the smell would fade away when it s cooked. So go ahead and add it if you have it in your pantry.
  • The color of the dish varied form light brown to a very dark one depending on the amount of dark soy sauce you use.

With Love,

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