Thai Basil Chicken
This recipe comes with a YouTube video (see next paragraph).
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Thai basil chicken (Gai Pad Grapow) is a popular Thai street food dish. It is delicious, spicy and one of the easiest stir-fries around. It can be served as a side dish to accompany any Asian-theme meal, but I love it the most street style: as a one-dish meal with rice, fried egg and cucumbers. To me, that is convenience and pure bliss in a plate. This recipe, which was a result of many tweaks, is a winner in my family. It is fail-proof and always satisfying.
The biggest secret to making this dish is to mince your own chicken using chicken thighs with a bit of fat on – the cooked chicken is unbelievably tender. I discovered this by accident when my supermarket ran out of minced chicken. I bought fresh chicken thighs, removed the bones & skin and minced the meat, grumbling throughout the process at the “extra work”. To my surprise, the end result was such tender chicken mince which I had never eaten before. I never looked back and I will always prep the chicken this way.
You also need the right type of basil, i.e. Thai holy basil, if you are going for the authentic taste found in Thailand.
To make this dish, I am more than willing to make my way to the Thai supermarket at Golden Mile Complex (Singapore), just to buy the basil! The trip is well worth it, as you will be rewarded with the quintessential heavenly taste of holy basil in this classic Thai dish. Although a one-to-one replacement for this herb is impossible, you can replace holy basil with any type of fresh basil (and even a bit of mint).