Gai Pad Krapow - Thai Spicy Chicken Basil

This dish is one of my favorites and my go-to lunch at work,  In fact, there are times when I'd order it three times a week.  But it came to a point where it's getting too salty, too sweet and too spicy for my taste and I kind of get tired giving instructions as I place my order to slow down on fish sauce and chili.  So I sort of had a falling out with the chicken part and would order an extra fried egg instead.  The meat ends up with whoever wants it.  Now it's time to make my own little version which gives me complete control of the situation.  This is another quick fix but guaranteed to please.  Serve it with steamed white rice as a complete meal or lettuce wrap style if you want to avoid rice.

Thai Spicy Chicken Basil (Gai Pad Krapow)
  1. 1 lb ground chicken breast
  2. 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  3. 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  4. 2 tbsp fish sauce
  5. 1 tbsp palm sugar
  6. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  7. 1 big bunch of Thai basil leaves (stems removed)
  8. 1 tbsp chili flakes
  9. freshly cracked black pepper
  10. 2 rounds vegetable or canola oil
  11. half a medium red bell pepper, julienned

Heat oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add in the chicken. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to quickly stir-fry and break it into small lumps.  Add the chopped shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant.  Add in the chili flakes and other seasonings (fish sauce, palm sugar, freshly cracked black pepper and soy sauce) and continue to stir-fry. Add in the red bell pepper and just let it sweat a little bit- I want some crunch still left to it; then the basil leaves and stir until they wilt and that wonderful aroma wafts in the air.  Serve with steamed white rice and a fried egg (optional). 
I just love the gooey fried egg topping the dish which adds creaminess and balances the other flavors.  The Thai basil of course is essential as in any Thai dish.  I just realized I need another planter the way I'm using too much of the leaves my plant will soon be bald.
 I don't even need to search the internet for a recipe as it is pretty easy to decode. Thai cuisine uses fish sauce and soy sauce for saltiness, curries, coconut milk or cream, galangal palm sugar, chilies and herbs and aromatics.  I pretty much got used to the taste although there's a lot more to explore and learn.

For dessert, I made Sticky Rice with Mangoes which is my spin on Thai Khao Neeo Mamuang.  I added a few drops of pandan extract and did not serve it with coconut milk.  Instead, I  opted for condensed milk which my family prefers.  I lucked out with the mangoes because they're super sweet and I didn't even need condensed milk with the sticky rice.


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