Pad Krapow Gai (Thai Basil Chicken)
As dynamic as it is speedy, this ground chicken and green bean recipe from “Night + Market” (Clarkson Potter, 2017) by Kris Yenbamroong and Garrett Snyder, delivers a wallop of flavor with punchy ingredients that stir-fry in just 15 minutes. While this popular Thai street food can be whipped up using a range of proteins, Mr. Yenbamroong refers to his riff as “low-rent” because it’s prepared with ground chicken rather than pricier slices of meat. It’s piled with basil; Thai basil or holy basil provide more assertive licorice notes, but sweet basil adds herbal bursts of brightness. Spiked with Thai seasoning (see Tip), the chicken mixture is salty on its own, but it’s inextricably linked with rice, and imparts the right amount of salinity when dispersed.
- Serves: 2 persons
- ¼cup vegetable oil
- 1pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
- 2teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 cloves)
- 2teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1teaspoon minced fresh bird’s-eye chile or other fresh chile (from 1 chile)
- 8ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2tablespoons fish sauce
- 1tablespoon Thai seasoning sauce (such as Golden Mountain; see Tip)
- 1cup loosely packed basil leaves (preferably Thai basil or holy basil)
- Ground white pepper, to taste
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
- 4crispy fried eggs (optional)
Step 1Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high, then swirl in the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the ground chicken and cook, actively breaking the chicken up into small pieces, until it is mostly cooked, about 6 minutes.
Step 2Stir in the garlic, sugar and chile until evenly distributed and fragrant, about 2 minutes, then add the green beans, oyster sauce, fish sauce and Thai seasoning, and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is fully cooked, the green beans are crisp-tender and the krapow is glossy, about 2 minutes.
Step 3Remove from heat, add the basil and a dash of white pepper and toss to combine. If the sauce seems to cling too tightly to the mixture, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to make it loose and glossy.
Step 4Serve over rice, and top with a crispy fried egg, if desired. Serve with additional Thai seasoning to sprinkle on top, according to taste.