A recent Food Network show, Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin, traveled to Thailand. The show was great, and was a winner in my mind, because I simply could not get the flavors of Thailand out of my mind. The chilies, basil, fish sauce, and curries were all I could think about. I reflected on my years spent in Dallas, Texas and thought about my friend Kevin, whose wife was Thai. We hung out for a couple of years, and one thing we liked to do was dine at his favorite Thai restaurant, of which is wife, and her community would frequent. One dish that he would always order, besides a whole fried fish, was Gai Pad Krapow. What? Gai Pad Krapow? Don’t worry, it is basically chicken and basil stir fry. The flavors say it all though. Basil, chilies, garlic, fish sauce, sweetness from sugar, all over some rice and a egg cooked over medium. All I can say is “Oh my God”.
If you are looking to make a meal to remember, extremely affordable, and one that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, then you are in luck. Bring on the Gai Pad Krapow.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1.5 lbs ground chicken
- 2 medium-sized shallots, minced
- 3 Thai chilies, minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 lb green beans, cleaned and cut on the angle, about 1″ cuts
- 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 large bunch of Thai Basil leaves, cleaned
- Steamed white rice
- Egg cooked over-easy or over-medium (optional)
- Peanuts (optional) for garnish
To get started, have all of your ingredients ready because it this is really quick to make.
To a large skillet, add the oil and bring up to temperature, roughly a couple of minutes. Toss in the garlic, shallots, and chilies and start stir frying for about 30 seconds. Next toss in the green beans. Stop and smell. Remember what I said before? The “Oh my God”? The smell is amazing. Cook the beans, stirring for a couple of minutes. Now, toss in the chicken, cooking until fully cooked through, about five minutes. I like to continually break the chicken down into small bits, making sure I do cut through the beans. Now add in the fish sauce and the sugar, mixing well. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the fish sauce cook down for a couple of minutes, continuing to stir. Add in the big bunch of basil, and incorporate into the mixture. This will cook down in a matter of seconds. Turn off the heat.
Now, get another small skillet ready, add in a bit of oil, bring to a medium-high heat, and crack an egg. Only cook for a minute or two, to bring it to an over-easy, or over-medium state. There is something about breaking through the egg that goes into the chicken basil flavor that is really out of this world!
Your are done and ready to plate. Use your rice paddle and lay down a bed of rice. On top, add the chicken basil stir fry, place the egg on the side, or on top, and sprinkle peanuts around the dish. You can serve this with a lime wedge or a chili fish sauce mix if you want, but you really don’t need it as there is so much great flavor already on the plate.
Now that I have shared one of my favorite Thai dishes, what is one of yours?