THAI Spicy Basil – CHICKEN STIR FRY (Gai Pad Grapow )

14 Nov




Okay ,   So  the other night I thought I would take my bride out for dinner.  She said Chinese sounds good I thought the only place that we like is only really good if you take it home.

SO .. I thought …how about that new Thai place I have passed a couple of times.. Hey , something different to try.

Off we go.   Nice little place  .  We get calamari –  in a tempura coating – very good.

chicken satay with peanut sauce – also very good.


Sounds good because there was a Chinese place I use to get Scallops with basil and garlic sauce and that was real good so I thought maybe this would be good too.

So at first  there is ALOT of peppers and beans and the chicken is ground.  Not what I expected …………..

Okay first bite  , veggies are pan-fried crispy ,   chicken is okay ……………

Second bite ,  I get a little of the basil ,  and it’s good.

Third    taste  ,     I use the spoon and get some of the sauce.        .OH MAN  .!!      THIS IS REALLY GOOD!!!

Why   do I go on like this  you may ask ?

Well,   my past experience with Thai   restaurants has not been very impressive .   As a matter of fact ,  the food was just there . Kinda like not so good Chinese.

SO. I obviously recommend

 Thai Orchid Restaurant


Thai Orchid Restaurant - Aurora, IL, United States      Map of Thai Orchid Restaurant in Aurora

2460 South Eola Road
Aurora, IL 60503

 to all of you that are within shouting distance of Aurora , Il  and  I will be going back’



So , what is Thai food ?     Someone asked me.

It is the cuisine of Thailand , which is right here in case you  weren’t paying attention  in geography class


Spicy Basil Leaves

Stir-fried tender minced chicken with basil leaves, bell peppers, green bean, and hot pepper in spicy sauce.

Classic Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry (Gai Pad Grapow)

   Once all your fresh ingredients  are ready, this dish cooks up in just minutes.  Basil chicken  is one of the most popular Thai dishes, both in Thailand and here in North America, offering spicy flavors that mingle beautifully with the fresh taste of savory basil.  There are two key ingredients in this dish you mustn’t skip:   the fresh basil, of course, and Golden Mountain Sauce. This sauce is often considered a ‘secret Thai ingredient’, and can be difficult to track down (you can order it from online stores. Here’s a good one: Buy Golden Mountain Sauce ).
I got mine a H-MART in Naperville ( which is  a really cool store )
 It’s the combination of this sauce with the basil that truly make this dish sing.
  • 3/4 to 1 lb. chicken breast  or thigh, –  coarsely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-2  fresh green chilies  I like the Korean ones but I am sure a Serrano will work for you , chopped fine, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine  ( if you can’t drink it …don’t cook with it !!! )
  • 2 small green pepper – chopped into 1 ” squares
  • 1/2 lb. chopped fresh green beans – 1 ” pieces
  • 3 green onions,  – chopped
  • 1 cup  Thai basil leaves – ………….. leave whole   –   get it leave  , ( leaf ) leaves
  • leaf
  •  okay , maybe not that funny ,,,,,,,,
  • Thai basil or called Holy Basil ( O.tenuiflorum ),  has a spicy . peppery , clove – like taste.  Can be found at Oriental stores.
  • OR substitute sweet basil
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 Tbsp. peanut  oil
  • 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce    ( buy this you will be surprised the different recipes you can use this in . Not all ASIAN )


               Like soy sauce, golden mountain sauce is composed mainly of fermented soy beans and salt. It tastes quite different from soy sauce, however: slightly saltier, plus there is a hint of sweetness (it does contain sugar).

There is no MSG in this sauce, but the Thais do add what they call ‘flavor enhancer’ in small amounts (similar to MSG, but without the negative effects), and a preservative.

Good for Vegetarians: One of the great things about this sauce is that it is fine for vegetarians and vegans – it even contains a substantial amount of plant protein from fermented soy, which is considered very healthy.

  • Substitutions: If you’re looking for a substitute for golden mountain sauce, I suggest soy sauce mixed with sugar and vegetable or chicken stock (e.g. for every 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, mix with 2 Tbsp. stock, plus 1/4 tsp. sugar.). However, if you’re looking for real Thai flavor, I suggest going out and getting the real thing.  JUST GET IT !!!!


  • 1/2  Tbsp.. fish sauce ( BE VERY CAREFULL    … IT’S PRETTY STRONG  )

 ( also useful for other recipes )

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ( don’t buy the stuff in the little green ball    
     .fresh really makes the difference )
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  1. Combine the ‘Stir-Fry Sauce’ ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of this sauce over prepared chicken and stir in. Set aside to marinate a few minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. Set remaining stir-fry sauce aside.
  1. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the garlic and Chile. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance, then add the chicken plus a splash of white wine. Stir-fry until chicken turns opaque (3 minutes). Add a little more white wine as needed to keep pan moist.
  2. Add the bell peppers and green beans, plus 3/4 of the stir-fry sauce you made earlier. Stir-fry until vegetables have softened but still retain some of their crispness (about 2 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sliced green onions , plus remaining stir-fry sauce. Stir together (note that this is meant to be a saucy dish – this is where the flavor is). Add a  little more white wine if needed.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in the fresh basil (basil will wilt down into the hot sauce).

Basil Tip: If you have small basil leaves, they may not need to be chopped. If your leaves are larger, try piling them on top of one another, then thinly slicing them to create shreds. I find you get lots of flavor this way, but be sure to shred it just before adding to the dish (if you do it too far ahead of time, the basil will lose some of its natural oils and flavor).


  1. Taste-test the dish and adjust the flavors to your liking.
  2. Taste-test Tip: note that this classic Thai dish is meant to be salty-spicy, with the zesty flavor of the basil coming through. It is definitely supposed to veer on the salty side, which is then balanced out when you eat it with plain steam rice. If you still find it too salty for your taste, add more lime juice. If not salty or flavorful enough, add more golden mountain sauce and/or fish sauce
  1. Serve with plenty of plain or jasmine rice
  3.  and garnish with more fresh basil.

Eat and Enjoy !










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