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Thai Khai Pad Gaprao (Chicken with Holy Basil)

This is a quick and easy dish to make. The holy basil has a "hot
peppery" taste, but if you can't get it then the standard European basil
is a reasonable substitute, though you should add a little freshly
ground black pepper in this case.

prik chi fa - called the Thai jalapena is the best chili to use, but if
you can't get it standard Mexican jalapenas will do very well as a
substitute. Canned jalapenas are comparatively bland however.


2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped mixed red & green jalapenas (prik chi fa)
1 teaspoon green peppercorns, whole.
quarter cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped holy basil leaves (bai gaprao)

Optionally you can add a medium "Spanish" onion, cut into rings,
quartered and separated. Or you can use sliced green onions, or a

1 pound ground or minced chicken


(my wife chops the chicken with a pair of cleavers, and I can't bear to
watch... you can of course use a meat grinder or a food processor)

The garlic, shallots, peppers and peppercorns are ground together in a
mortar & pestle or a food processor. In a hot wok, with a little cooking
oil, briefly stir fry this paste to bring out the flavour and aroma. add
the remaining ingredients and continue to stir until the chicken is
cooked through.


For luncheon pad bai gaprao can be served over plain rice, or over a
fried egg or egg crepe, placed on the rice. For dinner it goes well with
the hot and sour tom yum soups, as well as curries and other Thai food.

Add the usual Thai condiments (chilis in fish sauce (prik nam pla),
ground chiles (prik phom) and sugar), as well, perhaps as ground black


It can be made with chopped pork, or even a chopped beef base, though of
course the flavours are quite different. You can also experiment with
replacing the meat with hard tofu marinated in a mixture of sweet soy,
fish sauce and ground ginger, say, or a vegetable mix of your choice (I
like to mix broccoli and cauliflower florets, with julienned carrots and
wing beans), to make a vegetarian pad bai-gaprao.


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