Easy Pad Kra Pao (Stir fried Thai holy basil with chicken)

Pad Kra Pao / Ka Prao / Stir fried Thai holy basil menu with Thai fish sauce dip


Stir fried Thai holy basil is “Pad Kra Pao / Pad Ka Prao1” or ผัดกะเพรา in Thai language. This dish goes very well with crispy half cooked fried egg, and this combination is the most popular lunch among Thai people. It’s a kind of comfort food that you can find every where, much more common than Pad Thai in local Thai area. The warm stir fried meat with Thai basil fragrant goes very well with steamed jasmine rice. Just writing this makes me feel drooping already.

Big misunderstanding about authentic Pad Kra Pao?

We have seen lots of stir fried Thai holy basil with green beans, right? But actually there should not be green beans/long beans in authentic Pad Kra Pao… Oh yes, I’m not lying, this is not a prank. In Thailand, green beans/long beans are kinda new ingredient for Pad Kra Pao, so many people debate about whether green beans/long beans should be in Pad Kra Pao or not. There are even some articles in famous news website and Facebook pages to discuss about this specifically. It’s that serious because this is kinda national dish, every Thai person feels related 😂

What if you like the green beans?! Then add them, they would not make your food looks like fake Thai food 🙂 There are many Thai people like to add the green beans (or actually we add long beans in Thailand) too. Although the anti-green bean people had quite strong argument (on the internet), there still are many Thai people like the texture of green beans like you too. Nowadays so many Thai chefs in restaurants/street food vendors always add long beans in their stir fry basil. So if you like the green beans, just add it. It’s crispy and healthy.

Thai holy basil vs Thai basil

You might saw some Thai basil at your local supermarket before, it is not exactly the same as Thai holy basil. The main difference between these 2 herbs is the taste. You can read more about Thai basil vs Thai holy basil and their substitute, here!

Easy Pad Kra Pao Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 2 cups mined chicken / beef / pork
  • 4 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 0.5 cup holy basil leaves

Easy Pad Kra Pao Chicken recipe / Recette Thaï sauté de poulet au basilic sacré:

  1. Stir fry garlic until fragrant. If you would like to make it spicy, add some chilli at this step.
  2. Add minced chicken/ beef / pork, and stir fry.
  3. Add oyster sauce and soy  sauce, stir fry until the meat is well done.
  4. Add chopped chilli and basil leaves, then turn off a stove and stir fry quickly.
  5. Fried egg is the best friend of ‘Pad Kra Pao’ 🙂

1**How to spell “Pad Kra Pao” or “Pad Ka Prao” (Thai Language Nerd Corner)**

How to spell / read / pronounce “Pad Kra Pao” in Thai? Is it “Pad Kra Pao” or “Pad Ka Prao” or “Phat Ka Prao”? If you’ve ever founded that Thai transliteration spelling is so confusing. You are not ALONE!! Transliteration is also confusing for Thai people too. We can discuss about this in depth later. Anyway today I prepare all information to crack “How to read Thai words?” and “How to pronounce Thai dish names properly?” for you already, as follows:

  • Thai language: ผัดกะเพรา
  • Phonetics: /pʰat̚˨˩.ka˨˩.pʰraw˧
  • Transliteration (Thai Royin National Standard): phat ka phrao
  • Another Transliteration (Paiboon publishing): pàt gà prao
  • Popular Transliteration: pad kra pao (which is completely wrong because there should not be “r” sound in the second syllable, and there should be “r” sound in the third syllable.)

All literate Thai people understand “ผัดกะเพรา” from the first bullet point (Thai language). Then you can use the phonetics as reference for the most accurate pronunciation. However, there are too many versions of transliteration, because the central standard from government authorities is not so popular. And it’s not popular because most Thai people do not know how to apply that standard system accurately. Therefore, many people create their “own system”. As a result, no wonder why there are so many versions of transliteration. Please feel free to email me to discuss about this “fun and interesting” part of learning Thai language.

** I use the most popular version of transliteration in my website because otherwise you may not find our site or you may not know what I am talking about. However, I think the most accurate one is pàt gà prao. The popular version or “Pad Kra Pao” comes from a common spelling mistake in Thai which is “ผัดกระเพา❌❌” or “ผัดกระเพรา❌”

Ref. in Thai : https://today.line.me/th/v2/article/pgyJK7

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