We’ve nicked this simple Thai Chicken Pad Krapow recipe from John Whaite’s ‘A flash in the Pan’ cookbook, we fell in love with the dish as soon as it hit our lips. It couldn’t be any simpler to prepare and cook, bursting with flavour, it leaves a tingle on your lips from the heat of the chillies. John’s version is not the authentic recipe, and we’ve made similar style Larb dishes before, but we think this version of Chicken Pad Krapow is the best one yet.
The key to making this dish is all in the prep work. Once you start to cook the dish you need heat and speed – the dish cooks in about 8 minutes so it’s really important to have all your ingredients ready to go.
- 200g (7oz) basmati rice, rinsed
- 5 bird’s eye chillies, roughly chopped
- 1 banana shallot, finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 500g (18oz) chicken mince*
- Small handful of Thai basil (roughly chopped)**
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil (or another flavourless substitute)
*You can substitute the chicken mince with pork or turkey.
**Thai basil can be a little difficult to find, but it’s worth it vs regular basil (which is more suited for Italian dishes). We have made the dish with regular basil and found it lacks that peppery anise/liquorice flavour that only Thai basil provides.
- Put the rice into a medium saucepan and cover with a 2cm (3⁄4oz) layer of boiled water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and cover the pan with the lid. Cook for 8 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the lid on so that the rice steams for a further 8 minutes.
- Whilst the rice is cooking, do the prep for the Chicken Pad Krapow (although we suggest doing this prior as we always go over the rice cooking time): place the chopped chillies, shallots and garlic into one bowl, in a separate small bowl add the sugar, soy, fish and oyster sauces.
- Set the wok to high heat and allow it to get very hot. Once hot, add the oil and throw in the chillies, shallots and garlic. Fry, stirring constantly, until everything smells so strong that it startles your senses (John’s words, not ours), for about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and fry, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to break it up, for 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (you are not trying to brown the chicken, you just want to cook it).
- To finish, throw in the sauce mixture and toss for about 30 seconds. Remove the wok from the heat and stir through the basil, allowing it to wilt slightly.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, place mounds onto plates, then spoon over the Chicken Pad Krapow. Garnish with basil and serve.
We usually demolish the entire portion for the two of us, so if you are hungry, bear that in mind. Enjoy!
For more cooking ideas check out our other recipes here.