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Poslfit Recipes: Pad Krapow Gai

a few T of high-temperature cooking oil
(optional) 1 egg
25 g crushed garlic
8 g crushed bird's eye chili peppers
75 g minced shallots
25 g chopped spur pepper
crushed 5 g dried chili peppers
350~400 g ground chicken leg
1 T Japanese soy sauce
1 T Thai oyster sauce
1 T Thai fish sauce
1 t sugar
40 g holy basil leaves
My sons and I spent much of 2019 trying to recreate this dish, one of our favourites on our annual trips to Bangkok. This is as close as we could come, and we like it. We revised this page in early 2022, based on experiences cooking this dish dozens of times during the pandemic. Hard to say how many it serves: 1~3 depending on how many teenagers are involved.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle for crushing ingredients, mince them. Do not try to increase this recipe, as it depends on keeping the wok temperature very high throughout the process; cook multiple batches instead. Do prep all the ingredients first, and have them close at hand once you start cooking.
We vary the basic recipe a lot, so don’t be worried if you do not have all of the listed ingredients. Here are some possible substitutions in the same order as above.
I have also adapted this recipe to use with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Mince the cooked turkey quite finely, then marinate it in the four sauce ingredients (including sugar) while prepping the other ingredients. Because it's harder to get the flavours into the cooked meat, I usually halve the amount of meat and basil in the recipe, and double the sauce ingredients while keeping the three aromatic ingredients fixed. The cooking steps then reduce to sauteing the aromatics until well browned, then adding the meat and basil together and continuing to cook until the basil is wilted.
Get a wok as hot as you can, and heat the oil up until it's starting to smoke.
If you are doing a Thai-style fried egg, crack it into a bowl, and gently lower it into the oil with a ladle. If the oil temperature is hot enough, it should instantly start to bubble, and the edges should start to turn brown and crisp in about 30-60 seconds. The egg is done when the yolk just barely starts to change colour; if it takes more than 60 seconds, you may not have used enough oil, so ladle a little onto it to finish cooking. Transfer using a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, and reserve to put on top of the dish at the end. Alternately, if you’re Japanese, you may prefer just to crack your raw egg into your rice and mix it up right before serving, if it is safe to do so.
Add the garlic and bird’s eye chilis to the hot oil. Cook for up to one minute, during which time the garlic should brown and the air near the wok should become difficult to breathe.
Add the shallots and spur peppers, and cook for up to another minute, until the oil temperature recovers.
Add the chicken and the dried chili peppers. Break up the chicken and cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
Add the sugar and sauces, mix well. We usually premix the sugar with the sauces before pouring it in. Continue stirring occasionally until chicken is mostly done.
If you are using holy basil, wait until the chicken is done, remove from heat, and stir in the holy basil. If you are substituting Thai basil, add them in a little earlier, and stir-fry until the leaves are cooked.
Serve immediately over rice.