Rustic Eats | Quick + Easy Thai Basil Chicken (VIDEO)
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Rustic Eats | Quick + Easy Thai Basil Chicken (VIDEO)

This quick and easy Thai recipe is a Rustic student favorite! It’s Krapao Gai, a spicy basil chicken that can be found in most places in Thailand (aka Thai Chicken Basil). And now you can make it at home, and relive those special moments from your Thailand student program.

The best thing – apart from the taste of this savory dish – is the smell! The Thai basil gives off a delicious aroma, and the fragrance somehow amplifies the taste of the chicken. The ingredients are also fairly simple to find, which means you can make it often.

Here’s how to make your own authentic Krapao Gai:


1 egg per serving

1 chicken breast per serving

5 cloves of garlic

4 thai chiles

1 tablespoon oil for frying

1 teaspoon of oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 handful of thai basil leaves (aka holy basil)



  1. Cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces.
  2. Rinse and peel the garlic and chiles, and pound them in a mortar and pestle (or mince them with a knife). They don’t need to be superfine, you just want to bring out the oils and flavors from the garlic and chiles. Pluck a good sized handful of basil leaves off the stems.
  3. Now it’s time to start cooking. Heat your wok on high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chiles and garlic. Stir fry them for about 20 seconds or so until they get fragrant, but don’t let them burn or dry out.
  4. Toss in your chicken. Stir continuously. Cook your chicken until it’s just about fully cooked all the way through (depending on the size pieces of chicken and how hot your fire is, it should take about 2 – 3 minutes). If it starts to get dry, add just a tiny splash of water.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce, 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Keep stir frying for about another 30 seconds.
  6. Grab a handful of holy basil, toss it into the pan, fold it into the chicken, and then immediately remove from heat. The holy basil only needs to cook for about 5 seconds, and it will continue to wilt and cook from the existing heat of the chicken. This step is important because if you cook the basil for too long, it loses some of its glorious flavor and gets chewy.
  7. Fry egg in vegetable oil and serve on top.

You can serve Krapao Gai with rice or an egg (or both)! If you’d like to try this delicious and fragrant dish while in Thailand, then check out our youth travel programs.

About the Author

Janette Daneshmand

Social Media Manager

Janette Daneshmand was born and raised in Southern California, a stone’s throw away from the original Disneyland. Janette spent an unforgettable summer in western Europe and Florence on a study abroad program during her time at Cal State Fullerton. In 2016 she moved to Manchester and worked for a craft magazine publisher as a professional crafter and later at a marketing agency that specializes in life science and biotech businesses as a social media manager. She connected deeply with Rustic's mission of philanthropy, travel, and training students to build the skills they need to create impact.