A tangy, spicy, salty and subtly sweet stir fry with holy basil and chilies, minced thigh fillets were used in this chicken phat kaphrao recipe.
What is phat kaphrao? Its is a stir fried Thai dish. The meat can be pork, beef or chicken. Or dispense with the meat and use shrimps instead.
In this recipe, minced chicken thigh fillets were used. No, not chicken breast. With the mincing and the high heat, chicken breast meat will turn dry before the dish is done.
You can substitute ground chicken thigh meat if that is more convenient but you get better control with the size of the chicken pieces if you do the mincing yourself. It’s not that hard. Just cut the chicken fillets into thin strips, cut across the strips then use a heavy knife to chop until you get the size that you like.
- 6 to 8 chicken thigh fillets
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bird's eye chilies
- 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- a generous pinch of sugar
- fish sauce, to taste
- a large handful of holy basil leaves
- Pat the chicken fillets fry with paper towels. Mince the chicken to the size that you prefer.
- Mince the garlic.
- Finely slice the chilies.
- Thinly slice (or roughly chop) the shallots or onion.
- Very finely slice the kaffir lime leaves.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Saute the garlic, chilies, shallots or onion and kaffir lime leaves.
- Add the minced chicken. Stir fry until the meat changes color. Pour in the soy sauce and half of the lime juice. Add the sugar. Stir and pour in enough fish sauce to create the sweet-tangy-salty-spicy balance that you like. If you're aiming for authenticity, the flavor should be more tangy and spicy than sweet and salty.
- Stir fry the chicken for three to four minutes. Add the holy basil leaves. Stir fry for another two to three minutes.
- Taste the chicken phat kaphrao. Adjust the seasonings, as needed, before serving.