Only a handful of genuinely delicious meals can be made from scratch in under 10 minutes. One such dish is the Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow) featured here.
This isn’t one of those jobs that can be done quickly. This isn’t like an episode of “30 Minute Meals,” in which Rachel Ray plans an elaborate three-course meal, races to the finish line, and, exhausted, dumps everything into serving bowls before signing off.
A leisurely 10 minutes of cooking is ahead of us.
To prove it, I’ll describe in detail what I plan to do with every one of those seconds.
How To Cook Thai Basil Chicken In 10 Minutes
1 MINUTE: You’ll casually make your way to the refrigerator and remove a package of ground chicken. Next, you’ll mince three chili peppers. They need not be aesthetically pleasing.
2 MINUTES: You will peel and slice three shallots. My ruse? Before slicing a shallot, I cut off both ends, swung my knife lengthwise across it, and peeled off the skin all at once. Moreover, a red onion can be substituted for the shallots if you cannot locate them.
3 MINUTES: Slice five garlic cloves in the same fashion as in the second step. To make peeling easier, try smashing them with the side of your knife. We celebrate the use of garlic!
4 MINUTES: You’ll get a wok very hot (not just hot, but very hot) over high heat. Put the heat to high, and then add the oil, shallots, and garlic that you have previously prepared.
5 MINUTES: You’ll let the oil, chilies, shallots, and garlic in the wok get to work, stirring them every so often to speed things up.
6 MINUTES: You’ll toss in the ground chicken and begin crumbling it.
7 MINUTES: You should keep cooking the ground chicken until it has browned. Where did all of this speed come from? There is no higher setting on your stove, so the answer is that it is already at maximum.
8 MINUTES: You’ll stir-fry the ingredients with sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. You have incredible skills in the kitchen.
9 MINUTES: You’ll deglaze the pan with broth (a fancy term for “scrape up all the brown bits”) and add several holy basils or Thai basil sprigs. (Yes, we know that holy basil is traditionally used in this dish; however, it can be difficult to find in the United States, so Thai basil is acceptable.)
10 MINUTES: You can relax. The liquid can be cooked off by stirring over high heat until the basil is wilted.
That, sirs and madams, is supper. Ten items, ten minutes. The only thing you need is a bowl of rice to accompany it.
Here’s a much condensed version of the directions for making Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow), complete with photos!
- 3 to 4 tbsp. of oil
- 3 pcs. of Thai bird chilies or holland chilies (thinly sliced)
- 3 shallots (thinly sliced)
- 5 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1 lb. of ground chicken
- 2 tsp. of sugar (or honey)
- 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of fish sauce
- 1/3 cup of low sodium chicken broth (or water)
- 1 bunch of holy or Thai basil leaves
- Oil, chilies, shallots, and garlic are stir-fried over high heat in a wok for a minute or two. Put in the ground chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking it up as you go.
- Sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce should be added. Deglaze the pan with the broth and continue to stir-fry for another minute. The high stovetop temperature means the liquid evaporates quickly from the pan.
- Stir in the basil and cook until it wilts. Accompany with rice.