Project PokPok Cookbook: Kai Kaphrai Khai Dao (Stir-Fried Chicken with Hot Basil)


So, most of the dishes in Round One of Project PokPok Cookbook are on the simpler side…including this wonderful and majorly delicious one pot meal.

The hot basil is really the star of this dish, so you will have to make sure you get the right stuff…not Thai basil, and often you will see something called hot basil but it’s not REALLY hot basil!! Tricky stuff, y’all.

The only homemade ingredient you need for this one is Phrik Naam Plaa, or Fish Sauce Soaked Chiles, which is pretty quick and easy in case you just want to make a one off meal, and not have a whole project like me. Although, I highly recommend eating like this every day. I’ll include that recipe at the bottom of this one.

This is…a really special dish. I would DEFINITELY not leave out the fish-sauce-soaked chilies. But it’s really special, regardless. Enjoy.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Thai Fish Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Thai black soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 11 grams peeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise and crushed into small pieces in a granite mortar (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 5 oz. ground chicken (preferably thighs) or pork
  • 1 oz. long beans, cut lengthwise into 1/8″ strips (approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 oz. yellow onion, thinly sliced against the grain (approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 4 Thai chilies, preferably red, thinly sliced
  • 3 -4 dried Thai chiles, fried (directions below), coarsely crumbled
  • 6 grams hot basil leaves (about a cup)

To Serve Alongside:

1 – 1/2 cups Khao Hom Mali (Jasmine Rice, recipe below)

Phrik Naam Plaa (Fish Sauce Soaked Chiles, recipe below)

Cook the Egg

  • Heat a wok over very high heat, add the oil and swirl it along the sides to coat. When it begins to smoke, crack in the egg and cook for about 5 seconds. It should spit and sizzle violently and the whites should bubble and puff. Decrease the heat to medium and continue to cook, frequently tipping the pan and basting the egg with the oil, just until the white has set and turns golden at the edges and the yolk is cooked the way you like it (hint: a runny yolk makes this dish magic), about 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Transfer the egg to paper towels to drain, leaving the oil in the wok.

Stir Fry and Serve the Dish

  • Combine fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Heat the wok again over very high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic to the wok, take the wok off the heat, and let the garlic sizzle, stirring often, until the garlic turns light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Put the wok back on the heat, and add the chicken, long beans, onions and fresh chilies. Stir fry and break up the chicken as you do, constantly stirring, flipping, and scooping the ingredients, until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 1 minute.
  • Add dried chilies and the fish sauce mixture, adding a drop of water to make sure nothing’s left behind in the bowl if needed, and continue to stir fry until the liquid has been absorbed by the meat, about 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Turn off the heat.
  • Just before you’re ready to serve, turn the heat back to high, and once the meat is heated through, add the hot basil, and stir until it is wilted and very fragrant, about 15 seconds or so.
  • Serve with Jasmine Rice, Fried Egg, and fish-sauce-soaked chilies.

Jasmine Rice:

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water

Put the rice in a fine mesh strainer inside a large bowl. Fill the bowl up with enough tap water to cover the rice by an inch or two. Use your hand to gently stir the rice, then lift the strainer from the bowl. The water will be cloudy from the starch. Repeat the process until the water covering the rice is more or less clear. You  will probably have to repeat this three or four times. Drain the rice, gently shaking occasionally, until it’s fully dry to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Put the rice in a rice cooker in an even layer. Add the water, cover, and press the button,

Once it’s done, let the rice sit in the cooker for about 20 minutes,

Finally, fluff the rice: use a spoon to gently rake the top few layers of rice to separate the grains, then gradually rake the next few layers, and so on, working your way to the bottom.

Phrik Naam Plaa:

  • About 14 fresh Thai chiles, preferably green, thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
  • About 2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a bowl or container and stir. Keeps covered in the fridge for 2 days or so.

Fried Dried Thai Chilies:

  • Put the chilies in a wok or a pan, add enough vegetable oil to coat them well, and set the pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring and tossing almost constantly, until the chilies are a deep, dark brown color (but not black), about 7 – 10 minutes. Keep in mind that the residual heat of the oil will continue cooking the chilies. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chilies to a paper towel to drain.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s