Phat Kaphrao

This street food staple combines meat flash-fried with holy basil (the eponymous kaphrao) and a generous helping of fresh chilli and garlic. Served over rice and often crowned with a fried egg, it’s the epitome of the Thai-style one dish meal.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
450g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
3 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
3 tbsp finely sliced shallots
3 fresh green or red chillies, seeded and finely shredded
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
a large handful of Thai or ordinary basil leaves


1. Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot, then add 1 tbsp of the oil. When it is very hot, add the chicken and stir-fry over a high heat for 8-10 minutes, until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, take the chicken from the pan and set aside.

2. Reheat the wok and add the remaining oil. Toss in the garlic and shallots and stir fry for 3 minutes, until golden brown.

3. Return the chicken to the wok and add the chillies, fish sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Stir fry over a high heat for a further 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the basil leaves and serve at once.