This dish is classic Thai street food at it's best. I've posted a variation of this recipe before, but after speaking to a Thai friend, I learned a new way to make it. And, more importantly, I learned how to make Thai Fried Eggs, which are absolutely delicious! What's different about them? Well, for one thing, they are poached in hot oil which makes them crispy and the yolks come out perfectly runny. Drizzled with a little Kecap Manis or in my case, Tamari and Sesame Oil, they are just delightful - so different than the usual American versions of fried or poached eggs. They would be great for breakfast anytime and the lacy, browned bits on the edges taste so good!
The difference between this version of Chicken with Holy Basil and the one I posted before is in the use of Oyster Sauce to flavor the Chicken. And, you can make this dish Gluten Free if you use the Lee Kum Kee's Gluten Free version. I have to admit that I like the regular Oyster Sauce better, so if you are using the Gluten Free kind, add a bit of Fish Sauce to round out the flavor. This dish tastes best if you use Thai Holy Basil leaves, but in a pinch you can also use regular Basil leaves and it will still be good. Serve this with some steamed Rice and you will have a wonderful Thai meal!
Pad Kra Pao Gai with Thai Fried Eggs
1/3 cup neutral tasting Vegetable Oil
1 pound ground Chicken or finely chopped Chicken Breast or Thigh meat
2 Shallots, chopped
3 large cloves of Garlic, minced
Optional: 1 - 4 Thai Chilis sliced into rounds or 1 red Jalapeño sliced into thin rounds
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce (if using Gluten Free, add 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce)
4 Tablespoons Tamari
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 cups loosely packed Thai Holy Basil leaves
To Serve: 1 Tablespoon Kecap Manis (sweet Soy Sauce) or Tamari and 1 teaspoon of Sesame Oil
Break each egg in a small bowl, being careful not to break the yolk. Heat a wok on high and then add in the oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer and move. Add in one egg in the center of the oil (be careful, it splashes) and cook until a metal spatula pushed underneath releases it from the bottom of the pan easily. Then using the spatula, quickly splash some of the hot oil over the top of the egg and cook until the egg looks cooked (this happens quickly). Take out the egg and repeat with the remaining three eggs. Remove the wok from the heat.
In a small bowl, mix together the Oyster Sauce, Tamari and Sugar.
Then pour out all but 2 Tablespoons of the oil. Place the wok back on the heat. Then add in the Shallots and Garlic and Chilis (if you are using them). Cook until the Shallots wilt. Then add the ground Chicken and cook, stirring often unit it is no longer pink. Then add in the Sauce and stir to combine. Then add in the Basil and toss until the Basil wilts.
Plate the Pad Kra Pao Gai with Steamed Rice and an Egg, drizzling each Egg with 1/4 of either Kecap Manis or Tamari and Sesame Oil.
Five Element Analysis
Eggs belong to the Water Element and the Oyster Sauce and Tamari and Fish Sauce if you are using it add even more Water. The Chicken contributes the Wood Element and the Chilis bring in the Fire Element. The Metal Element is well represented by the Holy Basil and the Earth Element has only the tiny bit of Sugar to add. So, in order to have a balanced meal, it would be good to add another Earthy dish or even a dessert to make this a balanced meal. I served it with Coconut Ice Cream!