Chicken Fried Rice with Basil

A Thai inspired dish from Ken Hom. Known as khao phad gai horapa, this chicken fried rice recipe is enhanced with fragrant fresh basil and red chillies.

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Fried rice in all its forms is a favourite in Thailand. Khao phad gai horapa is one of the most popular versions, made with chicken and fragrant basil. Use Thai jasmine rice, if possible, as its aroma adds so much to the dish.

Serves 4–6


Enough dried Thai jasmine rice or long grain white rice to fill a measuring jug to 400ml (14fl oz)
225g (8oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp finely sliced garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp sliced shallots
100g (4oz) large, fresh red chillies, de-seeded and shredded
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
A handful of fresh Thai basil leaves or ordinary basil leaves
3 tbsp finely shredded spring onions
Salt and pepper


At least 2 hours in advance, or the night before, cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Spread it out on a baking sheet and allow it to cool thoroughly, then put it in the fridge until needed.

Slice the chicken into thin strips and set aside. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat and add the oil. When it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic, onion, shallots, chillies, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper and stir- fry for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the rice and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and fish sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Finally add the basil leaves and stir-fry for another minute. Turn onto a platter, garnish with the spring onions and serve hot - or leave to cool and serve as a rice salad.

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