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Chicken pad ped recipe is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. This spicy Thai red curry stir-fry with chicken is packed with fresh herbs and spices, sizzling together in the most amazing stir-fry sauce. Switch it up with your favorite protein or veggies and serve with jasmine rice.
Prefer seafood instead? Try my recipe for pad ped talay, a spicy seafood twist on this classic Thai dish!
What is pad ped
Pad ped talay is a spicy Thai stir-fry famed for its fiery mix of red curry paste and holy basil. This classic dish blends protein with fresh herbs and spices for a balance of spicy and savory tastes typical to Thai cuisine.
Thai red curry stir-fry with chicken
Tender chicken, lots of chilies, holy basil, fresh peppercorns, and kaffir lime leaves, all wrapped in the rich flavors of red curry paste with the easiest stir-fry sauce ever.
This Thai red curry stir-fry with chicken is whipped up in a measly 20 minutes. Max.
Each piece of chicken soaks up the bold, aromatic spices, making this one of the most flavorful stir-fries you’ve ever had.
Pad ped gai is the epitome of spicy food, and you can totally customize it your way. Want it hotter? Toss in some extra chilies. Milder? Totally fine! It’s all about making spicy chicken your way.
Feel free to sneak in some leftover veggies hanging around your fridge, I prefer gai pad ped with just chicken and fresh herbs.
Super quick, super tasty, and so easy!
Pad ped vs pad Thai
What are the differences? Let’s compare both stir-fries, highlighting their unique ingredients and tastes.
- A spicy Thai stir-fry.
- Blend of red curry paste and spices.
- Known for its complex, spicy, and savory flavor profile.
- A classic Thai noodle dish.
- Characterized by its tangy and sweet tamarind sauce.
- Often garnished with peanuts, lime, and bean sprouts.
- Beloved for its balance of sweet, sour, and nutty flavors.
If you’re loving the spice, make sure to stop by my collection of spicy Thai recipes!
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Chicken – You can use bone-in or boneless chicken. Opt for chicken thighs for richer flavor or keep it lean with chicken breast. For a variety, you can use pork or beef, shrimp, crab, or even eggplant for a vegetable dish.
- Red curry paste – For the best result, use my homemade Thai red curry paste. Good store-bought alternatives are Maesri or Mae Ploy, available at Asian grocery stores.
- Fresh peppercorns – Fresh peppercorns add a sharp spice and aromatic note, infusing the chicken with bold taste.
- Kaffir lime leaves – Kaffir lime leaves add a citrus note. You can get them frozen at Asian supermarkets or get them dried at Amazon.
- Holy basil – A key ingredient in many Thai dishes, it offers peppery notes and a hint of sweet. Regular basil does bring the same flavor. If you’re having trouble finding them, try asking employees at Asian stores.
- Red or green prik chi fa – Prik chi fa is a medium-sized Thai chili pepper. It’s often added to stir-fried dishes as a ‘vegetable’ to add spice and color.
- Flavor seasoning (Rosdee) – Rosdee is a Thai seasoning, bringing savory and umami depth to stir-fries, soups, and even marinades. It’s an all-purpose seasoning that enriches the chicken with a savory flavor.
- Fish sauce – The key ingredient in authentic Thai cooking. A little goes a long way, you don’t want to make the stir-fry over salty in combination with the flavor seasoning.
- White sugar – A bit of sugar is necessary to balance out the salty and spicy flavors.
1. Heat oil in your pan over medium heat. Sizzle the red curry paste, stirring until it fries up and releases its oils and spices.
2. Add your chicken. Cook until done and coat each piece with the curry paste.
3. Stir in the sauces and seasonings: fish sauce, flavor seasoning, and sugar. Also add in the black peppercorns, chilies, and kaffir lime leaves. Continue to stir until sugar is dissolved and flavors have mingled.
4. Turn off the heat, add holy basil, and give your pad ped a final stir. Serve immediately with rice.
How to serve
Serve your pad ped over rice or with rice noodles. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of holy basil, chopped cilantro, or even add some sliced chilies.
Feel free to add some fresh vegetables like Thai eggplants and cucumbers on the side.
How to store and reheat
Allow your pad ped chicken stir-fry to cool to room temperature. Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container. Place the containers in the fridge, and it’ll stay fresh for up to 3–4 days.
Reheating instructions: Reheat on the stovetop in a skillet or pan over medium heat. If needed, add a splash of water to prevent drying out.
Frequently asked questions
How spicy is pad ped?
Pad ped is known for its spicy kick, thanks to the red curry paste and fresh chilies. You can alter the spice level by controlling the amount of curry paste and chilies used in recipes.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
It’s essential to check the labeling of your store-bought fish sauce, flavor seasoning, and red curry paste, as some brands contain gluten.
More spicy Thai chicken stir-fry recipes you’ll love
- Thai lemongrass chicken recipe
- Pad krapow chicken recipe
- Thai pad prik pao recipe
- Pad prik sod recipe
- Pad prik pao
- Pad kee mao
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Chicken Pad Ped Recipe (Red Curry Stir-Fry With Chicken)
Enjoy the fiery flavors of chicken pad ped, a spicy Thai stir-fry with tender chicken, holy basil, and red curry paste that's best enjoyed with rice.
Heat oil in your pan over medium heat. Sizzle the red curry paste, stirring until it fries up and releases its oils and spices.
Add your chicken. Cook until done and coat each piece with the curry paste.
Stir in the sauces and seasonings: fish sauce, flavor seasoning, and sugar. Also add in the black peppercorns, chilies, and kaffir lime leaves. Continue to stir until sugar is dissolved and flavors have mingled.
Turn off the heat, add holy basil, and give your pad ped a final stir. Serve immediately with rice.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 447kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 31.24g49%
- Saturated Fat 5.3g27%
- Total Carbohydrate 11.1g4%
- Dietary Fiber 3.1g13%
- Sugars 3.21g
- Protein 32g64%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline
Chilies: Use green or red prik chi fa. Prik chi fa is a medium-sized Thai chili pepper. It's often added to stir-fried dishes as a 'vegetable' to add spice and color. If you can't source them, use any other type of chili.
Flavor seasoning: Rosdee is a Thai seasoning, bringing savory and umami depth to stir-fries, soups, and even marinades. It's an all-purpose seasoning that enriches the chicken with a savory flavor. You can get it at Amazon.