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Gai pad prik pao recipe is the best chili paste stir-fry EVER – made so easily right at home! It’s packed with lean chicken and crisp vegetables sauced up with the most delicious savory and spicy sauce, all served next to hot steamed rice. A winning combo!
What is pad prik pao
Pad prik pao is a classic Thai chili paste stir-fry, known for its bold, spicy flavors. This traditional dish combines Thai chili paste with stir-fried meats, vegetables, and seasonings.
Pad prik pao chicken
This stir-fried chicken with chili paste is like a dream – really easy to make at home and packing the best flavors you could possibly wish for in a Thai stir-fry.
It’s salty, a little bit sweet, and that spicy chili paste sauce is absolute perfection.
It’s a total restaurant-quality dish that’s easy to customize to your liking. If you want some extra spice, just throw in extra chilies. Cooking for the little ones? Ease up on the chili paste.
What’s the secret to the best gai pad prik pao? A quick tempura flour toss! It’s the key to the crispiest, most irresistible spicy chicken that no one can resist
Use my homemade Thai chili paste recipe to whip up this nam prik pao for authentic flavor.
Pressed for time? A store-bought paste still delivers an unforgettable meal.
Why try this Thai chicken recipe
- This recipe is easy for every home cook: If you’re new to cooking Thai food, this Thai chili paste stir-fry is simple and foolproof.
- Turn it into a quick weeknight dinner: Short on time? For those busy weeknights, feel free to skip the cornstarch toss for a quick homemade meal.
- You can switch up the vegetables: Feel free to toss in your favorite stir-fry vegetables like broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc. Adding more vegetables makes it taste fresher and is also healthier.
- Fill your kitchen with aroma: The aroma of Thai chili paste and spices as they hit the pan is simply delish.
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Chicken – Opt for chicken fillets for a tender, lean choice, or switch it up with chicken thighs for a juicier bite. Use pork tenderloin or steak for a protein substitute.
- Tempura flour – Tempura flour is a staple in Thai cuisine for adding a crispy texture. You can use cornstarch or any other type of crispy flour if tempura flour is not available.
- Bell peppers, onion, green onions – These veggies add a natural sweetness and a crunch, while green onions add a freshness.
- Chilies (optional) – I used large Thai chilies, prik chi faa.
- Garlic – A staple in Thai cooking, adding aroma and depth to dishes.
- Light soy sauce, oyster sauce – This duo of sauces adds a savory, umami flavor to the stir-fry sauce. These sauces are available at Asian grocery stores, and so is store-bought chili paste.
- Nam prik pao – This Thai chili paste adds a smoky heat. It’s a must-have for this recipe.
- White sugar – Adds a subtle sweetness that rounds out the flavors, balancing the heat and savory notes.
- Water – Water adjusts the consistency of the sauce, making it just right without being too thick or runny.
Deep-fry the chicken
1. Start by cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pat them dry.
2. Coat the chicken pieces with tempura flour.
3. Heat oil in a wok or a pot of oil to 350°F (175°C). Carefully lower the battered chicken into the hot oil and fry the chicken until golden and cooked through.
4. Drain on a wire rack or on paper towels to remove excess oil.
1. Heat a wok or pan over medium heat. Add your garlic and chili paste, frying and stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant.
2. Add water, oyster sauce, light soy, and sugar to the pan and continue to stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
3. Toss in your prepped vegetables, onions, green onions, bell peppers, and the optional chilies. Coat them with the paste and continue to cook until soft to your liking.
4. Add the pre-fried chicken to the wok. Stir thoroughly to coat the chicken in the prik pao paste. Garnish with green onions and remove the dish from heat. Serve asap with rice.
- Mixing bowl for mixing chicken with tempura flour
- Wok with spatula or large frying pan
- Cutting board and chef’s knife
- Measuring spoons and cups
How to serve
Serve immediately while hot to enjoy the crispy texture of the chicken. Serve alongside a bowl of hot, steamed jasmine rice.
- Freshly chopped cilantro or coriander: Add freshness and more color with a sprinkle of chopped herbs.
- Sliced chilies or Thai chili flakes: For those who love a spicy kick.
How to store and reheat
This chicken stir-fry with chili paste does NOT store well and is not suited for meal prep. The crispy texture of the chicken will change over time as the sauce absorbs into the chicken.
If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They stay fresh for up to 2 days.
Reheating instructions: Gently reheat the leftovers in a pan over low heat. Microwaving is a no no.
More spicy Thai chicken recipes you’ll love
- Spicy fried chicken recipe without buttermilk
- Pad krapow chicken recipe
- Spicy Thai chicken salad
- Gaeng daeng recipe
- Pad prik sod recipe
- Pad prik haeng
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Gai Pad Prik Pao Recipe (chicken Chili Paste Stir-Fry)
Pad prik pao is a delicious mix of crispy chicken, crunchy vegetables, and a Thai chili paste-flavored sauce.
Deep-fry the chicken
Start by cutting your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Pat them dry.
Coat the chicken pieces with tempura flour.
Heat oil in a wok or a pot of oil to 350°F (175°C). Carefully lower the battered chicken into the hot oil and fry the chicken until golden and cooked through.
Drain on a wire rack or on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Heat a wok or pan over medium heat. Add your garlic and chili paste, frying and stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant.
Add water, oyster sauce, light soy, and sugar to the pan and continue to stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
Toss in your prepped vegetables, onions, green onions, bell peppers, and the optional chilies. Coat them with the paste and continue to cook until soft to your liking.
Add the pre-fried chicken to the wok. Stir thoroughly to coat the chicken in the prik pao paste. Garnish with green onions and remove the dish from heat. Serve asap with rice.
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 564kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 34g53%
- Saturated Fat 5.6g28%
- Trans Fat 0.15g
- Total Carbohydrate 29.71g10%
- Dietary Fiber 2.8g12%
- Sugars 8.31g
- Protein 35g70%
* 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.
- You can use cornstarch or any other type of crispy flour if tempura flour is not available.
- Use my homemade Thai chili paste recipe for authentic flavor.