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20-Minute Thai Ginger Chicken Recipe (Gai Pad King)

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Thai ginger chicken recipe, also known as gai pad king, is a flavor-packed stir-fry of Thai cuisine. This easy dish brings all the authentic flavors you’d find in your favorite Thai restaurant or takeout right into your home. It’s a one-pot meal loaded with healthy ingredients and tender chicken coated in a delicious stir-fry sauce.

Thai ginger chicken stir-fry, gai pad king, with mushrooms served in a white dish.

Thai chicken stir-fries are quick and easy to make, make sure to try one of these next: Thai garlic pepper chicken, pad krapow chicken with Thai basil, and gai pad nor mai with bamboo shoots.

What is gai pad king

Gai pad king is a classic Thai dish featuring stir-fried chicken with ginger, mushrooms, and sometimes chilies. It’s an aromatic dish that combines the warmth of ginger with protein and is often served alongside steamed jasmine rice.

Thai ginger chicken recipe

This Thai meal is a breeze to make – it’s a lifesaver for busy weeknights when simple but healthy food is a must. Just one pan and a few simple ingredients is all that’s needed to make this quick and easy dinner.

We begin with a fragrant base of garlic and chilies, the start of many Thai stir-fries. Thinly sliced chicken ensures it gets cooked quick and even while still being tender, because no one likes chewy chicken.

Woman cooking gai pad king over charcoal with a rural backdrop.
Stir-frying gai pad king over charcoal, the traditional way!

The best thing about Thai ginger chicken? That irresistible spicy, sweet, and savory stir-fry sauce! It coats everything with a perfect balance of Thai flavors, while the ginger infuses the entire dish with its spicy, peppery flavor.

The vegetables add extra nutrition and crisp textures. You can get creative and add your favorite stir-fry vegetables, or use the ones I did.

That’s all! This chicken stir-fry with chicken is as easy as it is good. Savory, sweet, and ginger spice tastes in one tasty dish.

Thai chicken and ginger stir-fry

One of the reasons this Thai chicken stir-fry with ginger is so healthy is because of the health benefits of ginger.

Ginger has loads of health benefits: it’s anti-inflammatory, relieves digestive issues, boosts immune functions, and has antioxidant benefits.

Close-up of gai pad king, Thai ginger chicken stir-fry.

Feel free to add more or less ginger to taste. Thai chicken and ginger stir-fry is a dish that brings mixed feeling among food lovers due to the unique taste of ginger. Some love its spicy notes, while others find it overpowering.

For a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, try gai pad med mamuang (Thai chicken cashew), and pad priew wan (sweet and sour chicken).

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


All recipe ingredients displayed on a banana leaf; white sugar, soybean paste, golden mountain sauce, and oyster sauce in plastic green cups, chicken and white pepper in clay cups, mushrooms, green onions, ginger, garlic, and red chilies in a bamboo cup.
  • Chicken – I used skin-on chicken breast, but you can use chicken thighs or other parts too.
  • Ginger – Slice ginger into thin strips. If you’re a ginger lover, use as much as you like.
  • Cloud ear mushrooms – In Thailand, this ginger stir-fry is made with this type of chewy mushroom, also known as wood ear mushrooms.
  • Chilies – Fresh chili peppers provide heat. I typically use Thai Jinda chilies or bird’s eye chilies. Feel free to tweak.
  • Green onions – Provides a fresh taste and a mild onion flavor.
  • Oyster sauce – A key ingredient of Thai cuisine, adds a salty flavor, slight sweetness, and umami richness.
  • Golden mountain sauce – This Thai seasoning sauce enhances the overall taste of this chicken ginger stir-fry.
  • White sugar – Balances the flavors and adds sweetness. To replicate the exact flavors of this recipe, avoid using palm sugar and brown sugar.
  • Soybean paste – Also known as soybean sauce, made from fermented soybeans. You can find this at any Asian grocery store and Asian markets.
  • White pepper
  • Garlic

How to make stir-fried ginger and chicken

Close-up of golden fried garlic and red chilies in a wok.

Step 1: Place a pan on medium-high heat and add oil. Stir-fry the minced garlic and sliced chilies in the pan until they become fragrant, about 20 seconds.

Top-down view of cooked through chicken slices, garlic, and red chilies in a wok.

Step 2: Add the chicken slices to the pan. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked.

Stir-fried chicken coated with sauce in a wok with a spatula.

Step 3: Add white sugar, soybean paste, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper into the pan. Ensure each piece of chicken is well-coated with the stir-fry sauce.

Close-up of stir-fried ginger chicken with green onions and mushroom in a wok with a spatula.

Step 4: Finally, add the ginger, mushrooms, and green onions to the pan. Toss everything together to mix well. Serve hot and enjoy!

Kitchen tools

  • Small bowl for soaking dried mushrooms if needed
  • Wok or skillet with spatula or stirring spoon
  • Cutting board and sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups

Customize kai pad king recipe

Balance the flavors: Before serving, make sure to taste-test and balance the sweet, spicy, and salty flavors. Balancing flavors is what Thai cooking is all about!

Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Vegetables: Feel free to add your favorite stir-fry vegetables like boy choy, green beans, and bell peppers.

Spiciness: For a milder dish, reduce chili peppers, opt for milder varieties, or deseed them.

Proteins: Gai pad king is made with chicken, but feel free to substitute it with tofu, shrimp, beef pork, seafood, or any combination. Remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How to serve Thai ginger chicken stir-fry

Serve hot alongside fragrant jasmine rice, brown rice, or noodles. Sprinkle with fresh coriander (cilantro), freshly chopped green onions, and toasted sesame seeds.

Alternatively, you can serve this dish as a side with other Thai food. Pair it with these reader-favorite side-dishes like Thai chicken satay with peanut sauce, kai tod (Thai fried chicken wings), and Hat Yai fried chicken.

How to store Thai chicken ginger

Let your leftovers cool to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. Your Thai ginger chicken leftovers can be kept for up to 3–4 days.

To freeze: Store for a maximum of 3 months in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

To reheat: Stir-fry over medium heat, if needed, add a splash of water or oil. Alternatively, you can use the microwave.

Frequently asked questions

What is ginger chicken made of?

Ginger chicken is a stir-fry featuring chicken, garlic, ginger, Thai seasonings, mushrooms, and other ingredients depending on the recipe.

What does ginger chicken taste like?

Ginger chicken is a savory, umami-rich, and slightly sweet stir-fry with a spicy kick from the ginger.

How to reduce ginger taste in ginger chicken?

To reduce the ginger taste in ginger chicken, reduce the amount of ginger used.

Authentic Thai chicken stir-fry recipes

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20-Minute Thai Ginger Chicken Recipe (Gai Pad King)

Thai ginger chicken stir-fry, gai pad king, with mushrooms served in a white dish.
This Thai ginger chicken recipe is a quick and easy gai pad king stir-fry that comes together in less than 20 minutes.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 chilies thinly sliced, add to taste
  • 7 ounces chicken thinly sliced, breast or thighs
  • 1.8 ounce ginger thinly sliced
  • 0.7 ounces cloud ear mushrooms dried
  • 1/2 cup green onions chopped into 1-inch sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon soybean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon golden mountain sauce

Instructions

  • Place a pan on medium-high heat and add oil. Stir-fry the minced garlic and sliced chilies in the pan until they become fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  • Add the chicken slices to the pan. Continue to stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Add white sugar, soybean paste, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper into the pan. Ensure each piece of chicken is well-coated with the stir-fry sauce.
  • Finally, add the ginger, mushrooms, and green onions to the pan. Toss everything together to mix well. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Serve with rice or noodles.
  • Customize with your favorite protein / vegetables.

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