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Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai Recipe (Garlic and Pepper Chicken)

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Discover the essence of Thai cuisine in this simple yet incredibly flavorful dish. Garlic and Pepper Chicken, or Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai Recipe, features tender chicken pieces marinated in a harmonious blend of oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Stir-fried with fragrant minced garlic and a medley of ground spices, it’s a quick and delightful Thai favorite. In just around 30 minutes, you can enjoy a delicious and aromatic meal that balances savory, spicy, and garlicky notes—a true taste of Thailand in every bite.

Origins of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai Recipe

This savory delight hails from Thailand, known for its rich culinary tradition. Thai cuisine is characterized by its unique blend of tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy. Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai, or Garlic and Pepper Chicken, is no exception.

Even though you can find this dish easily from street vendors, it is not just street food; this dish also graces the tables of many Thai homes, demonstrating its versatility. While it’s a popular Thai dish, Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai has also found its way into the hearts and kitchens of people worldwide, thanks to its simplicity and robust flavor.

Understanding Thai Flavor Profiles

In exploring the vast landscape of Thai cuisine, it’s essential to grasp the four fundamental flavors that you’ll find in virtually every dish, including Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai. These are sweet, salty, and spicy. Each element brings its unique character to the dish, contributing an essential layer to the overall flavor profile.

The sweet element is often derived from palm sugar, a common Thai ingredient. It adds a rich and slightly caramel-like sweetness to dishes.

Saltiness is crucial to Thai cuisine. Fish sauce, a staple in Thai kitchens, is the primary source of this flavor. It’s a fermented brew that imparts a deep, umami note.

Lastly, the spicy component comes from a variety of chilies. From mild to fiery, these chilies add heat, excitement, and depth to the dishes.

Understanding these flavor profiles will help you appreciate Thai cuisine better. Remember, it’s all about balance and harmony among these four flavors.

A well-made Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai should hit all these notes perfectly.

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Popular Variations of the Dish

You’ll come across several delectable variations of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai as you delve deeper into Thai cuisine. One of the most popular versions includes the addition of Thai holy basil, providing an aromatic twist to the dish. If you’re a seafood lover, you might appreciate the substitution of chicken with prawns or squid, creating an entirely unique flavor profile.

Another version that’s gaining popularity uses tofu as the main protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians. Some chefs add a touch of sweetness by including pineapple chunks, contrasting beautifully with the dish’s inherent spiciness. If you’re after something a bit more exotic, you might encounter Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai with red curry paste or coconut milk, offering a creamy yet fiery experience.

However, while these variations are delightful, remember that regional differences can also create variations. Depending on where you eat this dish in Thailand, you may find it spicier, sweeter, or even saltier. Embrace these differences – they’re what make exploring Thai cuisine such an exciting culinary journey.

Each variation of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai brings its own unique spin to this beloved dish. Don’t be afraid to try them all!

Pairing Suggestions for the Dish

While you’re exploring the various iterations of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai, don’t forget to consider what to pair with this flavorful dish. You’ll likely find that this aromatic and spicy Thai dish lends itself well to various accompaniments that can enhance its complex flavors.

Firstly, you can’t go wrong with a side of steamed jasmine rice. It’s a staple in Thai cuisine, and it’s perfect for soaking up the robust garlic and pepper sauce. A crisp cucumber salad can also balance the heat and add a refreshing contrast.

If you’re looking for a beverage to accompany your meal, a classic Thai iced tea could be a great choice. Its sweet and creamy taste can temper the spice nicely. Alternatively, if you’re a wine enthusiast, a chilled glass of Riesling, with its hint of sweetness and high acidity, can complement the spice and garlic flavors wonderfully.

For dessert, a serving of mango with sticky rice, a traditional Thai sweet dish, would be an ideal finish. The sweetness of the mango and the creaminess of the coconut milk in the rice will provide a soothing end to your spicy meal.

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Dietary Considerations and Modifications

Should you need to modify Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai for dietary reasons, there are several adjustments you can make.

For vegetarians, tofu can replace chicken. The traditional fish sauce can be swapped with a vegan alternative, such as soy sauce or a salt substitute. For those with gluten intolerance, ensure to use a gluten-free soy sauce.

If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can decrease the amount of fish or soy sauce without compromising too much on flavor. The garlic and pepper give the dish its characteristic taste, so you won’t miss out.

For a low-carb version, you might consider serving the dish with cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice. Those on a keto diet could also make this substitution, as cauliflower rice is a popular low-carb, keto-friendly alternative.

If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients, such as garlic or pepper, consult with a dietitian for suitable replacements. Remember, it’s essential to enjoy your meals while ensuring they fit into your dietary needs.

With these modifications, Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai can still be a delicious and satisfying meal.

Common Misconceptions About the Dish

Despite its popularity, there are a few misconceptions you might’ve about Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai.

The first misconception is that it’s a spicy dish. While the name refers to pepper, this Thai dish isn’t typically spicy. The pepper used is black pepper, not a hot chili pepper, so it adds flavor, not heat.

Secondly, you might think Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai is a complex dish to prepare. Contrarily, it’s one of the simplest Thai dishes to make. It consists of a few basic ingredients: chicken, garlic, and pepper. The flavor complexity comes from the balance of these ingredients, not from a lengthy ingredient list.

Lastly, it’s commonly believed that this dish is high in calories because it’s often served with rice. However, the dish itself is quite healthy, with lean protein from the chicken and beneficial compounds in the garlic and pepper. It’s the quantity of rice and any added sauces that can increase the calorie count.

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The Dish’s Influence on Western Cuisine

Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai has made a significant impact on Western cuisine. As you’ve likely noticed, this Thai dish’s influence has permeated restaurants and home kitchens alike, introducing an exciting fusion of flavors to the Western palate.

The dish’s unique combination of garlic and pepper has inspired culinary enthusiasts to incorporate these flavors into their recipes. Chicken, a protein that’s already a staple in Western cuisine, serves as a familiar canvas for these exotic spices. You’ll find the dish’s influence in various Western adaptations, where the garlic and pepper are used to season everything from roasts to stir-fries.

Moreover, Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai’s emphasis on fresh, healthful ingredients has resonated with the West’s growing focus on healthier eating. The simplicity and nutritional value of the dish have inspired a shift towards meals that are both flavorful and health-conscious.

You can’t ignore the fact that this humble Thai dish has contributed to a broader appreciation of Asian flavors in Western cuisine, leaving a lasting impact that goes beyond the plate.

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How to make Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai (Garlic and Pepper Chicken) at home

Experience the bold and savory flavors of Thai cuisine with our Garlic and Pepper Chicken recipe. This dish features tender pieces of chicken marinated in a fragrant blend of garlic and spices, stir-fried to perfection in a savory sauce. It's a quick and easy Thai favorite that's bursting with aromatic garlic and the subtle heat of black and white pepper. In just a matter of minutes, you can create a restaurant-quality meal at home that's sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Chinese, Thai
Servings 3
Calories 300 kcal


  • Wok or Skillet A wok is traditionally used for stir-frying in Thai cuisine, but if you don't have one, a large skillet with high sides will work well. The key is to have a wide, flat cooking surface and high sides to accommodate the ingredients and prevent spills.
  • Cooking Spoon or Spatula: A wooden or metal cooking spoon or spatula with a flat edge is essential for stir-frying and tossing the ingredients in the wok or skillet.
  • Small Bowls: You'll need small bowls to prepare the spice mixture, sauce mixture, and to hold ingredients like minced garlic before adding them to the wok.
  • Measuring spoons Measuring spoons are handy for accurately measuring ingredients like sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce.
  • Cutting board and knife You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife for cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mincing the garlic.
  • Mixing Bowls You'll need mixing bowls to marinate the chicken and prepare the various sauce mixtures.
  • Whisk or Fork: Use a whisk or fork to combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Plate or Serving Platter You'll need a plate or serving platter to present your finished Garlic and Pepper Chicken.
  • Garnish Tools: If you plan to garnish the dish with fresh cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, or other toppings, have scissors or a knife for cutting them.
  • Heat Source: Ensure you have a stove or cooking range with a heat source to cook the dish.


For the Marinade:

  • 450 g boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

For the Garlic and Pepper Sauce:

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and sliced green onions for garnish


Marinate the Chicken:

  • In a bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and mix well. Allow it to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes, or you can refrigerate it for up to 1 hour for more flavor.

Prepare the Seasoning

  • In a small bowl, mix the white pepper, black pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce together.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and swirl it to coat the pan evenly.
  • Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until they are cooked through and slightly browned.
  • Add the mixed seasoning and cook for another 1-2 minutes, allow the chicken to absorb the seasoning

Finish and Serve:

  • Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if needed by adding more fish sauce or sugar according to your preference.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the Garlic and Pepper Chicken to a serving platter.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and sliced green onions.


  • Serve your Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai hot with steamed jasmine rice or noodles. Enjoy your delicious Thai Garlic and Pepper Chicken!


  • Chicken Choice: You can use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this recipe. Thighs tend to be more flavorful and tender, but breasts work well too if that’s your preference.
  • Marination Time: While marinating for at least 15-20 minutes is sufficient, you can marinate the chicken for longer (up to 1 hour) for even more flavor.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of black and white pepper to control the level of spiciness. If you like it really spicy, you can add more black pepper. If you prefer it milder, reduce the amount of pepper.
  • Vegetable Variation: Feel free to add some vegetables to this dish, such as bell peppers, onions, or snap peas. Stir-fry them along with the chicken for a well-rounded meal.
  • Sauce Consistency: If you like a thicker sauce, you can mix a little cornstarch with water and add it to the seasoning mixture to thicken it. Stir until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  • Garnish Options: Besides cilantro and green onions, you can garnish your Garlic and Pepper Chicken with thinly sliced red chili peppers for an extra kick or some toasted sesame seeds for added texture.
  • Serve with Thai Condiments: Serve the dish with traditional Thai condiments like fish sauce with sliced Thai bird’s eye chilies and a squeeze of lime juice for additional flavor options.
  • Wok or Skillet: If you don’t have a wok, a large skillet will work just fine. The key is to use high heat for stir-frying.
  • Cooking Time: Be mindful not to overcook the chicken, as it can become dry. Cook until it’s no longer pink in the center, and it’s slightly browned.
Keyword chicken, garlic, pepper, stir-fry

How to Store and Reheat

When you’ve had your fill of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai, don’t discard the leftovers; instead, store them properly for a delicious meal later on. It’s as simple as letting the dish cool down to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. Be sure not to leave it out for more than two hours as this can lead to bacterial growth. Once it’s in the container, pop it in the fridge. It’ll stay good for up to three days.

If you’re ready for round two, reheating is also a breeze. You can use either the stovetop or the microwave. For the stovetop method, just put the leftovers in a pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes. If you prefer the microwave, place the leftovers in a microwave-safe dish, cover loosely to prevent splatters, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Always check that it’s hot all the way through before eating.

Exploring Thai Cuisine Beyond Garlic and Pepper Chicken

If you’ve developed a taste for Thailand’s Garlic and Pepper Chicken, your palate’s adventure with Thai cuisine is just beginning. There’s a whole world of flavors to explore that go beyond this beloved dish. Thai food isn’t just about spicy curries and Pad Thai; it’s a cuisine that’s rich in diversity, with each region boasting unique dishes.

Consider diving into the tangy, sweet and spicy realm of Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad), or the comforting, hearty flavors of Massaman Curry. If you’re a fan of noodles, you’ll love the smoky, savory notes of Pad See Ew. For those who aren’t afraid of heat, Tom Yum Goong, a spicy shrimp soup, will tantalize your taste buds.

Don’t stop at the main courses. Thai desserts, like the sweet, creamy Mango Sticky Rice or the deliciously unique Tub Tim Grob (Red Rubies Dessert), are must-tries.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Has the Preparation of Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai Evolved Over the Years in Response to Modern Cooking Appliances?

Well, traditional cooking methods have evolved. You’re not pounding garlic and pepper in a mortar anymore; you’re using blenders. Instead of stir-frying in a wok over an open flame, you’re likely using a gas or electric stove.

Despite these changes, you’re still striving to maintain the authentic flavors of this classic Thai dish.

Can Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai Be Incorporated Into a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet?

You’re wondering if Gai Pad Gratiam Prik Thai can be tailored to suit a vegetarian or vegan diet. Absolutely! The dish’s main flavors come from garlic and black pepper, which are vegan-friendly.

You can substitute the chicken with tofu or any other plant-based protein you prefer. Just ensure you’re not using fish sauce, which is traditionally used in Thai cooking.

Instead, opt for a vegan alternative like soy sauce.

Can I add vegetables to this dish?

Absolutely! You can enhance the dish by adding vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or snap peas. Simply stir-fry them along with the chicken for a well-rounded meal.

Can I make this dish in advance?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the marinade and sauce in advance to save time. Cook the chicken just before serving to ensure it stays tender and flavorful.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover Garlic and Pepper Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it in a skillet or microwave until heated through.

Can I freeze this dish?

It’s not recommended to freeze this dish, as the texture of the chicken may change upon thawing, potentially becoming less tender.

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About Mint Thai Cafe

My name is Mint. I am a Thai girl who loves to cook and share my Thai food with everyone! Learn more about me here.

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