Thai food is one of the most well-known Southeast Asia cuisines in western countries. There are more than 3,000 Thai restaurants in Australia, 3 times more than the United States per capita of its population. Most of the Thai restaurants are located in Australia’s 2 largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne, from fine dining world-class restaurant to cafe style and street food takeaway.
When it comes to food, I am a big fan of traditional-style street food in Asia – authentic, simple, delicious and cooked the same way for generations. There is nothing pretentious about street food – what you see is what you get and it doesn’t put a big hole in your pocket.
“Pad krapao” is a popular street food in Thailand. “pad” means frying and “krapao or kraphrao” refers to Thai basil or Thai holy basil. It has anise and licorice taste. Normally serve with a fried egg with the yolk still runny and steam rice. The dish requires basic ingredients, except Thai basil which is easily available at an Asian supermarket if you live in a western country. It is easy and quick to make at home. You can either do a version of pad krapao “kai” which is chicken or pad krapao “neu mu” which is pork.
Below is my recipe for “neu mu” pad krapao.
what you need to make this dish are:
- pork mince
- garlic – 4 cloves
- onion – 2 french shallots
- chili – 2 fresh red chilies
- basil leaves – a bunch of Thai basil
- sauce – 1 tablespoon light soy, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon sugar
what you need to do next:
- chop the garlic finely and set aside
- slice the chilies and shallots thinly and set aside
- remove the basil leaves from its stalk and set aside
- mix all the sauces in a small bowl and set aside
it’s time to cook:
- Heat a cup of cooking oil in a hot wok
- Once the oil is hot but not smoky, toss in the chopped garlic first. Give it a quick stir fry before adding the sliced shallots and chilies. Continue to fry until the ingredients are aromatic and infuse with the oil
- Toss in the pork mince. Mix through and fry until pork is almost cooked
- Add the sauces and basil leaves and continue to stir fry until pork is cooked
- Optional – add green beans (if you like some vegetables) with your dish. After adding the beans, pour in a pre-mixed 1/2 cup of water and starch to make the gravy and cover with a lid. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer until the beans are cooked. It should take less than 5 minutes not to overcook the beans