Pad Krapow or Stir-Fry Thai Basil Pork is a rustic Thai street food dish you could find in every Thai restaurant’s menu. The choices of protein are usually pork, chicken, beef but recently, I’ve also come across vegetarian version using tofu and plant-based meat.
If you are looking to replicate an authentic plate of restaurant-quality Pad Krapow (by the way, Pad means stir fry and Krapow means Thai holy basil), I highly recommend using minced fatty pork. Minced pork is a combination of lean meat and fat, so if you are ordering from a butcher, just let them know you would like a 50% meat to 50% fat ratio. When there is not enough fat, your pork will become dry and less aromatic.
Add in the Thai basil at the very last stage as they require little or no cooking time. Overcooking will result in losing its fragrance and flavor.
500 g minced fatty pork – I like to use a 50% meat to 50% fat ratio
Handful (about 2 cups or more) of Thai / holy basil leaves
4 to 5 cloves garlic
1 red chilli / bird eye chilli (to taste)
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce (or more if you prefer darker)
1 tbsp sugar (I’m using Thai palm sugar)
White pepper to taste
2 tbsp water
1 runny fried egg (optional)
Adapted from David Thompson Thai Food Cookbook
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the salt, garlic and chilli into a rough paste.
Alternatively, you could mince them on a chopping board.
Gather all your ingredients next to your cooking station.
Heat a wok over high heat and add in 2 to 3 tbsp cooking oil.
Fry the garlic chilli paste until fragrant, taking care not to burn it.
Add in minced pork and continue to stir fry over high heat, until the meat is no longer red.
Add in all the seasoning and continue to mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of water.
Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
Sprinkle over Thai basil, turn off heat and give it a final toss.
Serve warm with steamed white rice and a fried egg.