Protein: Chicken, Pork, or Beef
Method: Stovetop, WokJump to Recipe
What is Thai Pad Krapow?
Pad Krapow is a popular street food consisting of finely minced or ground meat, stir fried with Thai Holy Basil. Sometimes also translated as Pad Kra Pao, Pad Krapao, or even Pad grapao, this dish is an extremely popular street food in Thailand.
What meat is used in Pad Krapow?
Any finely minced or ground meat works wonderfully in Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry. Chicken (Pad Kra Pao Gai), pork (Pad Kra Pao Moo) and even beef (Pad Kra Pao Wuua) are all commonly used. The one unifying ingredient is the use of Thai Holy Basil.
What is Thai Holy Basil?
Holy basil (Krapow) is a variety of basil native to the Indian sub continent and frequently cultivated throughout southeast Asia. Thai holy basil differs in both appearance and taste from common Thai basil, so the two are not typically used interchangeably. Thai holy basil has green serrated leaves that have a sweet, peppery and clove like taste. Conversely, common Thai basil has green to purple leaves and tastes more of licorice and anise.
What is a good substitute for Thai Holy Basil?
In all honesty, there is not great substitute for Thai Holy Basil, and without it, it may be argued that your are not really making Pad Krapow. If forced to substitute, Italian basil is a better substitute than common Thai basil for dishes calling for Holy basil.
Making Thai Pad Krapow
Making pad krapow at home is super easy. Other than the holy basil, it uses common ingredients. Pad kra pao is typically flavored with the Thai trilogy of oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and fish sauce. You can use your favorite meat for the dish such as ground chicken, pork, or beef. The addition of vegetables like long beans is also fairly common.
Prep your ingredients:
If using vegetables in you pad kra pao, rinse them and cut into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch long. Rinse the Thai Holy Basil, and mince or finely chop the garlic and shallot. Cut the dried Thai chiles into smaller pieces and discard the seeds and stems.
Rinse the beans, if using, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce and stir to combine.
Cooking the Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry
Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the wok or pan and heat the wok or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Next, add the garlic and shallots and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes, being carful not to burn.
Add in the minced or ground meat and cook until just browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Next, add the beans to the wok and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the cooking sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove the wok or pan from the heat and add in the basil. Stir to combine.
Once the basil has wilted, your Holy Basil Stir Fry is ready to serve.
Serving the Pad Krapow
Pad krapow is very commonly served with rice and a fried egg and this is our favorite way of serving the dish. If serving with eggs, fry the eggs in a pan with some cooking oil. Cook the egg to your desired doneness. Over easy is our favorite.
Serve the Pad Krapow warm, over rice and topped with a fried egg.
Thanks again for visiting Carne Diem. If you tried and enjoyed our recipe, please share with others. Also don’t forget to tag us @Carne_Diem_Culinary or #CarneDiemBlog, we love to see your pics! To be notified of future recipes please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, or sign up for our e-mail notifications.
Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry: Pad Krapaw (Pad Kra Pao)
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken or Pork or Beef
- 4 Thai Chilies
- 1 Small Shallot Finely minced
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ Cup Long beans or green beans cut into small pieces.
- 1 Cup Thai Holy Basil Loosely packed. About 40-50 leaves.
- Cooking Oil
- 4 Eggs optional
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce and stir to combine.
- Mince or finely chop the garlic and shallot. Rinse the beans, if using, and cut into 1 inch pieces.
- Cut the Thai chilies into small pieces and discard the stems and seeds.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the wok or pan and heat the wok or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and shallots and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes, being carful not to burn.
- Add in the minced or ground meat and cook until just browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
- Add the beans, if using, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the cooking sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove the wok on pan from the heat and add in the basil. Stir to combine.
- If using, fry the eggs in a pan with some cooking oil.
- Serve the Pad Krapow warm, over rice and topped with a fried egg.