I first had this dish way back at Khao San Road, one of the popular Thai restaurants here in Toronto. Stir fried pork, rice, egg – oh so reminiscent of some of the Filipino dishes that I grew up eating back in the Philippines (aka a diet of meat, rice and no veggies).
But… I fell in love with this dish a bit more recently at Pai, which really is the better of the two and one of my favourite restaurants, no lie (I think I’m there once a month). Their pad kra pao has PORK BELLY in it.
(cue doves flying as the clouds part and sun rays break through the sky)
I decided to try and make this glorious dish since I crave it all the time. And the results were INSANE. I looove the combination of tart and spice. Have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a few slices of cucumber if you’re feeling really guilty.
Pad Kra Prao
Adapted from SheSimmers
1 pound of ground pork and pork belly
7 (26g) large cloves of garlic, peeled
7 (16g) bird’s eye chilies (or however many you can tolerate)
1 large shallot (20g), peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons thin/light soy sauce or seasoning sauce (such as Golden Mountain aka “the Green Cap” sauce”)
1 tablespoon dark sweet soy sauce (I used Kwong Hung Seng Sauce)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup holy basil leaves, packed
If you have a mortar, pound together the garlic, chilies, and shallot until you get a coarse paste. If no mortar, either chop them all up with a cleaver on a chopping block or pulse them into a coarse paste in a mini-chopper.
In a skillet, heat up the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the paste to it and fry until fragrant.
Add the meat to the skillet and break it up with the spatula into small pieces.
Add the remaining ingredients (except the basil leaves), correcting seasoning as needed. I added the pork belly at this stage. Get the moo krob (fried pork recipe) here!
Once the meat is cooked through, check the amount of liquid in the skillet. If it’s too dry, add a little bit of water or sodium-free broth.
Before taking the skillet off the heat, add the basil leaves to the mixture and give it a couple of stirs. We only want to wilt the basil with the residual heat that is still in the pan so as not to mute the fragrance of the fresh holy basil leaves.
Serve over rice. A Thai-style crispy fried egg on top and a tiny bowl of nam-pla prik.