Pad Kra Pao Moo is a spicy stir fry of ground pork and Thai basil. Serve it Thai style with a crispy fried egg and steamed rice.
Pad Kra Pao Moo is traditionally served very spicy in Thailand, and surprisingly a common breakfast dish. Thai people like to start their day with a spicy meal to wake you up!
This Pork with basil dish is simple and fast to make with just a handful of ingredients.
What you’ll Need: Ground pork, soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, Thai chilis, and Thai Basil. Top with a Fried Egg per a serving.
Ground Pork– I used a pork loin roast and ground it myself. Another option is to dice the pork roast or loin. Or you can buy packaged ground pork.
This same recipe can also be used with ground beef, chicken, or even a plant based ground.
Soy Sauce- Golden Mountain soy sauce is a popular brand to use in Thai cooking. But regular soy sauce works just as well.
If you need a soy and gluten free option, use Coconut Aminos, which also has significantly less sodium than regular soy sauce.
Oyster Sauce– This gives the dish a slight sweetness and umami. You can also substitute mushroom sauce.
Thai Basil– The proper basil to use in this dish is Thai Holy Basil. It has a very fragrant taste, but is difficult to find. More common options are regular Thai Basil and of course Italian basil is readily available.
I’ve cooked with all 3 of them, and the difference in taste is very slight. So feel free to use the type of basil you have access to.
Thai Bird’s Eye Chilis- The spice and heat are the key characteristic of a good pad kra pao. You can usually find Thai Chilis at an Asian Market. If you don’t have any then substitute a spicy pepper like serranos.
Pounding the Garlic and Peppers
Just like Som Tum (Thai Papaya Salad), the start of this spicy thai basil recipe is pounded garlic and chilis. This results in a smashed texture and releases the aroma from the garlic and chilis.
I realize that it’s pretty uncommon to have a mortar and pestle, so the next best options is to rough chop the garlic and chilies instead.
Use as much garlic and chili you can handle!
Cooking Pad Kra Pao
Start by adding a tablespoon of soy sauce to your ground pork and mix it well. Then wash your basil leaves and remove from the stem.
Combine the remaining soy sauce and oyster sauce together in a small bowl.
Use a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add oil and the smashed or chopped garlic and chilis. Stir them around for just few seconds and add ground pork. Turn the heat up to medium high.
Once the pork is halfway cooked, add the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Cook till done, turn off heat, add basil leaves. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If you like it sweet, then add a little bit of sugar.
How to Fry a Thai Style Egg
I love serving pad kra pao with a crispy fried egg on top. It helps bring down the spice and the creamy yolk adds another great element to the dish.
Use a non-stick skillet and add oil until it reaches all around the pan. Bring the heat to medium high, and once the pan is hot, crack an egg inside.
Be careful! It does splatter.
Carefully with a spoon oil on top of the egg to help the whites set. Once the edges are crispy and the egg whites are set, remove it from the pan.
Make 1 fried egg per a serving.
How to Serve
This spicy Thai basil pork is best served over steamed Jasmine rice and topped with a fried egg.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen in a air tight bag for a couple months.
Reheat the pad kra pao in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove.
Check out these other variations of Pad Kra Pao:
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a Review and Star rating below. I appreciate it!
Pad Kra Pao Moo
Thai Style Fried Egg
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