How to cook: Phat Kaphrao (Thai stir fried meat with basil and chilis)

On Facebook, Speedy re-shared that Saveur page with the 55 Great Global Food Blogs and it made me re-visit some of the blogs on the list including Leela’s She Simmers where I found a recipe for a stir fried dish that, according to Thai Airways Magazine is “fourth among the ten Thai dishes ordered most frequently by foreigners“. Called phat khaprao (or pad ka-prao), it is a very simple stir fry that consists of minced meat (or seafood) seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. But what really gives the dish its unique flavor is the addition of Holy basil. Amazing how the basil adds so much flavor and aroma. Fortunately for me, my Holy basil is still growing in the garden and on that basis I decided what lunch today was going to be.

Authentic phat kaphrao begins with minced raw meat or seafood. But since I have minced cooked pork in the fridge (taken from scrap bones after the last time I made a huge batch of broth), I decided to use what I had. Note that if you’re using raw meat or seafood, the cooking time will be a bit longer and you’ll have to cook the meat or seafood ahead of all the other ingredients. When the meat or seafood is done, just add the ingredients for sautéing and proceed as below.

Authentic phat kaphrao also requires that the shallots, garlic and chilis be pounded into a paste before sautéing. I dispensed with that part because I wasn’t aiming for authenticity anyway — just good food.

Recipe: Phat Kaphrao (or pad ka-prao)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • about 1. c. of cooked minced meat
  • 1 red onion or 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye chilis, finely sliced
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp. of patis (fish sauce), or to taste
  • 1 tsp. of soy sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. of lime or lemon juice (kalamansi juice is fine)
  • a generous pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of oyster sauce, or to taste
  • a large handful of Holy basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Because this is a stir fry which cooks within minutes, prepare all the ingredients before you start with the actual cooking.
  2. Phat Kaphrao (Thai stir fried meat with basil and chilis)
  3. Cut and slice all the vegetables and have them within easy reach.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan. Saute the onion, garlic, chilis and kaffir lime leaf (if using) just until fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds.
  5. Add the pork. Season with fish sauce, lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir fry just until the pork is heated through.
  6. Add the basil leaves, stir a few times just until wilted.
  7. Phat Kaphrao (Thai stir fried meat with basil and chilis)
  8. Serve the phat kaphrao with rice and fried egg with extra fish sauce on the side.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

  • belle

    hi miss connie. looking forward to more thai dishes. i love thai food, but here in the US, thai food usually means only curry dishes. hoping to get more variety. thank you!

  • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

    Hi Belle, there are already quite a number of Thai-inspired dishes in the archive. :)

  • belle

    thank you miss connie!

  • http://casaveneracion.com/ Connie Veneracion

    Enjoy! :)

  • Nikki

    My favorite Thai dish EVER! Thank you for featuring this :)

  • http://www.mellablogged.com mella

    One of my favorite Thai food! I used minced chicken the last time i made this.

  • http://Www.appleskitchen.com Apple

    Phad Khapow Moo (pork) is my favorite version. I usually add young corn and string beans in my recipe :))

  • conniev

    Very colorful! :)

  • kdolls

    Cooking this now! ;) smells so good

  • Connie

    Oh yes it does! :D

  • dewsi

    sooo good!!! mangangalahati na sa kaka-taste test. :D

  • Connie

    Hehehe Will that make it to the dinner table?