As I type this, I am planning an intensive trip to Thailand with J. I cannot wait for the amount of eating we will be doing there. The first time I had Pad Gra Prao was at Khao San Road. Ha! I wish I meant the real Khao San Road. No, I actually mean a famous Thai restaurant here in Toronto. This restaurant serves authentic Thai dishes that packs flavour. If you haven’t been yet, drop everything and go!
I became obsessed with this dish. It was a nice break from the typical choices of Pad Thai and Thai curries. It truly has all Thailand essence into one simple dish – salty, sweet, spicy and sour. It’s exotic comfort food. I think the reason why it resonates with so well is because it reminds me a lot of a Filipino dish my mom makes. I don’t actually know the name of the dish but it had a very similar taste. It reminded me a lot of my childhood. It was one of my mom’s quick go to dishes.
Tasting Pad Gra Prao brings so much warmth and ease into my life as I eat every bite. I needed more and all the time! It has taken me a few tries to get it to the perfect balance I really enjoy. This recipe is my healthier and lighter version yet still keeping the flavour.
What’s your favourite Thai dish?
Pad Gra Prao [Thai Basil Stir Fry]Print Recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 bird's eye chili/red thai chili (roughly chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
- 1 medium size shallot (sliced)
- 400g ground pork (or chicken/beef or tofu)
- 4 to 5 bok choy (chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup thai basil (holy basil if you have it but NOT italian basil)
In a small mixing bowl, mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and water together. Set aside. This is your cooking sauce you will use for later
In a pestle and mortar, crush bird's eye chili and garlic until a fine paste (you can use a small processor if you don't have a pestle and mortar)
In a very hot wok, heat up vegetable oil for about 1 minute
Add chili/garlic paste and shallots and saute until fragrant (less than a minute)
Add ground pork and cook until it's slightly brown
Add the cooking sauce you mixed together earlier. Cook for another 3 minutes
Add red bell peppers and bok choy. Cook until vegetables are slightly soft. About 5 minutes
Take off the heat and add your thai basil and mix
Season if you need to but the cooking sauce already has strong salt flavours
Serve with steamed rice and a fried egg