Thai Basil Pork | Pad Gkaprow Mu

This versatile basil pork recipe is a Thai favorite that often appears at breakfast or on the dinner table as part of a family-style meal. Ground pork is usually paired with the jagged leaves of holy basil (bai gkaprow). However, Thai sweet basil (bai horapa) is much easier to find in Asian markets in the United States and makes a worthy stand-in. If all else fails, substitute any basil or a mixture of basil and mint for a bright, refreshing flavor. Instead of pork, try ground chicken or turkey as well as fresh seafood: shrimp, scallops, mussels, and firm-flesh fish like salmon or halibut.–Patricia Tanumihardja

LC Fastest Stir-Fry In The West Note

This recipe has the potential to be the fastest stir-fry in the West. Or the East. Or just about anywhere we can imagine, for that matter. Although for that to happen, you’ve got to get your mise en place in place. That is to say, you’ve got to get all your ingredients prepped and measured and lined up alongside the stove, along with any utensils and serving dishes you’ll need. It’s not that time-consuming. It just makes the actual stir-fry that much easier. And faster.

Thai Pork Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 5 Asian shallots, or 1/2 small onion, cut into thin slices (1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 6 red Thai chiles, cut into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh holy basil or Thai basil leaves
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the oil and heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer but doesn’t yet begin to smoke. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring, until the garlic is light golden and fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds.
  • 2. Raise the heat to high and stir in the pork, breaking up the clumps with the edge of your spatula. Stir and cook until the meat has just lost its blush, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 3. Reduce the heat to medium and throw in the chiles. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and stir to coat the meat evenly. Stir in the basil and cook until the basil is wilted and the pork is cooked through, another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • 4. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with pepper. Serve hot with freshly steamed rice.
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Sonia Soelter

Dec 01, 2009

This Thai basil pork recipe filled my house with fragrance and tasted every bit as good as it smelled. I would encourage use of a quality soy sauce and fish sauce to prevent the recipe from becoming too salty. It is also very quick to make and will become a permanent addition to my list of quick weekday meals.

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Kim Graham

Dec 01, 2009

If you’re craving Thai food, I highly recommend this simple and tasty basil pork dish. The flavor is sweet and salty at first bite, and then the hit of spiciness comes through. The flavors blend beautifully, creating a restaurant-quality dish that is easy for a home cook.

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John Velek

Dec 01, 2009

I think a lot of people are intimidated by wok cooking, but it’s very easy. This pork dish had an interesting mix of flavors from hot pepper and garlic to brown sugar and the fish and oyster sauces gave extra layers of flavor. For such a simple dish you get a wonderful mixture of flavor levels. I also like Sriracha sauce as a side for extra heat.

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Steve Subera

Dec 01, 2009

This Thai basil pork recipe arrived just as I started Asia night at home. Once a week, I cook a meal inspired by an Asian country. This recipe was quick, allowed me to have fun wandering in our local Asian grocery store, and tasted complex thanks to the genius of fish, soy, and oyster sauces. Our six-year old liked it, although it was a bit hot for her. White rice was fine, but sticky rice would have been better. Next time.

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Jodi C.

Dec 01, 2009

It was the simplicity of this recipe first got my attention. A recipe this simple will either be disappointing or memorable. This is a clear, spunky dish. It plays tricks with your tongue. My dinner guest gasped.

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Amy Giezentanner

Dec 01, 2009

This Thai basil pork is a spicy dish not for the faint of heart, but what a reward for the brave souls who dare eat it! It’s a full-bodied, flavorful dish with a kick of Thai chiles to cut the fullness and a touch of bright basil to level it out. The combined texture and flavor go well with the rice suggested in the recipe, but I suspect it would also blend well with gourmet pasta. The ingredients may be a little hard to find in certain areas, but the dish is well worth the search. It’s a quick and flavorful must for households on the go.

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Beth Price

Dec 01, 2009

This recipe is our family’s go-to weeknight winner. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe to a T, but after that? Let the variations begin! I’ve used ground beef, chicken, turkey, and even venison. Depending on what I’ve got on hand, I may substitute regular basil for Thai basil, any pepper (even dried crushed red peppers) for the Thai chilies, and green onions for the shallots. The most important element is the combination of soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and brown sugar. Once you have that, let the experimentation begin.

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Kristen Kennedy

Dec 01, 2009

I’m a huge fan of simple, healthful, delicious meals, and this fits the bill. Because the ingredient list is relatively short, you want to use the best-quality ingredients. I decided to grind my own pork from some boneless pork chops I had on hand, which lent a beautifully light texture to the dish. We served this with cellophane (mung bean) noodles. It was a huge hit with the entire family!

Comments
Comments
  1. Ann Smits says:

    This is a recipe I will be trying for sure this week. Thanks.

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