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
- 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)
- 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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Thai Pork Recipe © 2009 Patricia Tanumihardja. Photo © 2009 Lara Ferroni. All rights reserved.