This popular Thai dish has many English spellings: Pad Kra Pao, Pad Ka Prao, Pad Ka Pow, Pad Krapow…etc. “Pad gaprao” is the phonetically closest spelling, but it seems to be the least popular way because most Thai people mispronounce it to begin with! Doesn’t matter, because no matter how you spell it, they all point to this same delicious, rustic, spicy stir-fry featuring the aroma of holy basil. For a truly classic way to serve this dish, pour it over rice and top with a fried egg!
- 5–10 Thai chilies, or to taste
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 spur chilies or another mild, red pepper, chopped
- ½ cup long beans, cut into short pieces
- ½ small onion, diced
- 300g chicken, coarsely ground (see video for how to grind your own chicken)
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1½ tsp black soy sauce (or sub dark soy sauce and reduce regular soy sauce to 2 tsp)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 ½ tsp sugar
- 1 ½ cup holy basil leaves, loosely packed (see note)
- Vegetable oil, as needed
- 2–3 eggs (1 per person)
- Jasmine rice for serving
- Prik Nam Pla (condiment for seasoning the egg, optional): Mix together some fish sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, chopped Thai chilies, and chopped garlic.
Note: If you don’t have holy basil, Thai basil will work fine; however, I have found that regular Italian basil actually has a more similar flavour to holy basil than Thai basil does, so that will work as well!
Tools needed: A wok or a large skillet for the stir-fry. For the fried egg you can use a wok or a small frying pan, and non-stick would be better so you don’t have to worry about the egg sticking.
- Pound Thai chilies into a fine paste.
- Add garlic and spur chilies and pound into a rough paste.
- Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, black soy sauce, water and sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar.
- In a wok or a large saute pan, saute the garlic-chili paste in a little vegetable oil over medium high heat until the garlic starts to turn golden.
- Add chicken and toss until they’re no longer in big clumps. Add the sauce and continue tossing until the chicken is almost done.
- Add onions and long beans; toss until the chicken is done.
- Remove from heat and stir in the holy basil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
For the fried egg:
- Heat about 1 cm of vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan or a wok over medium high heat.
- Once the oil is hot (you want the oil very hot, especially if you like runny yolk), crack the egg directly into the pan and let it fry until the edges are browned and bubbly.
Serve the stir-fry over rice and top it with the fried egg. Drizzle a little of the prik nam pla over the egg and enjoy!