AN ODE TO BANGKOK WITH A RECIPE - "PAD KRAPAO"
In Bangkok, the Pad Krapao or Stir Fried Holy Basil with a fried egg on rice is so common and loved that it makes an appearance daily and is a frequent contender in 100 Smiles Meal and other initiatives. The "krapao" or holy basil, is a quintessential Thai dish you can eat everyday which is capable of so many different interpretations but always with garlic, fiery chillies and krapao, or holy basil driving it. Even if you are unable to contribute to the causes above, do join us in honoring Bangkok from your home with this simple and delicious recipe.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4-6 chillies (half a handful)
- a bunch of Thai holy basil leaves (krapao - if you really can't find this substitute with another basil)
- 1 tbsp of rice bran oil (or any cooking oil)
- 400 grams of minced pork or chicken (or beef, can be sliced chicken or for our veggie friends, tofu!)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy (make sure it’s a teaspoon!)
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp of green capped seasoning sauce
- a little water
Crush the garlic and the chilies together with a few basil leaves with a mortar and pestle (or crush and chop). In a wok (or pan), heat the oil till hot and add the garlic, chilies and basil paste. It will sizzle and smoke, cook briefly till golden. Add the minced meat (or alternatives). Stir-fry till just cooked. Add the sauces.* Add a little water to loosen if too dry. Add the basil and stir fry together. Remove from heat. Serve over steamed Thai rice with Nam Pla Prik (ie. chopped chiles with garlic and a dash of lime.) This dish goes wondrously with a fried egg. Et voila, Kao Krapao Khai Dao a true Bangkok situation. When frying the egg makes sure the oil is smokey hot, drop the egg in and make sure the edges are crispy but leave yolk soft (or runny)!
Put all together on rice, serve sprinkled with Nam Pla Prik, fish sauce with chopped chillies, a dash of lime and chopped garlic. Enjoy a taste of Bangkok!
*It will sizzle and smoke, and the balaclava came in handy here.