Thai minced pork, my take on a relatively modern dish from Thailand known as pad kra pao, featuring ground meat stir-fried with Thai basil.
This super quick dish is packed full of Thai, hot, sour, sweet and salty flavours and will go from your fridge to your table in well under 30 minutes.
Quick and Easy Pad Kra Pao… kinda!
Here I play with a relatively modern and incredibly popular Thai minced pork dish called pad kra pao.
It is quick, delicious and so easy it hurts, when I say quick I mean 20 minutes kinda quick! That includes chopping the ingredients.
The main “adaptation” that I have made will prove controversial with “purists”. This dish is classically made with holy basil, which is glorious but incredibly difficult to find here in the UK.
As a result, I make this Thai basil, which is a little sweeter and has more of an anise flavour.
Which is not a problem for me because I love the stuff!
If you like that whole sweet, sour, salty, sour vibe of South East Asian cuisine and you like it quick, you will love this dish!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of meat?
Yes, but for me, pork is the best meat to use in this recipe. However, it will work with beef, chicken or even turkey.
Is Thai basil the same as normal basil?
No, it has a very different flavour and it really is the best to use in this recipe.
If you cannot get it you can get a pleasing approximation by using a combination of mint and regular basil. Use around 25% of mint to 75% regular basil, it is not the same but still delicious.
Can I use soy sauce instead of fish sauce?
You could, again it will not be a like-for-like substitution, soy sauce doesn’t carry the same “weight” of flavour that fish sauce does.
If you are planning to cook a bit of Thai food, grab a little bottle, it will last for ages and it really makes a big difference.
How spicy is this?
Well, that kinda depends on how much tolerance you have to capsaicin.
It uses Thai bird’s eye chillies which are right up there on the heat scale, not quite scotch bonnet level but not far off.
So if you are worried about heat, start with fewer chillies, or even swap them for a milder variety.
I like to serve my Thai minced pork with some jasmine rice dressed up with fresh coriander (cilantro for those from CONUS) and lime juice.
Coconut rice works just as well if you wanted to give it a little more “pzazz”.
I also add a fried egg that has a liberal squeeze of sriracha sauce on it… because as far as I am concerned you can’t have too much spice.
For me, the perfect fired egg needs that frilly skirt but you cook yours to your liking!
This is also great wrapped in lettuce leaves as part of a multi-course meal, this would make a great starter.
I only recommend specific brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Wok, I use a large carbon steel wok.
- Chopping board.
- Sharp kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
This recipe is heavily influenced by pad kra pao, a delicious and spicy stir-fried Thai minced pork dish that cooks in right around 20 minutes!
- 400g (14oz) Coarsely Ground Minced Pork (15-20% Fat)
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1 (35g) Shallot
- 2-3 Thai Red Chilli Peppers
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 10g (⅓-½ Cup) Thai Basil
- 3 Lime Leaves
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill
- 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Lime Juice
- Peel the shallot and cut it in half, then cut it into 2-3mm thick half-moon shapes.
- Cut the chilli peppers into rounds, 1-2mm thick.
- Peel and mince the garlic cloves.
- Roughly chop the Thai basil.
- Roughly chop the dill.
- Tear the stalk out of the lime leaves and then finely slice the leaves.
- Heat a wok over a high heat and when it is hot add the oil.
- Add the shallots, chilli peppers and stir fry for a minute.
- Add the garlic and lime leaves, then cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Tthrow in the pork and stir fry until nicely coloured.
- Slide the pork to the side of the wok and pour in the fish sauce and then mix it all together.
- Pour in the water, lime juice and add the brown sugar and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the Thai basil and dill and stir fry for a final 30 seconds.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 604Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 2244mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 56g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.