The Thai name for this dish is Pad Krapao meaning “fried holy basil”. It is a fragrant, flavor-packed Thai stir-fry. Despite the dishes name, the basil isn’t actually fried, but wilted into the mix at the very end of cooking.
Our holy basil—which has a peppery, menthol-like bite—was done for the season, so we opted to use our fresh Thai basil, still going strong in the raised herb bed. Sweet Italian basil is a third choice; but if using either of the last two, you’ll need to use 50% more.
To top it all off, a fried egg with a runny yolk is used, adding creaminess while the crisp edges provide crunch. Not typically a fan of runny yolks, I decided to go with it for this recipe. Glad I did because it did add not only to the flavor but also the contrasting textures.
As with most stir-fries, don’t start cooking until all of the ingredients are prepped and near the stove. And don’t cook those eggs in advance because they should still be warm when added to the dish. If you prefer a more fiery kick, don’t discard the chili seeds.
Thai Stir-Fried Pork with Basil, Chilies and Garlic
- 7 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 4 or 5 Fresno chilies. stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. grapeseed oil, divided
- 4 large eggs
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 cups (1oz.) lightly packed holy basil OR 3 cups lightly packed Thai or Italian basil, torn
- Steamed jasmine rice to serve
- In a food processor, combine the garlic and chilies. Pulse until finely chopped, with some slightly larger pieces remaining, 8 to 10 pulses.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, sou sauce, fish sauce, sugar and a 1⁄2 cup water. Set both the garlic-chili mixture and the sauce mixture near the stove.
- In a 12- or 14-inch wok over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until barely smoking. Reduce to medium, the crack 2 eggs into the center of the wok, each in a different spot. Use a silicone spatula to gently push edges of the egg whites toward the yolk to keep the eggs separate.
- Cook, occasionally spooning some of the hot oil over the eggs until the whites are crisp and brown on the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining to 2 eggs. Wipe out wok.
- Return the wok to medium-high and heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oiluntil barely smoking. Add the garic-chili mixture and cook, stirring until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Add the pork and cook, stirring, until the meat is broken up into mostly small bits, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until pork is no longer pink and the liquid thickens slightly but remains saucy, about 3 minutes.
- Off heat add the basil and stir until just wilted. Divide the rice and the stir-fry among serving plates and top each with an egg.
Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street