Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)

Today I share with you an honorable dish from my homeland – the one and only Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao). This sauce-soaked beefy delight with spicy basil kick is a Thai street food royalty. Many of us Thai people say that Pad Kra Pao is a thoughtless dish. Most of us order it when we are not sure what to eat. I believe this happens for a reason. It’s quick, easy, and delicious! Many try to copy Pad Kra Pao but none match original mastery. With my guidance, you’ll soon be wok wizard frying Pad Kra Pao worthy of kings and monks!

What is the substitute for Holy Basil in Pad Kra Pao?

“Pad” in Thai is to stir fry. “Kra Pao” is Holy basil or Tulsi basil. With that said, if you do not use the Holy or Tulsi basil, you are not making “Pad Krao”. I understand that the Holy basil can be difficult to find even at the Asian grocery stores. Even I have to grow them myself in my garden outside and the indoor garden. Just know that when you substitute the Holy or Tulsi basil with Sweet Italian basil or the Thai Basil, you are actually making another delicious Thai basil stir fry called, “Pad Horapa”. And if you really really need to choose between the Thai basil and the Sweet basil, I suggest that you go for the Italian sweet basil as it gives the closer taste to the Holy basil than the Thai basil. Surprising right ? Allrecipes also shows a good picture and explanations of the Thai Basil vs.other Basils.

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Holy or Tulsi Basil Plant
Holy or Tulsi Basil Plant

Other dishes that use Holy Basil.

One of the most well known dish that use Holy basil is the sweet spicy Drunken Noodles both the fat rice noodles version and the Drunken Spaghetti version. Moreover, switching protein that you use will make different types of Pad Kra Pao such as Pad Kra Pao Moo (pork), Pad Kra Pao Gai (chicken), and Pad Kra Pao Talay (Seafood). Sometimes, Thai people make the Thai style omelet by adding the Holy Basil to eggs as well. They are all scrumptious!

Thai Basil vs Sweet Basil
Thai Basil vs Sweet Basil

It’s not a complete dish unless you top Pad Kra Pao with Thai Style Fried Egg.

While the aromatic stir-fry of beef, basil, and spices is undeniably the star of pad kra pao, no version of this signature Thai street food is complete without the crowning glory of a fried egg. More than a mere garnish, the fried egg takes the dish to new heights of mouthwatering perfection. Cooked sunny-side up in a hot wok, the edges get beautifully crispy and lace-like while the golden runny yolk acts as its own silky sauce. Each bite marries the warm herbal notes of the stir-fry with the rich decadence of the egg, blending savory, spicy and unctuous flavors as one. Much more than the sum of its parts, the dual textures and flavors create perfect harmony and balance. From the street vendors of Bangkok to restaurants around the world, a properly made pad kra pao is always finished with a Thai-style fried egg, running to coat the hot basil beef. This quintessential topping ties it all together into one craveable Thai classic.

Frying egg for Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (PAd Kra Pao)
Frying egg for Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (PAd Kra Pao)

To achieve that authentic look and texture of the fried egg, you only need to fry it in a hot oil starting with the egg white for 30 seconds. Then drop the egg yolk in the middle. Get a little bit of the hot oil on the top between egg white a few times and let it cook for another 30 seconds so one minute total. See the picture and the video in the recipe card for clarification.

Thai Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)
Thai Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao) Steps
Thai Holy Basil Sitr Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)

Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)

Mary Thatcher
Today I share with you an honorable dish from my homeland – the one and only Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao). This sauce-soaked beefy delight with spicy basil kick is a Thai street food royalty. Many of us Thai people say that Pad Kra Pao is a thoughtless dish. Most of us order it when we are not sure what to eat. I believe this happens for a reason. It's quick, easy, and delicious! Many try copy Pad Kra Pao but none match original mastery. With my guidance, you'll soon be wok wizard frying Pad Kra Pao worthy of kings and monks!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine thai
Servings 3 people
Calories 582 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup holy basil a handful or as much as you can find.
  • 7-8 cloves garlic
  • 3 chilies 3-12 Thai chilies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil and more for frying eggs
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp seasoning sauce Maggi (Or use soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce optional
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup water or stock (optional)
  • 3 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Pound garlic and Thai chilies until they become a rough paste or finely chopped. Set it aside. I suggest that you start o ut with 3-5 chilies first. You'll be able to chop more chilies for the stir fry, if you feel that it's not spicy enough for you toward the end.
  • Use medium heat. In a wok or a pan, heat some vegetable oil to fry eggs. Once the oil is hot (The wok has a little bit of smoke or dip a chop stick in the wok. If the oil is hot, you will see some bubble around the chopstick. ), drop egg white into a wok. Fry the egg white for 30 seconds. Then add the egg yolk in the middle of the egg white and fry for another 30 seconds. Fry 1 egg at a time so this steps takes 3 minutes for 3 eggs. Set them aside.
  • In the same wok, leave about 2 tablespoons of the hot oil in the wok. Add the garlic -chilies paste and saute for about 10 seconds. The smell of garlic and chilies will probably makes you sneeze at this point.
  • Add ground beef to the wok and use the spatula to break the ground beef into small chunks. Keep stir frying until the beef is 80 -90% cooked.
  • Season the stir fry with oyster sauce, fish sauce, seasoning sauce (Maggi) or soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Add a 1/4 cup of water or stock if you'd like to make it a little more saucy. Taste to see if you need to adjust the taste. I started out with 3 chilies as I cook for my husband too. However, I chopped 1-2 extra chilies to add on my plate at the end. If you need it to be more spicy, you can add more chilies at this point.
  • Add the Holy basil and turn the heat off. Stir to combine. The Holy Basil will wilt and cooked. Serve with hot steamed rice and fried egg. Enjoy!

Video

@stickyricethaikitchen

Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao) Ingredients 1 lb ground beef 1 cup holy basil (a handful or as much as you can find.) 7-8 cloves garlic 3 chilies ( 3-12 Thai chilies) 2 tbsp vegetable oil (and more for frying eggs) 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or seasoning sauce 3 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tsp dark soy sauce (optional) 1 1/2 tsp sugar 1/4 cup water or stock (optional) 3 eggs Full printable recipes and tips can be found at https://stickyricethaikitchen.com/thai-holy-basil-stir-fry-with-beef-pad-kra-pao/ or search “Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)” on my website. #padkrapao#thaibasilbeef#thaibasilstirfry#streetfood#quickmeals#easyrecipe#simplerecipes#stirfry#tiktokfood#thairecipe

♬ New Home – Frozen Silence

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 582kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 35gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 271mgSodium: 1635mgPotassium: 712mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1089IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Thai Holy Basil Stir Fry with Beef (Pad Kra Pao)
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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is fire! I got beef with this chef, cause holy cow this kicked my taste buds out of this world!

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