Thai Basil Pork: garlicky-spicy minced pork, fresh basil and finely chopped green beans stir-fried with a delicious savory sauce. It’s a quick, easy Thai pork stir fry recipe sure to satisfy your takeout cravings.
What is Thai Basil Pork
Thai Basil Pork, or Pad Krapow Moo, is a popular Thai stir-fry dish made with ground or thinly sliced pork cooked with Thai holy basil leaves, garlic, chili peppers, and a savory sauce. It is typically served over steamed rice with a fried egg on top. The dish is known for its aromatic flavors, spiciness, and the distinct taste of Thai holy basil. It is a flavorful and satisfying dish commonly enjoyed in Thailand and in Thai restaurants around the world.
- Bursting with Authentic Thai Flavors: The blend of soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar create a wonderful umami taste, enhanced by the fragrant fresh basil and fiery chiles.
- A Balanced Dish: The inclusion of green beans adds a fresh, crisp element to the dish, balancing out the savory pork and rich sauces.
- Versatile Serving Options: This dish can be served over noodles or rice, making it a versatile addition to your dinner rotation.
Why You’re Going to Love this Thai Basil Pork Recipe
If you’ve been craving a taste of Thailand, look no further. This Thai Basil Pork recipe delivers big on flavor and simplicity. This stir fry combines ground pork, green beans, chiles, and a heap of fresh basil. The easy sauce is a savoury blend of soy sauce, fish sauce and a bit of brown sugar to balance the heat. I was really excited that the flavour was just right on the first try.
- Quick and Easy: From prep to plate in less than 30 minutes, this is a perfect midweek dinner solution. The whole meal comes together faster than delivery would have taken. And making it in my own kitchen, I’m sure it was healthier (more green beans, less oil, a more moderate amount of noodles).
- Packed with Protein: Ground pork is a high-quality protein that will keep you satisfied.
- Adjustable Heat: The heat level of this dish can be easily adjusted to your preference with the addition of more or less chiles. We like it pretty spicy, but I kept it at a medium level with the option to throw in some crushed red chiles toward the end so you can dial the heat up to your preference.
(P.S. If you adore Thai food as much as I do, you must also try my Pad Woon Sen, Thai Curry Fish, Peanut Sweet Potato Soup, Sweet Chilli Noodles Salad, Thai Scallops, Meatballs in Sweet Chilli Sauce, and Pad Thai recipes).
Grab these Tools
Get your wok ready and prep these kitchen tools to whip up your Thai Basil Pork:
- Large Skillet or Wok: Ideal for stir-frying, ensuring even cooking and fabulous flavor infusion.
- Chopping Board and Knife: To finely chop your onion, garlic, chiles and to slice your green beans.
- Whisk: To mix together your soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar.
How to Make Thai Basil Pork: Easy Step-by-Step Directions
- Heat the Oil: Ensures a sizzling start to your stir fry.
- Sauté the Aromatics: Sautéing the onion, garlic, and chiles releases their flavors and makes them the perfect base for your dish.
- Cook the Pork: Crisping the pork edges gives you deliciously caramelized bits.
- Stir Fry the Green Beans: Keep them vibrant and crisp for a fresh crunch. I love how just chopping green beans in a different way – thinly, crosswise – gives them a whole new identity. They are close in size to the bits of ground pork, and add a great texture without overwhelming the dish.
- Mix the Sauces: Combining soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar adds an umami sweetness that elevates the dish.
- Stir in the Basil: Fresh basil adds a wonderful fragrant aroma and a pop of color to the dish.
How to Serve it
- Over Noodles: Soak up the delicious sauce with a generous portion of noodles for a comforting meal.
- With Rice: Serve over a bed of steaming rice for a classic Thai experience.
- Side of Salad: A side of fresh Thai salad can add a refreshing contrast to the dish.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- Prep Ahead: You can chop your vegetables and make your sauce ahead of time to speed up the cooking process.
- Storing Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat and Serve: Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Stir in some fresh basil before serving for a renewed aroma.
Variations and Substitutions
- Vegetarian Option: Substitute the pork with firm tofu or a plant-based meat alternative.
- Different Proteins: Try this dish with ground chicken, turkey, or beef. A fried egg is also nice.
- Extra Veggies: Add in additional stir-fry friendly veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms.
- Thai Basil Substitute: Use Thai Holy Basil if you can find it, or feel free to use regular Italian sweet basil if you can’t find Thai varieties.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Choose Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh garlic, onions, and basil will significantly improve the flavor of your dish.
- Adjust Heat to Taste: Tailor the heat of your dish to your preference by altering the quantity of Thai bird chiles.
- Add the Basil Last: Stir in the basil right at the end to preserve its fresh flavor and vibrant green color.
Get your wok sizzling and start cooking this delicious Thai Basil Pork dish – it’s sure to become a staple in your dinner rotation! (P.S. if you love quick, easy Asian takeout-inspired recipes, you must also try my Pad Woon Sen, Gochujang Chicken, Thai Basil Pork, Chili Oil Ramen, Orange Chicken, and Honey Garlic Chicken recipes.)
A yummy new stir-fry to add to our rotation! Have you discovered any great new weeknight meals lately?
Thai basil is a versatile herb used in various ways to enhance the flavor and aroma of dishes. Here are some common ways to use Thai basil in cooking:
Stir-fries: Add Thai basil to stir-fried dishes like Pad Kra Pao (Thai basil pork), chicken, beef, or tofu. Add the basil leaves towards the end of cooking to retain their flavor and aroma.
Curries: Use Thai basil in green, red, or yellow curries to enhance the taste and add a fresh aroma. Add the leaves after turning off the heat, allowing them to wilt slightly from the residual heat.
Soups: Add Thai basil leaves to soups like Tom Yum or Tom Kha Gai, either during cooking or as a garnish before serving.
Salads: Incorporate Thai basil into salads like Larb, Yum Woon Sen, or Som Tum for extra flavor
Marinades: Use Thai basil in marinades for meats, poultry, or seafood. The herb’s unique flavor will infuse into the protein as it marinates
Wraps and rolls: Add Thai basil leaves to fresh spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or rice paper rolls to enhance the overall taste
Garnish: Use Thai basil as a garnish for noodle dishes like Pho, Pad Thai, or Drunken Noodles.
Remember to wash the Thai basil leaves thoroughly before using them, and remove the stems if you prefer. Thai basil has a stronger flavor compared to sweet basil, so adjust the quantity according to your taste preferences.
No, you don’t usually use the stalks of Thai basil. It’s the leaves of Thai basil that are primarily used in cooking. The tender parts of the stalks can also be used to infuse flavor and aroma, especially in soups, however, it’s best to avoid using the tougher, woody parts of the stalks as they can be difficult to chew through.
Thai Basil Pork
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 thai bird chiles
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 9 oz green beans thinly sliced crosswise (yields about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 cup packed basil leaves thinly sliced
- crushed dried red chiles to taste (optional)
- Noodles or rice for serving
- Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and chilies; sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add pork and salt; cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink inside and crisping at edges. Add green beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender but still bright green, about 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar. Pour into pan and stir to coat pork and beans. Taste and add a pinch of crushed chiles if more heat is desired. Stir in basil leaves and serve with noodles or rice.
Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD