Pad kra Pao

Pad Kra Prao – Stir-fry Thai holy Basil

Hello again guys!

Today menu is the famous Thai Street Food, Pad Kra Pao. This is dish is quick to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredient.

The good thing about this dish is you can prepare in advance and it’s quick to make in bulk also. If you ever have a lot of friends coming to visit or a small party for children, this is is definitely the one to go for.

Pad Kra Pao is one of the most basic among Thais. In Thai, when we don’t know what to eat, we just go for Pad Kra Pao and a fried egg on the top. Simple as that, yet delicious.

What is the highlight of this dish? It’s the Thai holy basil. Thai holy basil isn’t easy to find overseas, due to it short life. It gets brown very quickly.


In this post I will cover these topics:

  1. Substitution
  2. Recipe
  3. Serving suggestion in Thai style


It can be difficult to cook Thai food overseas. I know exactly what you feel like. I used to work as a chef overseas and it’s quite difficult to source for ingredients. However, there’s always a way out in every dish. It takes just a little tweak of creativity.

Here is the list of ingredients/ Substitution for Pad Kra Pao.

Pad Kra Pao sauce:

1) 1 Tsp Fish sauce – Available online or Chinese store

2) 1 Tbsp Soy sauce – Available online or Chinese store

3) 1 Tbsp Dark sweet soy sauce – Available online or Chinese store

4) 1/2 Tsp sugar

Pad Kra Pao garlic paste:

1) 1 Slice Galangal – This one you can leave it aside or if you can get frozen galangal then it’s perfect! If not, the dish will lost a little bit of hidden aroma but it wouldn’t hurt the overall flavour.

2) 1 1/2 cloves Garlic

3) 3 Bird eye chilies – You can substitute with other kinds of chilies that is available in your area. You can also leave it if you don’t like spicy taste.

4) 4 slices Prick-Chi-Fa chilies (or large red chilies) – You can substitute with any large red chilies that you have. or even thinly sliced capsicum.

Other ingredients:

1) A handful of Thai holy basil – If you don’t have access to fresh Thai basil, you can use powder or dry kind. You can get them online. And add fresh Italian basil or purple basil instead.

2) Minced meat of your choice – I use about 120 gram for 1 serving

3) 2 Tbsp cooking oil

4) 1 Egg ( Optional)

Before moving on to the recipe, here is the video of how I made my Pad Kra Pao

Pad kra Pao

Thai Stir-fry holy basil – Pad Kra Pao

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2


Pad Kra Pao Sauce

  • 1 Tsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp sugar

Pad Kra Pao Garlic Paste

  • 1 Slice (0.5cm) Galangal (optional)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Bird eye chilies (optional)
  • 4 slices Prick-Chi-Fa chilies (or large red chilies)

Other ingredients

  • A handful of Thai holy basil
  • 240 g Minced meat of your choice
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil


  • 1) Make Pad-Kra-Pao sauce by mixing the ingredients together well. You can prepare this in advance. The sauce can keep in the fridge for upto 10 days.
  • 2) Prepare garlic (+chili) paste by grinding garlic, chilies and galangal in a mortar or blender. Don't grind too much. You want to leave some crunch to the paste to add more texture and flavour to the dish.
  • 3) Prepare all of the ingredient by your stove. Stir-fry must be done fast so you want everything to be ready to go.
  • 4) Fry the egg and set aside. Fry the basil over medium to high heat for about 30 seconds and set aside.
  • 4) Heat up the oil in a wok over high heat. Fry garlic paste until fragrance, about 10-15 seconds. Afterward, add the ground meat and stir-fry until the meat is almost dry. No juice. This is because you wan the sauce to intact to the meat to give a nice flavour. When the meat is dry, add the sauce and stir-fry until 2/3 of the sauce is evaporate. If it's getting too dry and starting to burn, you can add a little bit of water.
  • 5) Turn off the stove and add the rest of basil leaves. Fold the leaves until they are well covered. Add 4 slices of Prick Chi Fah pepper and fold through. Note that Prik Chi Fah pepper is for to add colour and not spiciness.
  • 6) Serve hot over steam rice or as a share side dish. Top with an egg.
Keyword Pad Kra Pao, Stir-fry Basil, Thai basil

Serving suggestion in Thai style

Pad Kra Pao is considered to be an express dish. That’s how we called it in Thailand. Usually it will be a dish that you would have during your rush hour or as a ” no need to think” kind of meal.

Another way of serving styles is serve the dish as a share side with among your friend and family.

Pad Kra Prao goes well with Thai style sunny side up fried egg. This is my personal preference.

Thank you for visiting my site and hope this post help inspire you to cook Thai food for your friends and family!



Ps. If you are serious about learning how to cook Thai food. Don’t for get to get my free basic Thai cooking class below. I cover all of the basic topic of basic Thai cooking from scratch for you.