How to cook kra pao moo (stir fry pork with basil)

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Kra pao moo is my default lunch whenever I am lazy to bring my lunch at work. This is also a popular choice during lunch as this can be prepared quickly. In my first attempt to cook it, I asked the neighborhood shop owner who sells fresh produce and cooked food in the afternoons how to cook it (here’s the real deal, kra pao moo from a farmer’s kitchen, with fermented eggs). By a mix of English and sign language, he showed me what are the ingredients – garlic, chills, pork, kra pao leaves. The rest I assumed for myself – add fish sauce and oyster sauce . Kra pao is part of the basil family, sometimes called hairy basil. Both the leaves and the flowers are used in cooking. The amount of chills that you use would depend on how hot you want the stir fry to be. You can pound the chills to have really hot stir fry, or like I did on my first time, I sliced red and green chilis.

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Kra pao moo (stir fry pork with basil)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 chills (red and green), sliced thinly

100 grams lean pork, sliced thinly

½ pc onion, sliced thinly

1 tsp fish sauce

Mixture of 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 3 tbsp water, ½ tbsp fish sauce

¼ cup fresh kra pao leaves

Sautee garlic and chili in very hot oil for a few seconds then add the pork. Stir fry until pork is almost done (you need thinly sliced pork strips so pork cooks easily yet remains tender). Add the onion and sauce, simmer for a few seconds before adding the basil leaves. Mix thoroughly to cook basil (a few seconds only) and then serve hot. This is best eaten with rice, and is called khao kra pao moo (steamed rice and pork stir fry with basil).

I am sharing this post on holy basil with Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen.

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  1. I love the simplicity of this dish, and I would love to try cooking this at home, but what we have growing in our backyard is sweet basil. I wonder if it would taste the same.

  2. Hi Reg, not sure how it would taste. If you want krapao seedlings, you can ask my sister whenever you are in LB. I should have sent you a packet of holy basil seeds too.


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