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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Krapao moo (stir fried pork with Thai basil)
Lunchtime favorite of Thais - order with fried egg.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Thai, Asia
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 chillies (red and green), sliced thinly
  • 100 grams lean pork, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh kra pao leaves
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan.
  2. Saute garlic and chillies for a 10-20 seconds then add the thinly sliced pork.
  3. Stir until pork is almost done
  4. Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir for 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can add water a little at a time to prevent the mixture from drying.
  5. Turn off heat, then add the basil leaves. Stir a few times then transfer to plate with steamed rice and fried egg.


  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.


  1. […] is in Thailand and writes the blog A Scientist in the Kitchen. She submitted her recipe for Stir Fry Pork, a dish that’s made with kra pao leaves. Kra pao is similar to basil, and both the leaves and […]

  2. […] oyster sauce, sugar and fish sauce. Mix very well till vegetables are half done. Add a handful of holy basil or krapao. Stir fry then add the cooked linguine. MIx very well to coat the pasta with the sauce. Check for […]

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