Stir fried basil – Phad Ga Prao – ผัดกะเพรา
What does a Thai person order when in doubt? Exactly, Phad Ga Prao. Often with minced pork, but as well with a myriad of other proteins like chicken, fish and shrimp.
It’s a really easy dish to prepare and really difficult to ruin.
You can find this dish in many different spellings on the English version of the menus in Thailand, like Pad Ka Prao, Phad Kra Pao and many more but the one most closely resembling the Thai pronunciation is probably the Pad Ga Prao.
The main ingredient, holy basil or “Bai Ga Prao” is sometimes not easy to find in Western countries. However, due to it’s medicinal properties it gets more and more widely available. It’s possible to replace it with Thai sweet basil / purple basil but it’s just not the real thing. The flower is in appearance closer to the European basil than sweet basil and the most distinctive feature are the jagged edges of the leaves. It is home to tropical Asia and has been grown here for more than 3,000 years.
The recipe shown is the most popular version of this dish: Phad Ga Prao Moo with “moo” meaning pork in Thai.