Moo Phad Kra Pao is one of my favourite Thai dishes. It's a cinch to whip up, and requires less than 5 ingredients in your pantry, so it's the perfect low-fuss dinner for busybee homecooks.
The key to this is holy basil, not to be confused with sweet basil or Thai basil. Holy basil has a peppery taste, whereas Thai basil, otherwise known as sweet basil, is, well, sweet. The distinctive peppery element is the cornerstone of this classic Thai dish. I've added long beans to lend a little crunch and fibre, but feel free to leave it out for a purely protein main.
Ingredients (feeds 3-4):
340 gm minced pork
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shallots, minced (yellow onions are viable alternatives in a pinch)
5 red chilli padi, sliced finely (reduce this to 2 chilli padi if you can't take the heat)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp thick black soy
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup holy basil
2 tbsp canola oil for frying
Optional: 150 gm long beans, sliced finely
Fistful toasted unsalted cashews
1) Fry shallots and garlic with oil in pre-heated pan until fragrant, about 2 minutes on high heat.
2) Add pork, making sure to break up the mince while frying, about 3 minutes to cook through.
3) Add long beans.
4) Add oyster sauce, dark soy, fish sauce, sugar, and fry for about 3 minutes or until beans are softened.
5) Add basil and chilli to toss through until basil wilted, about 30 seconds.
6) Serve hot with an optional sprinkle of cashews.