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Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, June 3rd, 2009

Basil Pork

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

Stir-fried Pork with Holy Basil

I’ve borrowed one of Kasma’s photos for this Wednesday’s photo. It shows one of my favorite Thai dishes – Basil Pork (Moo Pad Gkaprao). It’s one of the earliest dishes I learned to cook by myself without a recipe, using Kasma’s Spicy Basil Chicken Recipe (Gkai Pad Gkaprao).

It’s actually the very first Thai dish I tried to cook by myself after watching Kasma cook it during class. She made it look so easy that I approached the dish with confidence. Then things started sizzling and I realized it was happening a LOT faster than I thought!

Almost anything can be made stir-fried with basil (pad gkaprao). Kasma’s recipe calls for chicken but you can do a straight substitution with pork. You can also adapt it for beef, shrimp, squid, lamb, fish of any kind or anything else you can think of. One of my favorite adaptation uses salmon – I cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces and add it later on in the recipe so that it will still be pink in the middle. When I use salmon I prefer to use Thai basil rather than holy basil – Thai basil tastes a better to me with salmon. (See my blog Basil Salmon. If you can’t find the holy basil you can always substitute Thai basil with any of the variations, though I think pork tastes much better with holy basil.

This picture, taken in a restaurant on the way from Mae Hong Son to Pai, shows the dish served with a fried egg; this is fairly common in Thailand.

Basil anything is a common one-dish meal served over rice. A perfect lunch.

The Wednesday Photo is a new picture  each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand.

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