Thai Minced Pork (Pad Kra Pao) is a quick and easy street food dish that takes only 15 minutes to make! Fragrant, aromatic and juicy this pork and rice combo takes minimal effort yet delivers maximum flavor. Dinner can be as easy as basil minced pork, sticky rice, a fried egg and then putting your feet up 😉👍.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to grab everything you need to make this Thai minced pork recipe from your local grocery store. They are easy to get your hands on ingredients.
- Fast recipe: blink twice and you will miss the start to finish process of this recipe. It is a quick cooking, fast moving dish. This makes it perfect for busy week nights when you know you won't have a ton of time to cook something more time consuming.
- Aromatic flavors: whilst the ingredients are simple and easy to find, the taste of the thai basil pork recipe does not disappoint. From the use of peanut oil through to the chilli and basil, this fragrant recipe sings of Asian street food.
- Homemade takeout: save ordering in or picking something up on your way home that has a heap of 'unknown' ingredients and instead whip up this delicious dish that you will come to know inside and out.
- Cost effective: following on from the point above, getting take out can get expensive pretty quickly! Making take out like foods at home is a budget friendly way to keep the cost down but still enjoy a flavorful dish like this that you would like to order in.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the Thai Minced Pork recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for the full ingredient list as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Peanut oil: we use this to cook the pork mince in. It is a fantastic cooking oil for Asian recipes.
- Salt and pepper: we use salt and a little bit of black pepper to season the pork.
- Garlic: this gets cooked in the pan in the initial stages to create a depth of flavour in the recipe.
- Brown sugar: one of the 4 ingredients for the sauce. This balances the saltiness of the remaining ingredients.
- Soy sauce: this is regular soy sauce (not dark soy).
- Fish sauce: this sauce has a very distinct smell and taste and is commonly used in Asian recipes.
- Oyster sauce: This has a thicker texture to it than the other sauces and brings a umami flavor to the recipe.
- Basil: we need only the leaves, not the stems. These fresh herbs add an extra depth of flavor with their unmistakable fragrance.
- Eggs: optional, but the pork goes down a treat with a fried egg on top of rice in the bowl as a serving suggestion 👌.
- Red chilli: these are long red chilli's which are not as hot as their short counterparts. They offer heat but not 'mouthwatering' heat.
- Pork mince (also known as ground pork) this is a budget friendly cut of meat that is versatile and works well across a number of recipes.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the holy basil stir-fry. We start by gathering the ingredients to make the sauce.
- Gather sauce ingredients (Photo 1)
- Whisk together (Photo 2)
- Add oil, garlic, pork, salt and pepper to pan (Photo 3)
- Brown pork then add chilli (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Thai Minced Pork
Start by grabbing everything you need to make the sauce. Then add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar to a small jug and whisk to combine then set aside.
Place a large frying pan or skillet onto the stove and turn the heat to high. Add the peanut oil, garlic, pork mince, salt and pepper. Then cook the ground meat, using a slotted turner (vertically) to break up any clumps of meat as you go.
Once the pork has cooked and turned golden brown (around 7-8 minutes) add the sliced red chilli to the pan and cook till it softens (1-2 minutes).
- Pour sauce over the mince (Photo 5)
Once the chilli has softened, you can pour the sauce over the top and give it a stir to combine.
- Add the basil leaves (Photo 6)
Next add the basil leaves to the pan and cook, allowing them to wilt. Use the slotted turner to fold them into the pork as you go.
It is a slick sauce and will cover the ground pork superbly. See the photo below for how things will be looking at this point.
- Cook till the basil wilts (Photo 7)
Once the basil is combined in the dish you can get ready to portion and serve. Some suggestions on a workable combination to go with the pork are coming next 😉👍.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
If you want an appetizer that fits the theme the Air Fryer Spring Rolls work well. They can be dipped in sweet chilli sauce and offer crispy pastry with juicy insides.
This dish is commonly paired with rice and a sunny side up fried egg. It is a simple combination that works so very well.
Another combination that will work for serving the dish is to scoop the pork mince into lettuce wraps, much like a san choy bow recipe.
This reduces the carbs yet still gives an alternative texture to the pairing that is also pretty easy to bring together. I would have shown you this in the next photo but it was my lunch and I was all about the bowl of rice and fried egg combo 😉👌.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the basil pork in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge. They can be kept for 2-3 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool. Then portion into an airtight container or you can use zip lock plastic bags with the air pushed out of them. Then seal and lay flat in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
The microwave is the quickest and easiest method to reheat leftovers.
Simply pop them in a bowl or container with cling wrap or lid and reheat on high for 1-3 minutes until warmed through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use ground chicken (chicken mince) or ground beef if you are wanting to try an alternative protein.
- You can use Thai basil or regular Italian style (for pesto) basil.
- If you would like more 'hot spice' in the recipe you can add 2 small red hot chillis along with the 2 long red chilli.
- You can also add some sliced green chilli as extra pops of colour and texture if you wish to).
- For extra vegetables you can add some sliced capsicum (red peppers), green beans (add either or both when cooking the chilli) or a thinly sliced red onion (cook this at the start with the pork mince).
- For the rice (optional serving suggestion you can try Jasmine rice, basmati, white rice, brown rice or coconut rice.
- Or you can serve the dish with cooked noodles of your preference if you wish too.
- For an additional garnish try some finely chopped spring onions.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- This recipe cooks very quickly. So have everything prepped and ready to go then you can keep things moving in the pan as the steps unfold.
- You will need to break up any clumps of mince as you cook the pork. The best way to do this is to use a slotted turner (vertically) or wooden spoon as you fry the pork.
- The red chillis take a little bit longer to cook than the basil. So we do want to add the slices in and give them enough chance to soften before we add the basil.
- For convenience and to fit the cook time of the recipe you can use store bought pre cooked rice that only needs a quick zap in the microwave to heat.
- If serving with the egg, you can start to cook them on a separate element on the stove top once you have added the basil to the pork. The basil will wilt in around the same time it takes to fry an egg or 2.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pad Kra Pao in English?
The English name for pad kra pao is 'stir-fried holy basil'. It is also sometimes referred to as pad gaprow or kaprao.
How to make minced pork with basil?
Cook the pork in peanut oil on the stove with the garlic, salt and pepper. Then add the chilli and allow to soften. Pour the sauce over the top, give it a stir and then add the basil till it wilts.
Can I use regular basil instead of Thai basil?
Yes. You can use regular basil in place of Thai basil.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you have variety in your kitchen then dinner will never get old, boring or 'same, same'. Here are some recipes that offer you interesting, different and versatile so that you don't feel you need to turn to 'same, same' again:
- Tofu Noodle Stir Fry
- Pork Meatballs
- Linguine Alfredo
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Pork Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
- Panko Pork Chops
- Chicken And Corn Noodle Soup
- Pulled Beef Brisket
- Crumbed Mushrooms
- Lamb Ribs (Baked then Grilled)
It is time to get our pork on my friend from the comfort of your very own Thai restaurant. You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot.
Thai Minced Pork
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 500 grams/16 oz pork mince
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 long red chilli thinly sliced
- 1 bunch basil leaves only, stems trimmed, set aside a few to use as garnish when serving, Note 1
- ⅓ cup/80 ml oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar Note 2
Serving suggestion (optional):
- fried egg
- basil leaves
- Sauce: gather the sauce ingredients then add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar to a glass jug and whisk to combine then set aside.
- Cook pork: place a large frying pan onto the stove top, turn the heat to high and add the peanut oil. Next add the garlic, pork mince, salt and pepper. Cook the mince using a slotted turner to break up any clumps of meat as you go. It will take around 8 minutes to cook.
- Chilli: once the pork has cooked add the sliced chilli pieces and cook till they soften for around 2 minutes.
- Sauce and basil: once the chilli has softened add the sauce to the pan and give it a stir to combine. Then add the basil leaves and cook till they have wilted. Use the slotted turner to fold them into the dish.
- To serve: portion into bowls with rice and a fried for serving and sprinkles a few additional fresh basil leaves over the top to garnish the portions.
- Note 1 - Basil: you can use Thai basil or regular basil, both types will work.
- Note 2 - Brown sugar: we need this to balance out the salt in the recipe. You can increase it by a teaspoon, but I don't recommend omitting it or reducing it.