Daily Archives: September 26, 2008

How to cook… Stir-fried Pork with Chili and Holy Basil

One of the most popular dishes at roadside food vendors is stir-fried minced pork with chilies and holy basi. In Thai this is called “grapao moo sap”. There are three versions: minced pork, chicken or beef. It is served on plain rice and often topped with a fried egg. Though usually you have to ask for this (say “kai dao”) and you will have to pay 5 baht extra. Without the fried egg, you might still be able to find this dish for 25 baht. As you can see in the picture below, the main ingredients are holy basil, chopped garlic, bird eye chili (prik kee noo) and minced pork in the center. What is not pictured are the longer red spur chili (prik chee faa daeng). These are not so hot and are added towards the end mainly as decoration.

The cooking process is quite simple. To start with you need a mortar and pestle. Pound the chopped chili and garlic together to make a smooth paste. Meanwhile, heat up your wok with a couple of table spoons of oil. Fry the chili and garlic paste until fragrant and then add the minced pork. Keep stirring. Season with oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and stock. When doing stir-fried dishes, you can add water or some kind of stock to stop it from drying out. At the last moment, add a handful of the holy basil leaves and the sliced spur chilies. Give it a good stir and then turn off the heat.

We will have another dish for you next week at www.thai-blogs.com. Feel free to send us your suggestions for what you would like to see us cook. If you are missing our Friday Lunch Menu where we bought street food every week, the archives are now up-to-date at www.thaistreetfood.com. We have also added Thai for each menu item. Don’t forget our Thai Food Forums where you can ask questions about buying and cooking Thai food.

Meanings of Thai Nicknames

Kayo (Kaew) – Glass
Kik – Special friend / Secret Lover
Koy – Little finger (Pinkie)
Kop (Kob) – Frog
Kai – Chicken
Kook Kai – Chick
Kung – Prawn / Shrimp
Kwang – Deer

Khai – Egg
Khing – Ginger
Khanoon – Jackfruit
Khwan – Spirit / Soul / Merit
Khao….. – Rice…..
Khit – Think
Kratai / Tai – Rabbit

Jackajan – Cicada (type of insect)
Jan – Moon
Jampa / Jampee – Champac (type of flower)
Jik – Fussy / Pinch / Steal
Jew – Small
Jingreet – Cricket (as in insect)
Jim – Small / Girl’s private parts (as in English: Fanny)
Jip – Tweet (as in sound of a bird)
Joom – Small
Jaew – Clear / Excellent
Jiap – Chick

Deuan – Month
Dao – Star
Daeng – Red
Dum – Black

Tao – Turtle
Toi – Small / Tiny
Taengmo – Watermelon
Taengkwa – Cucumber
Tik – Sound of clock (as in tick-tock)
Toom – Water jar
Tukata – Doll / Cuddly Toy
Tukataen – Grasshopper
Ta – Eye
Ton – Tree Trunk
Teuan – Warn / Remind (verb)
Tem – Full
Tia – Short
Taen – Wasp / Hornet

Nok – Bird
Nee – Woman
Noo – Rat / Mouse
Nui – Cute
Nit – Small / Little
Noi – Small / Little
Noina – Custard Apple (a Thai fruit)
Nam – Water
Nang – Mrs
Nangfa – Angel
Nim – Soft
Nook – Soft
Nery – Butter
Noon – Kapok (type of tropical tree)
Nong – Younger (as in younger sister)
Baitong – Banana Leaf
Baitery – Leaf (type of tropical leaf)
Boong – Caterpillar (type of)

P la – Fish
Preeow – Sour
Pook – Piggy Bank (type of)
Pui – Fertilizer
Poo – Crab
Pet – Duck
Piak – Tiny
Pia – Piggy-tails
Pao – Target

Pheung – Bee / Honey
Phak – Vegetable
Phing – Warm up (verb)
Phat Thai – Thai-style fried noodles
Phin – Traditional musical instrument (resembles a guitar/banjo)
Phloy – Gem
Phim – Type / Print (verb)
Phrik – Pepper / Chilli
Phrae – A type of traditional Thai cloth
Phorn – Blessing
Phat – Fan (verb)

Fai – Cotton
Fon – Rain
Fukthong – Pumpkin
Fan – Dream
Fah – Sky

Moo – Pig
Mot – Ant
Maew – Cat
Meow – Meow (verb, as in cat cry)
Mon – Magic
Manao – Lemon
Ma-fueng – Star fruit
Ma-prang – Type of plum
Mayom – Star gooseberry
Mali – Jasmine
Manee – Gemstones
Mook – Pearl
Maeng-por – Dragonfly

Yoke – Jade
Yui – Chubby cute
Yim – Smile
Ying – Female
Yai – Big
Yao – Young

Rin – Pour (verb)
Rot – Flavour
Rawt – Straw


I will try to not get political. But in the context of this lesson, I have to go there a little bit. Please understand that I’m not trying to propagate anything. Just showing you what happened and the lesson we learned.

A few weeks ago, I gave my dad a call. Of course, I caught him watching his nightly news and he filled me in on Thailand’s current political climate. strategies to gain control of the country by their influence on PAD.

My dad is among those who speculated that the rich, old elites are funneling money into PAD so they could be in power again after all these years of the “self made millionaire” threatening to take over.

“The PAD seems to want the Democrats to be government and Abhisit as PM,” dad suggested.

“But *I* want Khun Mark [Abhisit] to be the PM…” I whined. I’m biased on the subject of Khun Mark. I had been cheering for his youth, new attitude, and, of course, his charisma (come on, the man’s hot!) since he came onto the scene years ago. Very objective. Yep. That’s me.

“I know, honey. It would be nice. Jus not like this,” dad replied. And I agreed with him.

That was a part of my post where the rest of it was just my droning on about my day. However, it seemed to hit the nerves of one particular PAD supporter, a real life friend of mine.

We got into a virtual row over this.

Angry. Frustrated. Confused. Fed up. Overwhelmed. Despaired. Saddened.

Thai people have become any and all of those these days. Even the littlest thing could send passionate folks into a rampage. One comment could cause a mayhem.

My motherland is thoroughly divided that friends are made enemies and family members stop talking to each other over politics.

My friend the Commenter and I had our heated moment of exchange off the blog over our stances. Since we know each other, the first few exchanges were emotional. It was firmly requested that politics should not be discussed on my personal blog. I felt personally attacked. The friend felt idealogically offended.

The easy way out is for me to shut the hell up…which I didn’t quite do. How could you ignore this giant elephant in the room, threaten to rampage over our friendship?

And so the exchange continued and, amazingly, we found out that we were not standing on the polar opposite after all. The more we unknot each of our ideas, We found that we agreed on every fundamental thing, up to this one fine point. Our intentions are the same. Our ideals are the same. What we want for our country is the same. But we diverge on the HOW part. And it’s not all that difference on how our country could get where we would want it to either.

A very fine line of how our views differ, but enough to let us stand with one tippy toe on the opposite side.

Out of this dialogue, I realized a few things.

First, a civil discussion REALLY can bring parties to a solution. Gosh knows that between two U.S. educated Thais, one a business owner and a parent in Thailand and the other a non-profit employee and childless by choice in California, we might just come up with a solution to solve our country’s problem!

I mean, both of us started off almost at each other’s throat, and now we might just have an answer.

How cool is that?!

And secondly, it hit me.

We were talking politics. We were discussing the state of our nation. We were taking our stands for each of our beliefs. Quite passionately so too.

For the first time since I’ve known the Commenter/Friend, a SERIOUS political discussion slowly grew out of what started out almost like an adolescent spat.

Holy crap.

We have become adults.