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 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 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.

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