Whenever we go out and have Thai, there is no doubt that Pad Gra Prow will be ordered. It is my favourite dish, and has been so ever since I started eating Thai food way back when. It's not just my favourite, it's a family favourite and whenever I go out for dinner with my besties, you can count on this being ordered. It brings back memories of holidays in Thailand, it acts as a comfort dish, and its impressive when you serve it at dinner parties. For those that aren't familiar with the Thai name, Pad Gra Prow (also known as pad grapow, pad krapao, Pad ka prao); "pad" means stir fried or sauteed, and the "gra prow" part is holy basil. It's one of the most common and popular Thai dishes, and is made with chilli and garlic and served over rice. Any meat can be used if you want to substitute the chicken, a popular option is beef, but you can also have it with prawns, fish, or mixed vegetables. If you eat this dish in Asia, it's more than than likely it will be cooked with mince/ground meat. I've found that anywhere outside of Asia, the dish is usually cooked with strips of meat instead - so if you're looking to make this dish, it's really up to you whether you mince your meat or have it in strips, I prefer the mince version as it really helps to absorb all the flavours!
Ingredients to serve 2:
350g grams of chicken breast (I like to use the mini fillets), or if available mince chicken
1 tablespoons of light soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
5 cloves of garlic
2 red chillies
25 grams of holy basil* - about 1 pack. (if you can't find holy basil, normal basil is fine)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Cooked Jasmine rice to serve with the stir fry (quantity up to you, you can also sub with brown rice)
If you're mincing your chicken, slice up the chicken up into really thin strips, then dice into small pieces. Use your chopping knife to finely chop the meat until it's minced. If you're cooking strips, then just slice your chicken into thin strips, about half an inch wide. Put your chicken into a bowl, add the 1 tablespoons of light soy, 1 tablespoons of oyster sauce and mix well. Leave to marinate for about 10 mins.
Peel the garlic and chop the chillies, put into the mortar and pestle and finely smash. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can just finely mince the garlic and chillies.
In a wok, heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is simmering hot, lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and chillies and cook for about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high and add the chicken, stir and ensure the meat is evenly cooked. It should take about 3-4 minutes to cook. While this is cooking, wash the basil leaves and get rid of the stalks. Rip the leaves into smaller pieces. Now add the basil to the wok and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds to a minute. Switch off the heat and serve with rice.
*Holy basil is available to buy at Asian supermarkets. In Dublin you can get it from Asia Market (www.asiamarket.ie), in the UK they sometimes stock this at Waitrose or the Wing Yip supermarkets.