Spicy Basil Beef (Pad Krapow)

This is one of the most popular street food dishes in Thailand. It's also a technique, kind of like calling something an omelet. An omelet is always egg-based, but you can change the fillings. The base of this dish is always Thai basil, garlic, chilies, bell peppers and onions, but you can switch out the proteins as desired.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) sweet soy sauce

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) oyster sauce

4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) fish sauce

2 tablespoons (30 grams) chili paste in soybean oil

6 tablespoons (45 milliliters) vegetable oil

2 large eggs

3 cups (720 grams) lean ground beef

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 3 serrano or Thai chiles, sliced

1 medium onion, diced

1 small red bell pepper, sliced

1 1/2 cups (335 grams) Thai basil leaves, picked off the stem

1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Combine the sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and chili paste in a small bowl and reserve.
  2. Heat your wok or large skillet over high heat and add 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Crack one egg into the wok and allow the bottom to crisp for a couple of seconds, while keeping the pan moving, then baste until the top of the egg is mostly white, about 1 minute. Set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate, and then fry the second egg. Hold both eggs on the plate until ready to serve.
  3. Heat your wok or large skillet over high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. When wisps of white smoke appear, add the ground beef, flattening against the pan, and cook undisturbed for about 45 seconds. The beef will start to brown; turn over once, press flat against the pan and cook for another 30 seconds. Add garlic and chilies. Cook them until the garlic starts to brown, about 30 seconds. Add the onion. Break up the meat into gravel-size pieces and drain any excess liquid.
  4. Stir in the bell pepper and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the reserved sauce to the wok and combine the ingredients thoroughly for about 1 minute. Add the Thai basil and cook until the beef is thoroughly cooked and onions are slightly tender. Finish with white pepper.
  5. Transfer to a platter and top with the reserved fried eggs.

Cook’s Note

Substitute any meat or seafood in this dish, which is common in Thailand. Ground chicken or pork are amazing. Top with a runny fried egg or two and serve over jasmine rice for a perfect meal!

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