Pad krapao is one of my favourite Thai street food dishes. It’s quick to make, and surprisingly easy to veganise. In Thailand, pad krapao is usually made with chicken or pork. In this version, I am making it with string beans because we had tons of string beans from our garden. Seriously, you can pad krapao pretty much anything.
For a more traditional (and protein-packed) version, check out my Holy Basil Stir-Fry Tofu (Pad Krapao).
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the pan on medium heat. Add the chilli and garlic. Stir it so it doesn't burn, until the raw smell of the garlic is gone. If the garlic turns brown, you've gone too far or your flame is too hot.
- Add the cooked string beans back into the pan and season with sugar, soy sauce and voyster sauce. Toss to mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking, it should be a nice balance of spicy, salty and slightly sweet.
- When you are happy with the taste, add the basil leaves in and mix well. IMPORTANT: Once the basil has entered the pan, you need to turn the heat off after 5 seconds. 5 SECONDS! This is to retain the fresh flavour of the basil and prevent it from becoming over-cooked wilted sadness. The heat from the rest of the food will cook the basil.
There are two types of basil that are commonly used in Thai cooking. Thai basil is sweeter with a strong anise flavour, while holy basil is spicier and peppery. Thai basil is great for curries and soups, while holy basil is the basil of choice for pad krapow and pad kee mao. I used Thai basil when doing the photographs for this recipe as I had massive amounts of it, but if you can get holy basil it would suit this dish better.