Basil (Pad Krapao) with String Beans

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

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).

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0/9 Ingredients
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0/7 Instructions
  • Slice your string beans thinly into about ½ cm bits so they cook in a reasonable time. If you don't have knife skills, just cut them however you bloody like, but adjust the cooking time to suit. Mince the garlic and chilli. Leave the basil leaves as they are, removing the stem if you are pedantic.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the string beans to the pan and sprinkle ½ tsp of salt over them to release their moisture. Toss them around a bit, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. You will see moisture from the beans steaming up the inside of the lid. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. A bit of burning is fine though, perfection is overrated.
  • When the lid becomes clear of moisture, check your beans and they should be bright green, cooked and beautiful. If you accidentally got some very old and stringy string beans, then you may need to add some water and continue the process until they are cooked. Take them out of the pan for later.
  • 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.
  • Serve with whatever you like. Pad krapow is traditionally served with rice. Here I used adlai and a "Vegan Poached Egg" from Loving Hut.


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.


#basil  #chilli  #long beans  #spicy