Spicy Thai Basil Stir-fry (Pad Kapow)

Pad Krapow, Pad Kapow, Pad Gra Pow, Phat Kaphrao or how-ever you want to spell it, is just minced meat, sometimes fish, fried with basil garlic and chillis. Super simple and super easy, a great way to start off your Thai cooking journey.

Whenever I’d come home I’d always get my mother to cook me this dish, with rice and a fried egg it always made me, young chubs thing JP so happy. What more can you ask for? Meaty, spicy and fragrant. I’m not good at explaining these things sorry,


  1. Minced Meat/ Ground Meat- About 500g should be okay, any mince is fine I like using Pork
  2. Lots of Garlic- Probably a whole head if that's what it's called
  3. Chillis (I always use Birds Eye chillis)- Use as many as you like. You know what you can handle
  4. 1-2 sticks Lemongrass- About
  5. Holy or Thai Basil- A handful of the leaves
  6. 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  7. 1 tbsp Sugar
  8. 2 tbsp Oil
  9. 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce-


  1. Start by peeling the head garlic. It’s an annoying job and what I usually just do is crush it then the skin comes straight off, it doesn’t really matter that we’re crushing it because we’re going to chop it anyway.

  2. Cut the stem off the chillis and roughing chop them up but not too finely.

  3. Cut the lemongrass in half and roughly chop that too.

  4. Combine the lemongrass, chilli and garlic and start mincing them all together until they’re all roughly the same size pieces, put it into a bowl and it’s time to cook!

  5. On medium heat pour your oil and add the mixture we minced earlier, don’t fry too much just gently heat up until fragrant.

  6. Before everything starts crisping up and browning add the meat, turn the heat up to mid/high and begin stir-frying until the minced pork has cooked.

  7. Now it’s time to add everything else, pour the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, a spoon of sugar and keep stir-frying.

  8. Now depending on what kind of basil you bought this can go either way. If you bought the frozen basil put the cubes in and keep stir-frying until they’ve defrosted and you can smell the basil-y aroma. If you have fresh basil which I recommend getting then turn off the heat and add your basil leaves no stems they’re way too firm and give it a little toss and you’re done.

  9. Serve with rice and a fried egg and you’re done!

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