Thursday, August 15, 2013

Stir Fried Thai Basil and Pork Mince with Fried Egg (Pork Pad Bai Horapha)

Egg. Check. Pork. Check. Some sort of cereal grain…Rice. Check.

I think this qualifies as a breakfast fry up!

Well an Asian breakfast fry up. Thai style. It’s basically a pork mince with Thai basil leaves stir fry on rice, with a fried egg on top.

It’s really easy to make. That fits the criteria for breakfast right?

And the aromatics from the Thai basil and heat from the chilli will definitely wake you up!

Perfect for a hangover. Another breakfast tick of approval.

Contains an egg with oozing yolk. Money shot!

Most importantly, it’s a delicious start to the day.

The rice thing might put some people off though. But not me. I love eating rice, it's my daily staple. I can eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all day, every day. I get referred to as the
fan tung aka rice bucket in my family, a Cantonese saying for someone who eats a lot of rice. I prefer it over bread and enjoy rice dishes for breakfast more than anything else.

Pork Pad Bai Horapha

This is a common fast food dish in Thailand. It's really fast to make, so you will find it everywhere in Thailand where street stalls and restaurants can whip it up for you real quick. 

In Thailand it’s called pork pad ka-prao aka pork stir fry with holy basil, but holy basil can be hard to find outside of Thailand, so you can use the regular Thai basil but the dish will be called pork pad bai horapha aka pork stir fry with Thai basil. It’s same, same but different. Thai basil is more licorice-y while holy basil is spicier, peppery with a hint of citrus and mint. 

The defining characteristic of this dish is provided by the basil - holy basil and in a lot of the recipes that I’ve come across for it, it’s often called pork pad ka-prao as that’s what it’s commonly know as, even when Thai basil is used. So unless you are using holy basil and for most you might not have access to it, then you are naming it wrong! In the end it doesn’t make a difference as using either basil will give you a tasty result but it’s like white chocolate cannot really be called ‘chocolate’ because it does not contain any cocoa solids…and a burger without meat in it isn’t really a burger as burger is short for hamburger….

 Thai Basil

I love that this dish comes with a fried egg on top, sunny side up as some would say. This is the most common way of cooking eggs in my family. It’s really easy as all you need is a pan/wok of really hot oil, so hot that when you crack the egg in it sizzles and in a few moments the egg whites puff up and blister,  the edges turn crispy and form a brown frame while the yolk remains untouched and you get a creamy runny centre. 

I think fried eggs rule over poached and scrambled eggs, what do you think?

Stir Fried Thai Basil and Pork Mince with Fried Egg

(adapted from Gourmet Traveller and She Simmers)


•    Vegetable oil
•    ~400g pork mince
•    3 garlic cloves, minced
•    1 large shallot, thinly sliced (40g)
•    2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chilli paste)
•    100g snake beans, chopped into 1-2cm lengths
•    1 tablespoon fish sauce
•    1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
•    1 tablespoon dark sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
•    1 tablespoon oyster sauce
•    salt and pepper to taste
•    1 cup of Thai basil leaves


Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok, add pork mince and stir fry until it changes colour. Then add in the garlic, sambal oelek and fry together with the pork until it browns. 

Add in the sliced shallots, snake beans and stir fry until the shallots soften. 

Add in the fish sauce, dark soy sauce, kecap manis and oyster sauce, stir fry everything together for 2-3 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Add in the Thai basil, turn off the heat and stir through until it wilts.

Serve over steamed rice and a fried egg on top.


  1. Bookmarking this one for when our snake beans and holy basil come up (hopefully) in summer! :)

    1. You grow holy basil celia? I had a hard time finding any in the shops so ended up using holy basil!

  2. I just bought some Thai basil and now I know what to do with it. This looks fantastic and I'm glad you wrote the name in English. :)

  3. Wow Celia, where can I find holy basil in Perth. We worship it in India. God I am so hungry now, lovely recipe.

  4. Looks amazing!! Can't wait to try this :) Thank you for sharing!

  5. This is great for me, because I'm exactly looking for a recipe that I can mix on my barbeque later. I'm sure this dish will be fitted on my favorite food. Thanks for sharing your idea!

    Beef Stir Fry