Friday 14 June 2019

Recipe : Authentic Pad Krapow (Thai Basil Chicken)

By Mark Wiens

I’ve always commented on how bad the pad krapow is in Malaysia so here’s the authentic (and easy) way to do it!

So pad means fry and krapow refers to the krapow leaf which is a staple to the dish.
I always said, if you don’t have the krapow leaf, don’t bother making pad krapow.

But of course, many recipe substitutes krapow leaf with basil leaf etc
You can do that of course, but it won’t taste and smell as good.

For such an easy recipe, it is extremely frustrating that I can’t get a decent pad krapow in Malaysia (my best bet so far is the stall nearby Jaya One/UM).

  • Thinly sliced chicken breast / minced meat
  •  Krapow leaf (daun ruku/tulasi)
  • Garlic
  • Chilies
  • Oyster sauce
  • Light soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Palm sugar/sugar

Of course, the most critical ingredient is the krapow leaf. Thankfully, it is famous among our local Indians. My mom bought the plant from Indian sellers at the market and grow them herself.

What I love most about the recipe is that it’s easy and like a true Asian, you can just main agak-agak the measurement and adjust the taste accordingly.

  • Pound the garlic and bird eye chilies in a mortar and pestle (more garlic will make the dish taste better). They don’t need to be super fine though.
  • Heat the wok (high heat works best) and add 2 tablespoon of oil
  • When the oil is hot, add the pounded garlic and chilies. Stir fry for about 30 seconds; not too long.

  • Once it became fragrant, add in the protein (chicken or meat) and stir continuously. If it became too dry, add in tiny splashes of water (not too much!)
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, ½ teaspoon of light soy sauce, some sugar and a dash of dark soy sauce (sugar and dark soy sauce can be substituted with kicap manis) Do adjust the taste accordingly.
  • When the chicken are nearly cooked, add in a handful of krapow leaf (the more the better) then immediately turned the heat off. It only takes about 5 seconds for the leaf to cooked and it will wilt naturally. Cooked it too long and they will lose their distinct smell and taste.
  • Best served with fragrant rice and a sunny side up fried egg.


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