Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thai Basil Stir-fry

We've been on a food blog event kick lately. This time, the theme is Thai food at Joelen's Culinary Adventures.

We watched the Thai episode of Food Safari a while back and have actually made gkai (chicken) pad gka-prow a few times already. Anything can be cooked pad gka-prow: we've also used beef in the past. Seafood and pork can also be used.

The first time we made gkai pad gka-prow, we even deep-fried a couple of sunny-side eggs to serve with it. Very authentic.

This time, we had a couple of oyster mushrooms lying around and thought we'd add it.

This goes very fast. We added oil to a wok. When very hot, a WHACK-load of crushed garlic and chile peppers went it. Our whack-load usually contains about 15 to 20 cloves of garlic. We used 20 Thai bird chiles the first time around: it was excellent(!) but very hot. We've done it using as little as 3 chile peppers. This was a pretty mild version. To make it easy on myself, I buzz the garlic and peppers together in the mini food processor. They only need a few seconds in the wok.

Usually, we add the chicken next and cook it until almost done before adding the other aromatics. However, I didn't want to overcook the chicken so I added the sliced oyster mushrooms first.

Then, some thinly sliced chicken breast; we used 2. Since this is a stir-fry, the 2 chicken breasts yield a lot. Making this stir-fry is one of the very few times we actually buy chicken breasts! We usually get whole birds, thighs/legs, or chicken wings.

When the chicken is almost completely cooked, we added a small glug of oyster sauce (1-2 tablespoons) and some fish sauce (3-5 tablespoons).

In the Food Safari episode, the Thai woman added some sliced green onions or shallots (I can't remember which) and more sliced chile peppers. I didn't want to kill ourselves, so I omitted the extra peppers for this mild version. I did add some thinly sliced onions, though. (We didn't have green onions/shallots on hand that day, strangely enough.)

We don't know where to find holy basil, but Thai basil is easy enough to find, so we've always used that instead. A handful of Thai basil leaves went in at the end, for only a few seconds.

This version took a little longer than usual because of the mushrooms and because the quantity was large. Usually, the whole process (after prep) doesn't take us more than 5 minutes from heating the wok to transferring to the serving bowl.

Of course, we eat this on top of plain rice. Add some sunny-side eggs and it's heaven.

Click here for the Food Safari recipe.
Interestingly enough, this was not the recipe the Thai cook used in the actual episode. (And hence, not the way we've been making it!)

Thai creations at [eatingclub] vancouver:
Pad Thai (Tamarind Series, Post #1)
Waterfall Beef Salad
Thai Basil Stir-fry
Thai-marinated Fried Chicken (and the Ultimate Compliment)
Thai Meatballs
Thai Basil Tofu Stir-fry

[eatingclub] vancouver dishes inspired by Food Safari episodes:
Spanish: Tortilla de Patatas
Thai: Waterfall Beef Salad
Lebanese: Tarator-style Sauce
Thai: Thai Basil Stir-Fry (gka prow)
Lebanese: Lamb Kafta (Turkish: Lamb Kofte)
Indonesian: Belado
Moroccan: Preserved Lemons
Moroccan: Chicken Tagine


  1. love the idea of the sunny-side up eggs. yum

  2. oh my heavens, if I lived in Vancouver, I'd want to join your eating club! Yum Yum!!

  3. This looks fabulous... and the addition of fried eggs IS heaven! That's my kind of eats and comfort food and I cannot wait to make some soon... and also, a big CONGRATS to winning the blogging event giveaway prize! Details in an email to you :)

  4. I too really enjoy watching Food Safari and a dish with basil always makes me go for seconds.

  5. Yum! I love it spicy too. Those oyster mushrooms look fantastic, they have the most wonderful texture.

  6. This is one of my fave thai dishes, and the hotter, the better XD ... I love the addition of oyster mushrooms which makes this dish really unique :)

  7. This recipe actually calls for Ka prow which looks similar to Thai basil that we can find here in most south east asian food markets, however Ka prow is also known has "Holy Basil" which I have yet to find or grow in vancouver.

  8. Jan De Leebeeck:
    Yup, we use Thai basil because we can't find holy basil here.


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