I made Pad Ka Prao with minced pork and…sweet basil. Let’s say it up front, not a good idea. Well it was not BAD but i would definitely not do it again. Proper holy basil is a must for me. Anyhow, this is a very easy dish to make. All you need for seasoning are garlic, chili flakes, nam pla(thai fish sause) and salt.
Start with chili and garlic in a hot pan with oil, throw in minced meat when the garlic is fragrant. Stir-fry them, add in the seasonings, vegetable(green pepper here) and basil, then stir fry again. Believe it or not, DONE. Pour them on rice and top it with a fried egg sunny side up!
While i was writing this up I did a little bit of research and found out the term Gapao rice, which is how this dish is called in Japan, was made up by Japanese. In Thai, Gapao simply means the plant holy basil. Imagine going to a restaurant in Thailand saying you want holy basil, holy basil, HOLY BASIL…that would have been very confusing for the locals. What do you want, sir??? Leaves??
So today i learned the right term is Pad Ka Prao where Pad means stir-fry while Ka Prao means holy basil. Hope if the occasion arise, the nice Thai people would read my mind and understand that i want rice and egg alongside, because i have no idea how to say that part. Might end up with stir fried minced meat only. Finger crossed.