Pad gra prao (Thai basil beef)

25 April 2016

I’m not a fan of breakfast food. I was never into the whole ‘cereal and milk’, ‘toast and peanut butter’, ‘english muffin’, sort of thing.  Often times I would just skip breakfast entirely – which is problematic seeing as numerous studies keep pointing to the importance of starting your day with a healthy breakfast.

 The first time I tried pad gra prao was at Khao San Road in Toronto. The place does incredibly tasty Thai street food. When I saw that this particular dish was served with a fried egg, my mind went straight to breakfast. Now this is how I’d like my eggs done! Over fried rice and flavourful spicy meat. And how efficient it is to make a meal that can easily be served at breakfast and lunch the next day. Sold.

This dish is seriously addictive. Maybe it’s the mix of sweet and salty that comes from the brown sugar and soy sauce. Or the heat from the chilli. Or the freshness of the basil. Whatever it is, this dish is so good, so easy to whip up, and can be eaten all day!


Serves 5

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
4-5 red chillies (depending on your heat tolerance)
1 medium onion or shallot, chopped
1lbs ground beef (you can use ground chicken, pork, turkey)
2 tbsp Brown sugar
1 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for added heat!)
Bunch of basil (thai basil preferred), loosely chopped
Olive/vegetable oil for frying


Chop garlic, onions and chillies (or, if you have a mortar, pound into a course paste). Heat pan with oil and fry ingredients until fragrant, about 2 min. Add in sauces and brown sugar and stir for about 1 min. Add ground meat and cook through, stirring constantly for about 5-7 min. Remove from heat, add in chopped basil. Serve over rice, with a fried egg on top. Drizzle with some lime juice and you’re good to go!

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