Kra Pao Neua (stir fried beef and holy basil)
For the paste:
1tbsp baby garlic cloves
1½tbsp finely chopped bird’s eye chillies, or to taste
1 coriander root, finely chopped
5 white peppercorns
1tsp holy basil flowers or 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional)
For the stir-fry:
150g minced beef
1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
3tbsp vegetable oil
4tbsp beef or chicken stock
2tbsp oyster sauce
1tsp fish sauce
½tsp white sugar
a large handful of holy basil leaves
First, make the paste. Pound the baby garlic cloves, chillies, coriander root, peppercorns, and holy basil flowers or kaffir lime leaf (if using) to a fine consistency in a pestle and mortar.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over a medium-high heat until sizzling, then add the paste and stir until aromatic. Add the minced beef, increase the heat slightly, add 3tbsp of the stock, and stir to combine.
Throw in the kaffir lime leaf, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar, and stir again until the beef is cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to preference.
Add the holy basil leaves and the remaining stock, stir through and cook for another 30 seconds, then serve with steamed rice.
Pad krapao can be made with any protein – replace the minced beef with your choice of minced or sliced chicken, pork, duck, or lamb, or use shelled prawns, squid, or tofu.