Kra Pao Moo is a dish you will find at nearly every restaurant or food stall in Thailand, with just as many variations. It is fiery hot, pungent, salty, sweet, sour, and absolutely addictive! The recipe that follows is tempered with the addition of green bell pepper, but those of you that can stand the heat, do not hesitate to exclude the bell pepper and throw in some more chilies. Contrary to what you may think, the heat of the chilies cools you down on a steaming hot day or warms you up on a chilly one. Quick and easy to cook and always served with rice and usually accompanied by a chilled beer poured over ice.
Kra Pao Moo Serves 2-4
- 2 tablespoons coconut, peanut, or other light oil
- 1 pound ground pork (or substitute chicken, or beef )
- 3-4 bird’s eye chilies, red or green, chopped
- 4 long red chiles, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips
- 1 large shallot, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2 inch strips (optional)
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (Nam Pla) + more to taste available in Asian markets
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves
- 1/4 cup of stock or water
- lime wedges
- chili flakes for added heat (optional)
Heat a wok, or large saute pan, over a high flame. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is nearly smoking, add the ground pork and sear while stirring continuously. Continue stir frying until the fat is rendered out of the pork and the meat is browned. Tilt the pan to one side and spoon out some of the excess fat and discard. Add the bird’s eye chilies and red chilies and stir fry, constantly tossing the ingredients until all are well seared.
Toss in the shallots, green bell peppers (if using), and garlic and continue to stir fry about 1 minute.
Add the oyster sauce, and fish sauce and stir fry another minute. Add the basil leaves and continue to toss all the ingredients together. Add the stock and continue to stir fry until the stock reduces to a silky sauce. You do want plenty of sauce so add more stock as needed.
Taste and add more oyster sauce and fish sauce to taste and toss briefly.
Serve immediately with lime wedges and chili flakes, along with jasmine rice.
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves, available in Asian markets and freezes well for storage.
- water to a level 1/2 inch above the rice in the rice steamer pan
Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer until the water runs nearly clear. Transfer the rice to the rice steamer. Add the kaffir lime leaves and the water and cook.
Once the rice is cooked, allow to stand 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a bamboo paddle or fork before serving.