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PIECE OF CAKE, PEACE OF MIND

Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time


Brandt went to Thailand last winter with his half Thai friend. And, despite his undeniable white-boy appearance and Bakersfield upbringing (sorry Brandt :D), he gave up his vegetarianism that trip and from the sounds of it, dove straight into the joys of southeast Asian cuisine.
Upon returning to Kitty House, he enthusiastically explained to me what HAD to be my next order the next time I went to a Thai restaurant (which there are many of here in Berkeley–Racha being my favorite so far). Pork pad krapao. And don’t forget the fried egg on top.

It’s a lesser known Thai dish, or at least lesser known that the big hitters pad thai and red curry and the likes. But after ordering it at Racha for the first time, I too, saw the light and decided one hungry evening that I wanted to make it for myself.

I looked at a few recipes and realized that like most Asian dishes, there are more than a few versions of the recipe. Each person has their own tweak to it and I’m pretty sure every Thai person grew up with a different version of it in his/her home.

Here’s the version I came up with after looking around a bit:

PORK PAD KRAPAO

(for one Rachel or maybe 2 normal people)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 red thai chilis, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small Japanese eggplant, cut into thin slices
  • 1 handful of green beans, cut into 1-2 inch segments
  • about 12 thai basil leaves
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat a frying pan or wok until very hot. Add a little bit of vegetable oil, along with garlic and chilis and sautee until browned.
  2. Add the onions and cook until slightly translucent.
  3. Add the pork and brown. When pork is almost done, add the green beans and eggplant and continue to stir fry.
  4. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and give the whole pan a couple more stirs before throwing in the basil leaves.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Fry an egg in the same pan until crispy on the edges but still slightly runny.
  7. Serve egg over pad krapao over jasmine rice.

I’m actually going to be testing out the slicing of the chilies tomorrow when I remake this recipe for 4 people. Last time, fearing the chilis were going to be too spicy, I left them whole so that I could remove them if necessary. Being the chili-head I’ve become, though, I should’ve had more confidence in my spice-tolerance because i ended up eating 3 of the chilis whole. I think slicing them up will allow their seeds to disperse more of the capsaicin throughout the dish. MMmmm.

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