Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick Lunch Idea: Pad Ga Prao or Spicy Minced Beef with Thai Sweet Basil

Fried Minced Beef with Thai Sweet Basil Singlish Swenglish

This dish always reminded me of that one trip I took with a Thai couple so many years back.  I had a male colleague who was a architect turned designer and now turned Thai restaurant owner in California with his wife (Check out their Facebook page at  They are the nicest and most creative couple I have ever known and I am still glad they let me tag along and be a light bulb on their trip from Singapore to Phi-Phi Island. Mind you, we didn't travel by the usual route of budget airlines but took a tour bus from Golden Mile Complex (Singapore), all the way to Hat Yai (southern Thailand near the Malaysia border) and then boat to a less-known island (Trang something) before heading for Phi-Phi Island. AND, then we just took the bus back again all the way to Singapore. Needless to say, this is probably the once-in-a-lifetime thing I would probably do for traveling exclusively on buses and the way back is probably one of the longest I've ever experienced.

However, being with them was a really authentic and interesting experience. Besides getting to see the not-so-tourist side of things and traveling on off-beat tracks, the food was fantastic and I got to eat many good Thai dishes and this was one I really liked and I ate it almost everyday on Phi Phi Island. I used to cook it with this ready sauce from Knorr, but I can't find it anymore so have to resort to cooking it from scratch. Having said that, if you have all the ingredients at hand, it's really a matter of stir-frying everything in one pan. I like it with a nice fried egg on top of rice and it has been my first choices for quick and fast lunches/dinner.

So James and Nooch, this post is dedicated to you!

Ingredients (2-3 portions as a side dish with rice)
1 egg (if you like a fried egg with your rice)
250-400g minced Beef (or pork or chicken)
1 onion, quarted
2-3 bird chili, chopped
1/2 or 1 paprika, sliced thinly
A good handful of sweet thai basil (This is different from holy basil!)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce or to taste
Sugar to taste

Pad Ga Prao Spicy Minced Beef with Thai Sweet Basil Singlish Swenglish

  1. Heat up a pan with 2 tablespoon cooking oil till hot fry the egg first. Remove and set aside before adding in the onion and fry until slightly soften before adding the minced beef to brown slightly.
  2. Add in the paprika, bird chili and basil. Mix well before adding the oyster sauce and fish sauce. Add some sugar to taste or bring down the heat of the chili according to your liking. Add some water if required, otherwise let it simmer till the minced meat is done and the paprika is soften.

    Pad Ga Prao Spicy Minced Beef with Thai Sweet Basil Singlish Swenglish
  3. Dish it over rice, add in your fried egg and eat!

    Pad Ga Prao Spicy Minced Beef with Thai Sweet Basil Singlish Swenglish

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