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Crispy pork with holy basil

Serves: 4

Cook time: 20 minutes

Authentic Thai cuisine

the classics, pork, stir fries

Difficulty: Not as Easy

This dish is a twist on the Thai classic pad kraprow (a stir-fry with fragrant holy basil). I added it to my repertoire during my time in Hong Kong, where I spent a lot of time experimenting with new ingredients. Crispy pork is a very common ingredient in Chinese cooking, so I thought I’d try it in one of my favourite Thai recipes. It was delicious. Here in England, you can sometimes find ready-made crispy pork in Chinese supermarkets, but it’s also easy to make your own. Just buy a slice of pork belly from your local butcher, score the skin and rub the fat with salt, then grill until it’s golden brown and crispy. Basically, it’s like the crackling you get with your Sunday roast.

Tools: Wok, Pestle And Mortar


8 garlic cloves
8 Thai red chillies, finely chopped
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
600g (10oz) crispy pork, cubed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
8 tablespoons chicken stock
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
200g (7oz) green beans, cut into 5cm (2 inch) pieces
10 holy basil or Thai basil leaves
Steamed rice, to serve


  1. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic and chillies into a rough paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok set over a medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chilli and garlic paste and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  4. Stir in the pork, then add the soy and oyster sauces, stock and sugar.
  5. Stir- fry for a further minute, then add the beans. Keep stiring until the pork is heated through.
  6. At the last minute, add the basil leaves, stir for 20 seconds, then take off the heat and serve piping hot with steamed rice.

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