One of the great things about living in Sydney means having easy access to Thai food. Over the last 15 years, I've seen Thai food become what Chinese take-away used to be. You can pretty much find a Thai restaurant in almost every suburb. It's not surprising though. I love Chinese food but I think these days the average Thai is probably better than the average Chinese take-away. Thai tends to be less greasy, packed with flavour and most dishes are abundant with vegetables.
And how good are those cheap Thai lunch deals? This pad kra pao or Thai basil chicken was inspired by one of the lunch deals I had from our local Thai. It was so delicious and I thought I'd be pretty chuffed if I learned how to make it myself. I had a couple of tries before I got the flavours right and I used Mark Wien's eatingthaifood recipe as a guide. Well, I am chuffed, so chuffed because the recipe passed with flying colours and I can share it with you.
200 g minced chicken
2 long red chillies, or as many as you can take, sliced crosswise into .5 cm pieces
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
30-40 Thai basil leaves
4 T vegetable oil
1 T oyster sauce
2 t light soy sauce
1 t dark soy sauce
1 t sugar
Heat 2 T of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Fry egg according to how runny you want your yolk to be but allow the edges of the egg white to become golden brown and crispy. Set aside on a plate. Drain excess oil.
Crush garlic and chilli in a mortar and pestle until they are well combined.
In a small bowl, add sauces and sugar and mix until sugar has dissolved.
Place 2 T oil into the wok and turn up to medium-high heat. Fry garlic and chilli until the garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds, making sure not to burn them. Add chicken, breaking up the mince as you stir. Cook for about 2-3 mins or until done. Add sauce mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds. You can put in a splash of water if it gets too dry. Toss in basil leaves and immediately remove wok from heat.
Arrange mince on top of rice with the fried egg. Serve with some sliced cucumber and enjoy your Thai lunch special!
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