Thai Kra Pao recipe


When I think about the final recipe that should wrap up this winter term, I imagine savoury flavours, freshness, and spice. It is the perfect trio, where the heat is accompanied by flavours of umami and relieved by freshness. This is my ideal end to a cold (but fluctuating) winter – Thai Kra Pao.


A large pan or wok 

A spatula 


½ pound of ground pork, chicken or turkey

½ cup of string beans (chopped into bite size) 

¼ cup of whole Thai basil or alternatively sweet basil

5 cloves of garlic (minced) 

3-4 red Thai chillies (thinly sliced) 

2 shallots (thinly sliced) 

1 tbsp of oyster sauce 

1 tbsp of soy sauce 

1 tbsp of fish sauce (optional)

2 tbsp of water 

1 tsp of brown sugar 

A pinch of salt 

Oil of your choice 


In a pan lightly greased with oil, combine garlic and shallots at medium heat until the garlic is golden and the shallots are softened. Turn the heat to high, and add ground meat, chopped string beans, Thai chillies, sugar, water, salt, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and the optional fish sauce. Stir until the meat is cooked and add in the Thai basil. Cook until the basil is slightly wilted — this should take about 2-3 minutes. Serve with rice.

This recipe is somewhat different from what I usually cook, but I firmly believe in experimenting with different cultures, spices, and flavours. It is something new and fresh, to be savoured for the rest of the year as a staple dish — a forever bookmark to the season’s end.