Phat Kaphrao is a sweet and spicy recipe originating in Thailand that uses a special ingredient known as holy basil. 

Holy basil is a particular kind of basil that is only easily accessible outside of the United States and is known to have medicinal purposes. 

Although the original phat kaphrao uses holy basil, you can recreate those same flavors using Thai basil or sweet basil. The spicy chilies meld with the basil to create a tangy and delicious dish!

This simple recipe can also be made in less than 30 minutes and is great for a quick lunch or dinner. 

There are many versions of this dish that can incorporate ground beef, chicken or seafood instead of pork. You can choose to add plenty of chilies for added spice or keep it mellow by adding shallots.

Many even tend to add a variety of vegetables like asparagus beans, carrots, onions and a few others. 

This dish is commonly served by food vendors throughout Thailand, and can be found at many Thai restaurants in the United States, but with a recipe so simple, it is great to make at home! 

If you’d like to make pad kaphrao for yourself, follow the steps below.


  1. In your mortar and pestle, add chilies, garlic and shallot. Blend together until you form a thick paste.
  2. Heat a wok or pan on medium-high heat and add oil.
  3. Once hot, add the paste. Stir and let cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the pork and incorporate with paste.
  5. Continuing stirring until the pork is fully cooked and brown.
  6. Add all of the sauces and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Let simmer for 1-2 minute to let the flavors meld together.
  8. Lastly, add the basil and let cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the basil is soft.
  9. Serve with white rice and optionally, a fried egg.
  10. Enjoy!!


  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1 shallot
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3-6 thai chilies (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1-1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups thai basil or holy basil

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