I LOVE THAI FOOD, AND ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITES IS PAD KRA PAO. IT'S TOTALLY DROOL-WORTHY, AND LIKE MOST THAI DISHES, IT HITS ALL THE RIGHT FLAVOR NOTES.
So what’s the secret to good Pad Kra Pao? Thai Basil!
This ingredient is a must, and if you try and sub with regular basil, I’m sorry, but it just isn’t going to taste the same. Thai basil is also known as holy basil, or tulsi. It has a more sharp, spicy flavor, and it’s what makes the dish what it is.
Traditionally the recipe calls for a dash of dark soy sauce, but since I couldn’t find a clean version of this, I omitted it from the recipe. The only difference I could see was the color. The dark soy sauce gives the dish a much more rich brown glaze. Taste-wise, it didn’t make a significant difference for me.
“Clean” Paleo compliant Asian Sauces which are my go-to’s when making Asian food.
Using a Mortar & Pestle is how they do it in Thailand. It really draws out the oils to give the dish it’s base flavors.
Lastly, I use a mortar & pestle to pound the garlic & chili together. I find this helps bring out the oils and flavors, and this is how you would traditionally see these ingredients prepared in Thailand. If you don’t have a mortar & pestle, you can simply chop the garlic & chili.
I hope you guys love this clean version of Pad Kra Pao as much as I do!