Moo Pad Kra-Pow!

Gai Pad Krapow!

This started when I saw TGWAE‘s Flickr photostream where she had a Moo (or is it Gai?) Pad Krapow cookout and it looked so good that I was psyched to cook me some Pad Krapow!

And then I saw Su-Lin‘s photo and post of her version of Moo Pad Krapow! I was hooked.

I used Michele Humes’s recipe for Gai Pad Krapow! on Serious Eats as a base which I adapted to the techniques that my mom taught me.

Firstly, I think there’s a world wide shortage of Thai Basil. I’ve been looking for it and I still can’t find any in the shops around my area. This is most unfortunate because Thai Basil has a more delicate flavor. I had to substitute with Italian Basil which, ironically, is grown and imported from Thailand.


Anyway, instead of whole Basil leaves which can be overwhelming when you bite into, I decided to julienne them so as to allow them to be part of the background flavors to support the pork (or chicken) and French beans. Likewise, I chopped everything finely and kept the French Beans (Green Beans to you Yanks) small. This way every bite will contain a bit of everything.

Michele Humes pours the Thai Fish Sauce and the sugar directly into the pan (my mom would grimace in horror at this), but I prefer (like most Asians) to prepare the sauce in a bowl first because it gives better control. As Thai cooking is a balance of sweet, sour, salty and savory, in addition to the Fish Sauce and sugar, I added the juice of 1 Lime (it’s traditional to use Small Limes but I found that the flavor of a 1/3 of a Big Lime to be more delicious especially with the chicken) and 2 teaspoons of Sesame oil. Mixed it and let it settle and “harmonize”.

Oh yes, because Thai Fish Sauce is extremely salty, I used only 1 tablespoon instead of the 2 suggested in the recipe. Add to taste, I guess.

I Was Making The Sauce When I Realized That Lime Would Balance The Saltiness Out

The other difference is that I cook the meat slightly first this is because meat tends to take longer to cook, so if you cook meat and veg together, you will get undercooked meat and/or overcooked vegetables. I was taught to add the ingredients in this order: Garlic, Onions (Shallots are in shortage too), Chilli and then the main ingredient (Meat or Veg).

It was then when I discovered that cooking with Chili should be done in a very well-ventilated kitchen with massive fans blowing. If not, like me, you’ll end up choking on the chili padi fumes. The chilies are the Pow! in Krapow!

Anyway, I removed the partially-cooked meat into a bowl to let it develop some juice and started on the vegetables using some of the leftover Garlic and Onion. After cooking the vegetables to Al Dente, I added the meat (which by then would have developed some juices) into my wok and finally the sauce to mix with the meat juices. A further stir-fry to reduce the sauce (while “braising” everything slightly), you finally get some good eating.


Lessons learnt: I am frackking inconsistent in cooking eggs sunny-side up. Some days I can do it perfectly but sometimes (mostly when I’m distracted) I end up with an overcooked disaster like you see in the first photo. Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow) seems to absorb the flavors of everything better than the Pork, but it looks a little pale compared to the pork. I like the Pork (Moo Pad Krapow) better because the colors look more appetizing and as we all learned from the movie Babe, Pork is a nice sweet meat.

Oh yes, Thailand has lots of good eats, but I wouldn’t want to swim there.

In the end, whether it is Gai Pad Krapow or Moo Pad Krapow, this is a cheap and easy one-dish meal that anyone can enjoy cooking and eating.

Moo Pad Krapow!

Posted on 1st Apr 2009 in Food and Drink, Meat, Recipes, Thai


There Are 5 Comments


Su-Lin commented on April 2, 2009 at 6:06 am

Looks dang good! I’ve gotta try the chicken version.


ivan commented on April 3, 2009 at 8:02 am

Thanks! I forgot to mention that I marinated the chicken and pork with a teaspoon of sesame oil to sweeten and “oil” the meats slightly. I think this is important especially for the chicken because we get very lean minced chicken here which is usually dry and tasteless on its own. | Robert Rainford in Singapore commented on June 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm

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[…] about it. However, he was invited to a magnificent Popiah Party by Weylin, was inspired to cook Moo Pad Krapow by TGWAE, similarly, a experiment on claypot rice was conducted by this blog who also helped a few […]


[…] Gai Pad Krapow […]

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