Thai Basil Pork


Adrian and I have been obsessed with Thai Basil Pork ever since we visited Thailand in 2012. I have a fuzzy memory about how we actually discovered the dish there – I think one of our Thai friends recommended it, but couldn’t quite explain what it was. We thought the name was funny enough that we set out to learn its true components and master them when we got home. And that we did! It’s jam packed with flavor and quick to make, which means that we make it at least once a month!

Below is our recipe that we’ve adapted from several different variations online. I’ve tried to make notes where you can adjust ingredients if you don’t have access to them. But if you’re not sure what they are (maybe you’ve never heard of holy basil), do Google them! They’re worth learning about and even trying.


Thai Basil Pork

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 4

3 Limes, juice of, divided
1.25 lb ground pork, chicken, turkey, or beef
4 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 green onions, sliced thin
10 bird’s eye chilies, minced (less for mild, more for Thai spicy)
3 tbsp toasted rice, divided
2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
1.75 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 bunches holy basil, stems removed (sweet basil and Thai basil work well)
¼ tsp ground white pepper + more for garnish
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve
4 Fried Eggs

While prepping above ingredients, marinate pork with juice of one lime.

Add oil into a heated wok. Add chopped garlic, shallots, and green onions. Stir fry until aromatic, then add the pork. Use the spatula to quickly stir-fry and break the pork into small lumps.

When the pork changes color, toss in the chilies, 2 tbsp toasted rice, and the seasonings (fish sauce, palm sugar, and sweet soy sauce) and continue to stir-fry.

Add in the basil leaves and do a few quick stirs until the basil leaves are wilted. Sprinkle in ground white pepper powder, do a final stir, and and serve immediately over steamed jasmine rice, garnished with toasted rice, a dash of ground white pepper, and topped with a fried egg.