Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil) top view

Authentic Pad Kra Pao Moo Recipe – Thai Stir Fried Pork with Holy Basil

Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil) is one of my favorite ways to eat Thai Holy Basil. Thai Holy Basil is a peppery and pungent alternative to the traditional Thai basil you often see used in stir frys and curries. This dish has few ingredients and comes together in less than 10 minutes, making it the perfect way to take your taste buds on a trip to Thailand without breaking the bank!

Pad Kra Pao Moo with thai basil top view

How I Came Across Thai Holy Basil

I am a big fan. Actually of all basils.

So naturally, the first time I heard there was a Thai Holy basil, I was very keen on trying it.

I think the first time I came across this was when I was watching a video by Mark Wiens. (He has a pretty extensive blog on Thai street food, worth checking out.)

Ever since seeing that and having my first taste, it easily became one of my favorite herbs.

The only other dish I’ve used this for is Thai basil chicken (Mark’s version).

That is another super easy and super tasty dish that isn’t that different from this one!

Sourcing Thai Holy Basil

If you have difficulty sourcing Thai Holy basil, your best bet may be to grow your own!

I actually bought my seeds on Amazon and they germinated really well!

It grows quickly just like regular basil and if you have an Aerogarden or grow it hydroponically, you’ll be able to harvest within 3-4 weeks of planting.

Here’s some that I grew earlier this year!

thai holy basil planted side view

Holy Basil tea

Thai Holy Basil has another name, Tulsi and is used medicinally in Ayurveda (as a tea).

Since I had a steady supply of the leaves, I gave the tea a try.

The tea tastes just like the leaves, nice and peppery. And I thought it was pretty tasty with a little sugar.

There’s different recipes you can try, some with just water and some with tea leaves or other things mixed in.

If you’ve had basil ice cream or mint tea, you know how the aromatic flavors can add some character to the mix.

That’s what Holy Basil did for me.

It’s a nice way to cool down and get refreshed, especially on a hot day!

thai holy basil and garlic on chopping board top view

Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil)

See that (above)?

Those are the dominant flavors in this dish.

Garlic and basil.

They’re best friends.

If you like both, I think you’ll have a good chance of liking this dish!

Of course you have your sauces too, but the garlic and basil are a powerful combo and are probably my favorite part of this dish!

Serve this with jasmine rice, fried egg, maybe even some Prik Pao and you are set!!

Let me know what you think!

Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil) all day i eat

(video demo below!)

In case you missed them, here are some of my other Thai recipes!

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Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil)

Pad Kra Pao Moo (Stir Fried Pork with Thai Holy Basil) top view

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  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Thai


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 100 grams Ground pork ((1/4 cup))
  • red pepper or thai chile to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (i used 3 crabs)
  • 1 teaspoon black soy sauce
  • 1 dash sugar
  • 23 tablespoons water
  • 1 large handful holy basil leaves (rinsed)


  1. Add oil to hot wok or cast iron.
  2. Crush garlic and add to pan.
  3. Stir fry until just turning brown and quickly add pork.
  4. Break it up into little bits as much as possible.
  5. Add sauces and sugar and mix in.
  6. Once mostly absorbed, add the water and the basil leaves.
  7. If cooking egg, push meat and basil aside to make space for egg.
  8. Add egg and fry until to desired doneness. (I like mine runny!)
  9. Serve with hot jasmine rice and Prik Pao if desired~
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5 thoughts on “Authentic Pad Kra Pao Moo Recipe – Thai Stir Fried Pork with Holy Basil”

    1. thank you! i’ve been experimenting with different thai basils and haven’t found too much of a difference in flavor. do you have a favorite?

      1. I’ve only tried one version … Thai Silver Queen basil, available from Canadian sources.

        Here’s a post with a picture of one scraggly specimen. 🙂

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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