I finally had some time off this past weekend. It has been a busy and stressful couple of weeks and it ain't over by any stretch of the imagination. Things are starting normalize as I finally got a chance to enjoy a couple of cookbooks that arrived during that period which I hadn't had the chance to open. So during the weekend, the one I opened first was Andy Ricker's Pok Pok. I've eaten at Pok Pok in PDX a couple of times and really enjoyed the food, which really did remind me of what came out of all those wonderful street stands in Thailand.
A couple of recipes jumped out at me and I decided to start with an easy one for breakfast the next day, the Kai Kaphrao Khai Dao.
Free range ground chicken, organic eggs, and greens and peppers from our garden.
One of the main ingredients in this dish is the kaphrao...."Hot" Basil, also known as Holy Basil. So early Sundya morning I headed off to Minh Huong Market and got some Holy Basil.
The recipes are quite precise; even though I deviated to our tastes, I appreciated the gram based measurements.
I've taken to measuring things fairly well nowadays and I basically changed a couple of things to fit our tastes and what we had in our pantry. More garlic, more fish sauce, more chilies, which didn't over-power the dish at all. The long beans looked terrible so we decided not to buy any. In terms of timing; in the book, the chef cooks his eggs first and places them on the side while doing the rest of the dish, making this a basic one-wok process. I prepped and completed the stir-fry portion up to the point of adding the hot basil, then started on the eggs....I also added some coconut oil for cooking as well. Once the eggs were almost done, I put the wok back on the flame, heated and added the basil to finish.
This turned out real well though the Missus told me She prefers regular Thai Basil in this.......
Kai Kaphrao Khai Dao
12 ounces ground chicken
3 Tb Fish Sauce
2 Tb Dark Soy Sauce
3 Tsp white sugar
3 Tb grated garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
6 Thai Chilies sliced
2 Red Serrano Chilies thinly sliced
3 dried chilies crumbled
2 Cups loosely packed Hot (Holy) Basil
2 Tb grapeseed oil
2 Tb grapeseed oil
1 Tb coconut oil
- Combine fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar
- Heat the wok over high heat. When the oil is smoking remove it from heat, add the garlic and stir quickly.
- When the garlic starts to brown slightly, place back on the heat and add the onions and fresh chilies. Stir until fragrant.
- Add the chicken and stir fry, breaking up the ground chicken.
- When the chicken is almost done, add the fish sauce mixture and dried chilies, and combine well
- After about 30 seconds add the dark soy sauce - 1Tb first, until the color is right.
- Stir fry until the liquid has been completely absorbed by the meat.
- Start eggs in grapeseed and coconut oil
- When eggs are almost done as desired, put wok back on heat and mix in hot basil
Serve up with Jasmine Rice.....makes about 2-3 servings
Every once in a while I'll get an email asking where to get items like Holy Basil or Cha Om.
My usual recommendation is that they check out Minh Huong Supermarket.
Even if you're not looking for anything in particular and are in the general vicinity, drop by.....
You'll see some items you won't find in your local neighborhood Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean market. On this day we saw some young women with Thanaka, the distinctive Burmese cosmetic paste applied to their faces. Something I'd never seen in San Diego.
Minh Huong Supermarket
4029 Euclid Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105