Stir-fried minced pork with Thai basil and chilli oil

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Shu Han Lee serves up a stunning stir-fried minced pork recipe, flavoured with oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and some chilli oil for a fiery kick. Thai basil lends a beautiful aromatic quality to this quick and easy midweek dish.

First published in 2018

This is one of my weeknight go-to recipes – inspired by a Thai street food favourite, pad kra pao. I love how the subtle hints of aniseed and clove in Thai basil transforms the humble minced pork. I’ve swapped out the usual fish sauce, sugar and fresh bird’s eye chilli for dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and chilli oil. Dark soy and oyster sauce lend the dish a deep glossy colour and a lovely caramel sweetness. Chiu Chow Chilli oil is my favourite little trick to add not just heat, but an aromatic depth to stir-fries.




For the stir-fry

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • chilli oil, 1–2 tbsp depending on your spice preference

To finish

  • 2 tbsp of chicken stock, or water
  • 50g of Thai basil

To serve


Whisk the ingredients for the sauce together till well-blended
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle in the groundnut oil. Add the sliced shallots and let cook for a minute, until they turn lightly golden at the edges
Turn the heat up and add in the minced pork. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking up the pork into small bits. Add the garlic and continue frying for another 2 minutes until the pork, shallots, and garlic take on a nice golden brown colour
Stir in the sauce and fry for another minute until the edges of the pork start to caramelise from the sugars in the dark soy sauce
Add the stock or water to deglaze the wok/ pan. The liquid should cook off pretty quickly because we’re cooking on high heat
Turn the heat off and stir in the Thai basil, letting it wilt in the residual heat of the pan
Serve immediately over warm steamed jasmine rice
First published in 2018

Shu grew up in Singapore and continues her nation's obsession with food in London, where she writes about food that's seasonal, British, yet Singaporean at the same time.

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