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Simplifying Thai Cuisine at Royal Orchid, Abu Dhabi – Workshop on Phat Kaphrao – Stir fried holy Basil Leaves (Video)

Phat Kaphrao or Pad Kaprao is also known as Phat Krapow or Pad Kra Pao. Holy Basil is called Kaphrao or Krapow in Thai Language. It is different from the normal Basil.

The differences lie in several areas with the key area being flavor. Thai basil is known primarily for being sweet. It has a strong licorice and anise note that allows it to stand out in Thai curries and soups. The anise note is so strong and so sweet that you can eat Thai basil raw.

Holy basil brings another flavor profile to the table in that it is intensely spicy, so much so that it is sometimes referred to as hot basil. When consumed raw, holy basil has a slight numbing effect on the tongue that is similar to the effect of Szechuan pepper. The flavor is more like a combination of black pepper and clove than like the sweeter notes of Thai basil. It tends to get even spicier as it is cooked.

https://www.spiceography.com/thai-basil-vs-holy-basil/

As a stir fried dish, Phat Kaphrao can be made primarily with chicken, prawns or meat of choice. It can be a vegetarian stir fry with vegetables, with the omission of both fish and oyster sauce. Just make it with light soya and dark soya sauce. The fresh combination of ingredients would make the vegetarian dish deliver its flavour.

Let’s plunge straight into making Phat Kaphrao.

Ingredients

  • cooking oil
  • spicy red chillies
  • garlic
  • long beans
  • holy basil leaves
  • vegetable stock
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • light soya sauce
  • dark soya sauce
  • chicken powder (optional)
  • salt

Note: the spice level demonstrated here is on the higher side. Please adjust chillies as preferred.

Making of Stir-fried Holy Basil

Chef Vitug demonstrated the stir fry with prawns .

Next, the special dessert is on its way!!

Simplifying Thai Cuisine at Royal Orchid, Abu Dhabi – Workshop on Thai Green, Yellow and Red Curry (Video)

Having enjoyed the tangy Salad and the refreshing Soup, it was time to plunge into three of the most favoured curries of Thai Cuisine- Green, Yellow and Red Curry.

Chef showed the difference in the curry pastes, while making the three flavourful, yet distinct curries.

The basic herbs and spices that are blended to make the three curry pastes are – garlic, shallots, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime rind, coriander root, cumin seeds, lemongrass, salt, white peppercorns. 

There is one specific ingredient that is added to the explicit curries, to make it the colour of choice.

Green curry – Pandan Leaf extract, which gives the green colour to the curry. Not red chillies, but green chillies are added.

Red Curry – Dried Long Red chillies give the red colour.

Yellow Curry – Red chillies are added for spice; freshly ground turmeric is the key ingredient for the yellow curry.

NOTE: Since most of the bottled curry pastes available in the market, would have shrimp paste added to it, please check the ingredients before purchasing. If one needs a vegetarian curry paste, ask for it. There are a few brands that make vegetarian Thai green/yellow and red curry pastes.

Flexibility to combine with vegetables, meat or sea food

Whether one desires a curry with vegetables, or has an appetite for non-vegetarian stuff – feel free to experiment. The aromatic blend of spices goes well with vegetables, meats, fish and prawns alike. The extravagant taste comes from the final amalgamation of rich and creamy coconut milk with the spice paste.

These are a few common combinations-

Green Curry with vegetables

Red Curry with Chicken and Eggplant

Yellow curry with chicken and potatoes

The video shot was that of Thai Green Curry. In order to show the colourful variation the paste makes, when mixed with coconut milk, I share these photos…

Red Curry

Yellow curry

Making of Thai Green Curry – VIDEO

That truly simplified cooking Thai curries. Didn’t that!!