Posted by: Shanna Germain | 08/07/2009

Pg. 129: Tweaked Pad Ga-Prao

Have you ever listened to The Splendid Table, on National Public Radio? If so, you know there’s this wonderful section where listeners phone in and they try to stump the host by telling her what’s in their fridge. She then has to make a meal out of it. I used to listen to The Splendid Table a lot when I still had a real job (read: a forty-minute commute each way to the newspaper office and back), and I never once heard her get stumped, even when you knew that callers were making up the stuff in their fridge just to be jerks. “Hm… let’s see, I have half a week-old lemon wrapped in fish skin, a jar of my Aunt Elda’s rhubarb-chili marmalade and some soft-boiled grouse eggs.” And she wouldn’t even blink. She would just go, “hmm.. well if you marinate the eggs in the marmalade, and then wrap them in the fish skin and throw them in the oven for about twenty minutes at 400 degrees, and then use the lemon rind as a seasoning…”

As awed as I am by her ability to make anything out of nothing, I don’t have that trait. Instead, I turn to the Internet. Last night I typed in “pork” + “basil” because I had a lot of both, and last time the basil lasted for about a day before it was covered in mites, and so using this one as soon as possible seemed like a rather fine idea.

The search brought up Pad Ga-Prao, a quick and easy Thai dish made with holy basil and chopped pork. Neither of which I had. But I decided to wing it any way, since I happened to have eggs and rice. You can see the original recipe here, if you’re not willing to try my half-assed version. But I will tell you that the outcome was fantastic (and the ingredients will make two meals, fyi)



  • Olive Oil
  • Four cloves of garlic, diced
  • Red pepper flakes, chili powder, curry spices or some combination of the above, depending on how spicy you like your food
  • Red and yellow peppers, sliced in long thin strips
  • Two pork chops, also sliced in thin strips
  • Soy sauce and sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Rice
  • Fresh basil


  1. Start the rice. If you don’t know how to make rice, don’t ask me, because I suck at it.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan on med-high heat. Add the garlic and spices and stir until browned.
  3. Add the peppers. Stir and cook until just a little soft.
  4. Add the pork, a couple dashes of soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar. Stir and cook.
  5. While the pork is cooking, fry the eggs in a separate pan.
  6. Just before you’re ready to eat, drop the basil leaves in and stir until they’re wilted.
  7. Throw the rice on a plate, add the egg on one side and the pork-mixture on the other.
  8. Eat. Say “mmmmm” with your mouth full. If you make it as spicy as I did, have water handy.

Far and fast, and full of food, s.


“We seek excellence by constant trial and error.” ~Master Jin Kwon



  1. i knew i was smelling something good!!!

    back then (back then in this case means years ago when i still watched tv) we had a very cool tv show here in germany where chefs/cooks ringend on foreign peoples doors and asked them if they are allowed to cook for them with whats in their fridge..that was an awsome show actually..:-) reminds me totally of your radio show…-)

    • Oh, that sounds like a show I’d actually watch! I want someone to come and cook what’s in my fridge too!!!

  2. Do I ever listen to Splendid Table??? One of my favorite parts is the interview with the couple who travel around sampling restaurants around the country….can’t remember their names right now.

    Holy mother of whore food Shanna! That is brilliant! Looks sexy too. VERY impressed!

    • Hehehe. Of course, I thought of you when I was writing that.

      And you can’t be impressed — I’ve seen you cook. You’re amazing in the kitchen, apron or not 🙂

  3. no problem..let me look into your fridge and i ll cook you something you will love..:-)

  4. that looks so yummy.. I am going to have to try it and let you know how it goes.

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