som saa - recipes On The Pass

Pad grapow nuea khae - stir fry of cull yaw, chillies and holy basil by @somsaa_london


Pad grapow is one of Thailand's great street food dishes. Simple, quick, versatile and can be eaten any time of the day. It can be made with almost any meat and often come topped with a crisp semi fried egg. The egg is optional but we will put a method down below if you want to try.

Yields enough for 1 person


½ a shallot

1 ½ peeled garlic cloves

2 - 3 red birdseye chillies

A pinch of sea salt 

Pound the shallot in a mortar and pestle a couple of times first to break it up a bit then add the rest and pound to a coarse paste.

For the stir fry

1Tbsp of vegetable oil

100g minced cull yaw 

2 long red chillies sliced long and around the seeds

1 long green chilli sliced long and around the seeds

2 - 3 Snake beans cut into 1 inch pieces

Holy basil and or cumin leaf 

A pinch of ground toasted clove

A pinch of ground toasted coriander seed

A pinch of ground toasted cumin seed

1Tbsp of fish sauce 

1 pinch of golden caster sugar

100 ml light chicken stock 

If you have a wok and a wok burner by all means use that but if not you can use a wide fry pan. Heat your pan of choice to a medium heat add the vegetable oil and fry the paste until you can smell the chilli and the shallot looks slightly translucent.

Add the minced cull yaw and and break up into the paste. Now increase the heat. Once all the cull yaw is sealed add the long chillies and snake beans stir fry a little longer add spices and fish sauce then chicken stock allow the liquid to evaporate slightly. Finally finish the dish with the basil or cumin leaf. Taste the dish. The basil should be wilted completely and it should be hot and salty with an underlying hum of dry spices. It should be served a bit wet over jasmine rice. 

Crispy fried egg

Vegetable oil 

Chicken or duck egg

In a small fry pan pour enough oil for it to be 1 ½ cm deep. Put this on the heat and while the oil is coming up to temperature crack your egg into a teacup or small bowl. Keep a close eye on the oil and wait until you see whispers of smoke. Tilt the pan away from you and drag the furthest away edge over the flame. Carefully pour the egg into the oil giving it a gentle jiggle in the hope it will seal before breaking the yolk. At this point the egg should be mostly submerged in oil any parts that are exposed can be basted with the hot oil for 10 to 15 seconds. Once the egg looks like it is golden and crispy underneath You can gently flip it using a fish flip. You will only need to cook the egg for another 5 or so seconds just to seal the side that is now in the oil whilst making sure you don’t overcook the yolk.