turkey pad krapow (ผัดกะเพรา)

turkey krapow

a heaping plate of turkey pad krapow

my friend G (yes, the same one who OD’d in my hokkaido reverie) has been spreading the gospel on costco’s ground turkey. apparently, it’s not only low in fat, high in protein but also a true bargain!  $14 buys you 8 lbs or so, which compares to about $5-6 for 1 lb at WF.  then again, i suppose butterball brand ground turkey at costco isn’t exactly organic, free range or anything wholesome like that. life is about choices.

having followed his example and lugged back a 4-pack myself, i set about figuring out what to do with the stuff. turkey meatballs, bolognese turkey sauce, braised “lion’s head”, turkey burgers, turkey patties with salted fish, turkey fried rice, turkey tsukune, and the list goes on and on.  i really should be thanking G’s ground turkey obsession, as it led me to the promised land of thai basil stir-fry or pad krapow.  (i did some digging around and it turns out that the “pad” means  stir-fried and ” krapow” = basil).

i’ve seen chicken pad krapow on most thai menus but very rarely turkey.  i quite like the taste of the turkey version, and i think it’s because i eat it so often that i prefer it to chicken.

Turkey Pad Krapow
(Makes a heaping plate; ~4 servings)

Ground Turkey ~2 lbs (I usually use 1 package of costco’s butterball ground turkey meat)
Shallots 2 bulbs, julienned (yes, you can substitute for a small onion if you haven’t got shallots around)
Chili Peppers You can use any pepper to your liking; however, you should adjust the amount based on your spice tolerance.  For low/med heat, use 1 jalapeño peppers or about 2-3 thai chili peppers.  Please note that I have a rather high spice tolerance, so adjust accordingly.
Basil An entire bunch, leaves only
Veg Oil 2 tbsp
Brown Sugar 2 tbsp
Fish Sauce 4 tbsp
  1. Heat oil in a wok or large pot on med/high heat
  2. Toss in shallots and sautee until lightly browned
  3. Then, add ground turkey.  Stir-fry until browned and the liquid has mostly evaporated
  4. Add in chili peppers
  5. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar into fish sauce
  6. Add the sugar and fish sauce solution into the wok. Stir fry for 30 more seconds
  7. Add in the basil.  Cook for 20 more seconds until the basil has just wilted
  8. Remove from heat and serve with white rice

(NB. this dish is sometimes served with a poached egg on top. the egg yolk running into the pad krapow is really quite tasty)

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4 responses to “turkey pad krapow (ผัดกะเพรา)

  1. I love hearing about your cooking adventures. Lucky are the ones who dine @ your table. 🙂

  2. hey tomato – i hear G also uses makes ground turkey with japanese curry sauce, ground turkey with chajang sauce over noodles and ground turkey with ginger and scallion. do you happen to have recipes for these dishes? ps – i dont think G loves turkey, he just wants to lose 10lbs.

  3. Turkey with japanese curry sounds delicious!

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