Tofu & Holy Basil Stir-Fry |
Pad Kra Prow is another national dish found on many a Thai street corner, and that includes the vegetarian version. In Thailand they use holy basil, the very pungent sister of Italian basil, which is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. You’ll notice the sudden bursts of aroma from the wok as soon as you start tossing the ingredients together over a high heat – it’s a smell that awakens the senses every time.
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Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 2


  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 150g (5½oz) of firm tofu or textured vegetable protein, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp of sugar
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ red pepper, sliced
  • ¼ yellow pepper, sliced
  • 30g (1oz) of yard-long beans or green beans, cut into 2cm (¾ inch) pieces
  • Handful of holy basil leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • Steamed jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Using either a pestle and mortar, grind the chillies and garlic to a paste. Heat the oil in a wok set over a high heat. Add the chilli and garlic mixture and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until nice and golden brown.
  2. Now add the tofu or TVP chunks, both soy sauces, the palm sugar and white pepper and cook, tossing everything around in the pan, for about one minute, until the tofu or TVP is well coated and has taken on a little colour from the sauces.
  3. Once everything is mixed well, add the onion, peppers and long beans and cook for a further 30 seconds, all the while tossing the mixture together. Throw in the basil and lime leaves and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds. Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

Rosa’s Thai Café: the Vegetarian Cookbook by Saiphin Moore, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 


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