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Beef stir fried with Holy Basil

This is a quick and easy dish to make. The holy basil has a "hot
peppery" taste, but if you can't get it then the standard european basil
is a reasonable substitute, though you should add a little freshly
ground black pepper in this case.

prik ki nu - called mouse dropping chilis, or dynamite chilis - are the best chili to use, but if you can't get it standard Mexican habanera chilis, or
Scotch Bonnets, will do very well as a substitute. 

Ingredients
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2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped mixed red & green chilis (prik ki nu)
1 teaspoon green peppercorns, whole.
quarter cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped holy basil leaves (bai gaprao)
1 cup sliced onion (any mixture of 'spanish' onions, red onions, shallots 
                    and spring onions can be used).

1 pound ground or minced beef.

Method
------

(my wife chops the beef with a pair of cleavers, and I can't bear to
watch... you can of course use a meat grinder or a food processor)

The garlic, shallots, peppers and peppercorns are ground together in a
mortar & pestle or a food processor. In a hot wok, with a little cooking
oil, briefly stir fry this paste to bring out the flavour and aroma. add
the remaining ingredients, except the onion, and continue to stir until 
the beef is cooked through.

Add the onions, mix thoroughly, and serve.

Serving
-------

For luncheon pad bai kaprao can be served over plain rice, or over a
fried egg or egg crepe, placed on the rice. For dinner it goes well with
the hot and sour tom yum soups, as well as curries and other Thai food.

Add the usual Thai condiments (chilis in fish sauce (prik nam pla),
ground chillis (prik phom) and sugar), as well, perhaps as ground black
pepper.

Variants
--------

It can be made with chopped pork or chicken, though of course the flavours 
are quite different. You can also experiment with replacing the meat with
hard tofu marinated in a mixture of sweet soy, fish sauce and ground 
ginger, say, or a vegetable mix of your choice (I like to mix broccoli 
and cauliflower florets, with julienned carrots and wing beans), to make 
a vegetarian pad bai kaprao.
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.