Stir-fried minced pork with basil and rice but without cooking oil, anyone?

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

STIR-FRIED MINCED PORK with basil and rice, better known as Pad Kaprao Moo Sab Rad Khao, may look utterly plain and commonplace anywhere in Thailand. But that particular type of street food is delicately different at a certain food shop in Rayong.

At Kalaya ”Auntie Ya” Yai-on’s roadside food shop in Chak Bok subdistrict of Baan Khai district of the eastern province, no cooking oil is used at all. Auntie Ya simply comments that no cooking oil really makes the omnipresent, everyday Thai dish taste better.

Auntie Ya stir-fries her minced pork without soybean oil or lard and sees no ingredients left sticking hard on her wok. Undoubtedly, she has a secret to it all and says rival food shops might somehow find it out and probably imitate sooner or later.

The stir-fried minced pork with basil and rice without cooking oil tastes so strikingly good that the Baan Khai woman sells hundreds of dishes of her Pad Kaprao Moo Sab Rad Khao in less than six hours daily, thanks to her distinguished, yet secret recipe.

People have been so accustomed to cooking oil, ranging from soybean oil and palm oil to pig lard, they may arbitrarily judge that fried food would not taste delicious or the heated fibers would get too stiff without it. Many seem to forget about the fact that the minced meat has more or less fat of its own to melt in the frying wok, she says.

Given no cooking oil which would otherwise unnecessarily incur more costs, Auntie Ya serves each of her best-selling dishes of stir-fried minced pork with basil and rice for only 20 baht. As no cooking oil is available at Auntie Ya’s, no fried eggs which may have otherwise capped up the favourite dish are served.

She dares her customers to find any other food shops, let alone restaurants, where the famous, omnipresent Thai dish may be served for a price as low, either with or without cooking oil.


Stir-fried minced pork with basil and rice but cooked with oil not as Auntie Ya prepares it without any type of oil. Photos: Thai Rath

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