That Spicy Chick

Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry

This Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry is exploding with garlicky chili and peppery holy basil flavors, and super easy to stir-fry in under 30 minutes on any given weeknight! This version is made with tender pork collar meat and is extra saucy, and it is incredibly DELICIOUS with a bowl of steamed rice!

Tender and juicy pork collar meat slices, a savory-sweet sauce infused with peppery Thai holy basil and punchy and garlicky hot chili flavors, and lots and LOTS of this delicious sauce to be soaked up by warm steamed rice!

This version of Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry is inspired by the one at my favorite local Thai restaurant here. Well actually, it’s the way I request them to make it for me because I love my:

  • Tender and juicy melt-in-your-mouth pork collar meat.
  • Having PLENTY of the mouthwatering spicy and garlicky sauce to go with my white rice!

Don’t get me wrong. I adore a traditional and classic, less saucy version of a Thai holy basil stir-fry dish made with ground meat too.

But this style of cooking this Thai basil pork dish is exquisite because there’s more of that tasty sauce to enjoy. It’s so flavorful with lots of garlic and chilies, and it’s just as quick and easy to make on a weeknight!

Closeup front view of serving bowl with Thai basil pork and a spoon.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s quick and easy to make on any given weeknight in under 30 minutes. It’s also made in one wok, so there’s less cleanup involved post cooking too.
  • EXTRA saucy! The spicy and garlicky Thai holy basil infused sauce tastes DELICIOUS when soaked up by steamed rice in your bowl!
  • Customizable. You can swap the pork collar for sliced chicken thighs, beef or pork fillet (tenderloin), or even tofu.
  • Flexibility is king. You can make it as spicy or mild or saucy or non-saucy as you like based on your preference!

Ingredient Notes

Labeled sauce ingredients for Thai basil pork stir-fry.
Labeled ingredients for Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry on a wooden board.
  • Pork Collar Meat: I’ve used pork collar meat (also known as pork neck fillet, pork shoulder or Boston Butt) for this stir-fry. The meat is incredibly tender and juicy, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth like texture once cooked because it’s quite fatty. Be sure to slice it thinly against the grain. To flavor the pork pieces, I’ve tossed them in a simple marinade made with a combination of light soy sauce, fish sauce, ground white pepper and corn starch. The corn starch also helps to thicken the sauce. (By the way, if you’re looking for ground/minced meat Thai holy basil stir-fry, my Thai Holy Basil Chicken dish is a less saucy and more traditional version of this classic Thai dish. It’s like the one you’ve eaten in Thai restaurants, but you can customize it and make it with either ground chicken, pork, beef, or turkey.)
  • Fresh Red & Green Chilies: I used a combination of red and green Bird’s eye chilies and Prik Kee Nu green chilies for heat. Thai Prik Kee Nu green chilies are tiny but FIERY HOT. You can omit them and use less Bird’s Eye (or any other hot chilies you can get in your area) for a milder dish. The large red chili is mild and tastes similar to bell pepper. I’ve used it mainly for color and not heat. You can leave it out it if you don’t have it on hand.
  • Thai Holy Basil Leaves: This peppery and slightly spicy flavored Thai herb is the star ingredient in this dish. The stems of holy basil are furry and the leaves have ridges on the sides. Look for it at a Thai grocery store or your local Asian supermarket if you’re based in the U.S. In Asia, you can find it at the Thai stall in your local wet market. If unavailable, substitute with regular Italian basil or Thai sweet basil leaves. Note that Italian basil is closer in flavor to holy basil than Thai sweet basil. However, either will taste great in this dish!
  • Baby Corn (optional): Although not traditionally used in a Thai basil pork stir-fry, I like its mildly sweet nutty flavor and the crunch it adds to the dish. Feel free to omit it if you wish.
  • Clear Chicken Broth: Traditionally, a splash of water or chicken broth is used in a Thai basil pork stir-fry to increase the amount of sauce. However, in this version I use a full cup of chicken broth because I love having extra sauce that can be soaked up by the rice in my bowl! If you prefer not to have too much sauce, reduce the amount of broth you add to ¼ – 3/4 cup.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Cook Thai Basil Pork

1. Prepare the ingredients: Slice and marinate the pork collar with the marinade ingredients. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a measuring cup or bowl and set aside. Slice the yellow onion and baby corn, and pick the holy basil leaves off the stems.

Use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic until nicely bruised. Pro-tip: Leave some chunky pieces so you can taste the garlic in each bite.

Bruised and partly smashed garlic chunks in a mortar.

Transfer the garlic to a small bowl, then use the mortar and pestle to smash the chilies into a coarse paste. This helps to release their spicy oils and infuse the sauce with it.

2. Sauté the pork. In a bit of oil in a large wok over high heat. Cook until the pork collar pieces are lightly browned but still pink in some parts.

3. Add the onion and aromatics. Stir-fry the onion with the pork briefly, then add and stir-fry the smashed garlic and chilies until fragrant.

4. Add the baby corn. Stir-fry briefly to combine. Then pour in the sauce toss until everything is evenly coated in it.

5. Simmer. Pour in the chicken broth and simmer for a minute to let all the flavors meld.

Process steps to make Thai basil pork stir-fry in a wok.

6. Stir in the Thai holy basil leaves. Simmer until wilted, then switch off the heat.

Added holy basil leaves to wok with pork and simmering broth.

Serve! Transfer to a serving bowl/dish and immediately serve with warm steamed rice!

Serving bowl with Thai basil pork and two bowls with steamed white rice.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Don’t remove all the fat from the pork collar. Trimming off a little is fine, but don’t remove all of it as it keeps the meat incredibly juicy and tender during cooking.
  • Flash freeze the pork to make slicing it thinly easier. Place the pork collar in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it firmer. It will be easier to slice it very thinly because freezing will make it less slippery.
  • Smash the garlic and chilies separately. If you smash them together, the garlic will turn into a rough paste with the chilies. Chunky pieces of garlic taste great in the final dish! So bruise the garlic first in the mortar, then smash the chilies into a coarse paste separately.
  • Adjust spice level to taste. Use less or more chilies depending on your heat preference. If you’d like a milder dish, omit the Prik Kee Nu green chilies and chili oil for cooking.
Front view of serving bowl with basil and pork stir-fry.

FAQs

What does Thai holy basil taste like?

Thai holy basil has a peppery and spicy flavor profile, which is why it is also referred to as hot Thai basil.

How to use Thai holy basil?

Thai holy basil is great in stir-fries like Thai Holy Basil Chicken, Pad Kee Mao Gai (Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken), and Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice. You can also use it in fusion dishes like Thai Basil Chicken Spaghetti, Thai Basil Chicken Nachos, or Spicy Thai Basil Wontons.

Are holy basil and Thai basil the same?

Holy basil is different from Thai sweet basil (‘horapa’), which is commonly referred to as just Thai basil. The latter has a sweet-smelling aroma and infuses Thai dishes like Thai Eggplant Stir-fry and Panang Chicken Curry with an intoxicating sweet fragrance. Thai holy basil (‘bai gaprao’ ‘gaprow’, ‘kra pow’, or ‘kaprao’), has a peppery anise-like flavor profile. While Thai sweet basil has purple flowers and the leaves are smooth and glossy in appearance, Thai holy basil leaves have jagged ridges and are not glossy. Holy basil also has furry stems.

Spoon with a bite of Thai basil pork above serving bowl with the dish.

Variations

  • Use a different protein. Sliced boneless and skinless chicken thighs or beef fillet (tenderloin) would work great in this dish! Even pork tenderloin can be used for a leaner option.
  • Make it less saucy. If you’re not a fan of extra saucy dishes, use less chicken broth. Anywhere between ¼-3/4 cup of broth will work and taste great in a slightly dryer version of this Thai basil pork stir-fry.
  • Add more veggies. You can make this your own and add bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, broccoli or any other stir-fry friendly veggies you have in your pantry. There’s plenty of sauce in this dish, so it wouldn’t end up being too dry if you were to add more veggies (or even protein) if you like.
  • Make it vegetarian. Use a vegan fish sauce (or more soy sauce instead of fish sauce), vegetarian mushroom flavored oyster sauce, veggie broth, and diced firm tofu or tempeh instead of pork. If using tofu, add it after you pour in the broth to prevent it from crumbling into pieces early on during stir-frying.
Spoon holding up a bite of pork stir-fry and stir-fry dish in bowl. Text overlay "Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry with Pork Collar" and "thatspicychick.com".

More Easy Thai Stir-fries


MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a STAR rating! I always appreciate your feedback. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick so I can see.

STAY CONNECTED! You can also follow me on PinterestFacebook or InstagramSign up for my email list to get my latest recipe in your inbox weekly!

Print
Top view of Thai basil pork stir-fry in a blue serving bowl.

Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry

Made with tender pork collar meat and a mouthwatering spicy & garlicky holy basil infused sauce, this Thai basil pork stir-fry is easy to make and SO DELICIOUS! It’s ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for busy weeknights!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Thai
Scale

Ingredients

For the Pork Marinade:

  • 230 grams / 8 ounces Pork Collar Meat – cleaned and pat-dried, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1 TSP Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 TSP Fish Sauce
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
  • 1.5 TSP Corn Starch

For the Stir-fry Sauce:

  • 2 TBLS Oyster Sauce
  • 1 TBLS Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 TSP Sweet Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 TSP Fish Sauce
  • 1 TSP White Sugar

For the Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry

  • 68 Garlic cloves – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 410 fresh Red Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 28 fresh Green Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye, but any small hot red chilies will work), to taste – roughly chopped
  • 26 Prik Kee Nu Green Chilies (optional) – halved
  • 1 Large Red Chili – roughly chopped
  • 1/8 TSP (a pinch) Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/3 medium Yellow Onion – thinly sliced, then sliced in half
  • 34 pieces Baby Corn (optional) – halved lengthwise, then again widthwise
  • 1.5 cups Thai Holy Basil Leaves – washed and pat-dried
  • 2 TBLS Canola Oil
  • ½ TBLS Chili Oil (optional – pure chili oil without seeds/flakes)
  • 250ml / 1 cup Chicken Broth

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Marinate the pork: Clean and pat-dry the pork collar meat. Thinly slice against the grain into bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium bowl, followed by the light soy sauce, fish sauce, ground white pepper, and corn starch. Mix well with a spoon to combine, then set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Whisk together the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, fish sauce, and white sugar in a small measuring cup (for easier pouring) or bowl until evenly combined.
  3. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Roughly chop the garlic, red and green Bird’s eye chilies, and Prik Kee Nu green chilies, and large red chili. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic until bruised (leave some chunky pieces), then transfer to a small bowl. Add all the chilies to the mortar and a pinch of fine sea salt (to help break down the fibers) and pound into a coarse paste. Transfer to another small bowl and set aside. (Note: You can pound the garlic and chilies together into a paste, but I prefer to pound them separate so that are some big garlicky pieces in the final stir-fry dish. If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife and then roughly chop. Finely chop the chilies.) Prepare the yellow onion, baby corn, and Thai holy basil leaves as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.

For the Thai Basil Pork Stir-fry:

  1. Sauté the pork: Heat the canola and chili oil (if using) in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated pork and immediately spread out the pieces in the wok. Allow to cook for 40 seconds, then stir-fry for 30 seconds until lightly browned but still pink in some parts.
  2. Stir-fry the onion and aromatics: Add the onion and stir-fry for 40 seconds to combine with the pork, then turn the heat down to medium-high and add the smashed garlic and chilies. Stir-fry for 40 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the baby corn and sauce: Add the baby corn and stir-fry for 20 seconds to combine. Then pour in the sauce and toss briefly until everything is evenly coated in it.
  4. Simmer: Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine. Simmer at medium-high heat for a minute.
  5. Add the basil leaves: Stir in the Thai holy basil leaves and simmer for 30 seconds until wilted. Switch off the heat.
  6. To Serve: Transfer to a serving bowl/dish and serve immediately with warm steamed rice.

Notes

  1. Make it with less sauce. Traditionally, a splash of water or chicken broth is used in a Thai basil pork stir-fry to increase the amount of sauce. If you’re not a fan of extra saucy dishes, use less chicken broth. Anywhere between ¼-3/4 cup of broth will work well for a less saucy dish.
  2. Adjust spice level to taste. Use less or more Bird’s Eye red and green chilies depending on your heat preference. Prik Kee Nu green chilies are tiny but FIERY hot. They’re listed as optional not only because they are super hot, but also because they can be hard to track down outside of Asia. Feel free to omit them. The large red chili is mild and used mainly for color, not heat. Leave it out if unavailable. Finally, omit the chili oil for cooking if you’d like a milder dish.
  3. Flash freeze the pork to make slicing it thinly easier. Place the pork collar in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it firmer. It will be easier to slice it very thinly because freezing will make it less slippery.
  4. Don’t remove all the fat from the pork collar. Trimming off a little is fine, but don’t remove all of it as it keeps the meat incredibly juicy and tender during cooking.
  5. Storage and leftovers. This dish tastes best when eaten immediately after cooking. However, leftovers can be stored in a sealed airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 272
  • Sugar: 11.6g
  • Sodium: 1107.8mg
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Protein: 16.7g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.