Asian After Work by Adam Liaw – and Kra Pow Chicken


This week has been seriously tough- no extra deadlines, just a whirlwind of chaotic activity in the office and a myriad of tiny issues that together have turned the afternoon commute into a nightmare.

What can I say? Suburbia and Sydney traffic.

Anyways, at the end of the day, all I’ve wanted has been something quick, but tasty. Something like these two beauties from Adam Liaw’s Asian After Work.

The recipe: Black Pepper Beef p226


This is essentially a simple stir fry, with the difference being that the ingredients are stir fried separately, and then combined in the wok at the end with the black pepper paste. Doing this adds an extra layer of flavour to the result.

It’s quick and it’s easy.

To do ahead:

Prepare the marinade and the black pepper paste. The beef only needs a few minutes in the marinade though.

My tips:

As with all stirfries, have everything chopped and ready to go.

The verdict:

Nice, but next time we’ll add more pepper- the depth was there, but it was a little too subtle for hubby.

The recipe: Chicken Kra-Pow p158

what Adam's looked like...
what Adam’s looked like…

Hubby does old man football training on Wednesday nights, so while he’s pretending to stick his head in front of a moving soccer ball (I don’t know why either) Miss 16 and I have something yummy in front of reality trash tv.

This week it was Chicken Kra-Pow…I cooked it for the name.

This is very like chicken larb or larb gai, but doesn’t have the roasted rice in it. The kra pow, or kra pao refers to thai holy basil- although if you have problems getting holy basil, then the normal one is ok, although, as Adam points out in the book, the name would technically be different. Whatever.

Essentially, then, this is stir fried minced chicken with holy basil and a fried egg on top. Ok?

Oh, it’s also known as pad kra pao gai on the street…

To do ahead:

Nothing. This one will be on the table in the time it takes you to cook your rice (if you’re not carb challenged) and fry your eggs.

My tips:

Have everything ready to go. For a meat free alternative, this would also work with prawn or squid.

What you need…

3 gloves of garlic

2 large red chillies, de-seeded (we like it hot so added a thai scud as well)

500g chicken mince (it’s best if you mince your own chicken meat, but who has time for that?)

1 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp peanut (or other vegetable) oil

2 tbsp fish sauce

½ tsp caster sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 ½ cups loosely packed torn holy basil leaves

Fried egg to serve

Cooked rice and lime wedges to serve.

What you do with it…

  • Chop the chilli and garlic together on a board.
  • Pop the chicken mince and oyster sauce into a separate bowl and mix together.
  • Heat your wok over a high heat, add the oil.
  • Stir fry your garlic and chilli for a few minutes and add your chicken and oyster sauce.
  • Toss it all about a bit, and then add the fish sauce and sugar.
  • Cook it all for another minute or so, adding a little water if it all looks too dry, and then stir through the basil leaves.

The Verdict?

Worth sitting in traffic for…

What mine looked like

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

2 thoughts

  1. Both look good but I actually have all/most of the ingredients for the chicken (except the sugar). I’ve actually seen a few black bean beef WW recipes recently but need the paste/sauce. Must acquire some so I can try something different. Am yet to find decent chinese / vietnamese food locally, so….

    1. I did something the other day with yellow bean sauce that I’ll post during the week- depending on how my writing day goes. Once you have these things in the cupboard, it’s easy as…I’m loving reading about your experimentation too…

Comments are closed.