pad prik king

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pad prik king

pad prik king recipe

Pad prik king, also spelled as “Pad Phrik King” or “Pad Prig King,” is a popular Thai stir-fry dish. It typically consists of stir-fried meat, often pork or chicken, that is cooked with a flavorful paste made from red curry paste (which includes ingredients like red chili peppers, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and spices), along with kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil.

The dish is known for its spicy and aromatic flavor, with a balance of heat from the chili peppers and the fragrant herbal notes from the basil and kaffir lime leaves. It is often served with steamed jasmine rice and can be customized to the desired level of spiciness.

Overall, pad prik king is a delicious and satisfying Thai dish that offers a combination of bold flavors and textures, making it a favorite among fans of Thai cuisine.

what does pad prik king taste like

pad prik king
  1. Spicy: One of the defining characteristics of Pad Prik King is its spiciness. The dish is known for its heat, which comes primarily from the chili peppers used in the curry paste. The level of spiciness can vary depending on the quantity and type of chili peppers used, as well as personal preferences.
  2. Aromatic: Pad Prik King is highly aromatic, thanks to the blend of ingredients in the curry paste, including lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, and shallots. These aromatic components contribute complex and fragrant notes to the dish.
  3. Savory: The dish has a savory umami quality, often enhanced by the use of fish sauce. This adds depth and saltiness to balance the spiciness and create a savory backbone to the dish.
  4. Slightly Sweet: Pad Prik King can have a subtle sweetness, usually derived from a small amount of palm sugar or brown sugar. This sweetness helps balance the heat and adds a pleasant contrast to the overall flavor.
  5. Herbal and Citrusy: The presence of ingredients like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves imparts herbal and citrusy notes to the dish, providing a refreshing and vibrant quality.
  6. Freshness: If Thai basil leaves are added as a garnish, they contribute a fresh and slightly anise-like flavor to the dish, elevating its overall taste.
  7. Balanced: When well-prepared, Pad Prik King achieves a harmonious balance of flavors. It combines the spiciness, aromatics, savory elements, and a touch of sweetness to create a complex and satisfying taste experience.

key ingredients

  1. rotein: Choose your preferred protein source, such as chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, or a combination of these. Cut the protein into bite-sized pieces for stir-frying.
  2. Pad Prik King Curry Paste: This is the heart of the dish. You’ll need Pad Prik King Curry Paste, which typically contains ingredients like dried red chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, salt, and optionally shrimp paste. You can make your own or buy it pre-made.
  3. Vegetables: Select a variety of vegetables to add color, texture, and flavor to your dish. Common choices include Thai bird’s eye chili peppers (for extra heat), bell peppers, green beans, baby corn, and Thai basil leaves.
  4. Oil: Use a high-heat oil like vegetable oil or peanut oil for stir-frying. It helps to prevent sticking and adds a mild flavor to the dish.
  5. Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is a key seasoning in Thai cuisine. It provides a salty, savory umami flavor that balances the spiciness of the curry paste. Adjust the amount to your taste.
  6. Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar: A small amount of palm sugar or brown sugar is used to add sweetness to the dish, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. Adjust the sweetness level as needed.
  7. Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice provides a bright and zesty acidity to the dish. It adds a refreshing contrast to the spicy and savory flavors.
  8. Kaffir Lime Leaves: These aromatic leaves are used both in the curry paste and as a garnish. They infuse the dish with a unique citrusy fragrance.
  9. Fresh Thai Basil (optional): Thai basil leaves are a popular garnish for Pad Prik King. They have a distinct anise-like flavor and add freshness to the dish.
  10. Crushed Peanuts (optional): Crushed peanuts can be sprinkled on top of Pad Prik King for extra crunch and nutty flavor.

Remember that the specific ingredients and their quantities can be adjusted to suit your personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Pad Prik King is a versatile dish, and you can customize it to your liking by adding or omitting ingredients as desired.

Pad Prik King Curry Paste

pad prik king

Pad Prik King Curry Paste is a flavorful Thai curry paste that is commonly used in Thai cuisine to make dishes like Pad Prik King, which is a stir-fried curry dish typically prepared with meat and vegetables. This paste is known for its spicy and aromatic qualities. Here are the typical ingredients and some details about Pad Prik King Curry Paste:


  1. Dried red chili peppers: These provide the spice and red color to the paste. The number of peppers used can vary based on desired heat levels.
  2. Lemongrass: Lemongrass adds a citrusy and herbal flavor to the paste.
  3. Galangal: Galangal is a root similar to ginger, but it has a more subtle and complex flavor.
  4. Kaffir lime leaves: These leaves add a unique citrusy aroma to the paste.
  5. Garlic: Garlic provides a pungent and savory element to the paste.
  6. Shallots: Shallots offer a sweeter and milder onion flavor.
  7. Salt: Salt enhances the overall taste and helps preserve the paste.
  8. Shrimp paste (optional): Some variations of Pad Prik King Curry Paste include shrimp paste, which contributes to its umami depth. However, this ingredient can be omitted for a vegetarian version.


  1. To make Pad Prik King Curry Paste, start by rehydrating the dried red chili peppers. You can soak them in warm water until they become soft. Remove the seeds if you want a milder paste.
  2. In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, combine the rehydrated chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, and salt.
  3. Pound or process the ingredients into a smooth paste. The consistency should be relatively thick and well-blended.
  4. If you’re using shrimp paste, you can incorporate it into the paste during the mixing process.

Note: The paste can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks. It can also be used as a base for various Thai curry dishes or as a flavoring for stir-fried dishes, giving them a spicy and aromatic kick.

When using Pad Prik King Curry Paste in a recipe, you can add it to your stir-fried meat and vegetables along with other ingredients like coconut milk or fish sauce to create a delicious Thai curry dish with a delightful balance of spiciness and aromatic flavors. Adjust the amount of paste according to your preferred level of heat.

tips and tricks

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients:
    • Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like vegetables, meat, and seafood. Fresh produce will enhance the overall flavor and texture of your dish.
  2. Prep Everything in Advance:
    • Pad Prik King is a stir-fried dish, so it cooks quickly. Prepare all your ingredients, including slicing the meat, chopping vegetables, and measuring out sauces and curry paste, before you start cooking. This will help the cooking process go smoothly.
  3. Choose the Right Protein:
    • While chicken and pork are commonly used in Pad Prik King, you can also use other proteins like shrimp, beef, or tofu, depending on your dietary preferences.
  4. Slice Ingredients Uniformly:
    • Slice your vegetables and meat into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. This will help maintain the balance of flavors and textures in the dish.
  5. Adjust the Heat Level:
    • The spiciness of Pad Prik King can be adjusted to your liking by varying the amount of Pad Prik King Curry Paste you use. Start with a small amount if you’re sensitive to heat and add more gradually if you want it spicier.
  6. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan:
    • When stir-frying, avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook the ingredients in batches if needed. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of stir-frying, which may affect the texture of your dish.
  7. Use High Heat:
    • Stir-fry Pad Prik King on high heat to achieve that characteristic smoky and slightly charred flavor. A wok is an excellent choice for stir-frying, as it allows for even heat distribution.
  8. Stir Constantly:
    • Keep the ingredients moving in the pan to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. Stirring constantly also helps distribute the flavors evenly.
  9. Add Vegetables Wisely:
    • Add vegetables that take longer to cook, like bell peppers or carrots, to the pan before quicker-cooking ones, such as snow peas or bean sprouts. This ensures that all vegetables are cooked to the desired tenderness.
  10. Balance Flavors:
    • Taste the dish as you go and adjust the flavors by adding more fish sauce for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, or sugar for sweetness. Achieving a balance of salty, spicy, sour, and sweet is key to a great Pad Prik King.
  11. Garnish and Serve Hot:
    • Garnish your Pad Prik King with fresh herbs like Thai basil or cilantro for added flavor and freshness. Serve it hot with steamed rice or noodles.
  12. Experiment with Additions:
    • Feel free to get creative with your Pad Prik King. You can add ingredients like cashew nuts, pineapple chunks, or bamboo shoots for different textures and flavors.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. Adjust the ingredients and techniques to suit your taste preferences, and soon you’ll be making delicious Pad Prik King at home.

variations and meal suggestions

pad prik king
  1. Pad Prik King with Chicken:
    • The classic version of Pad Prik King often features chicken. You can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs, sliced into bite-sized pieces, and stir-fry them with the Pad Prik King Curry Paste and vegetables.
  2. Pad Prik King with Pork:
    • Substitute chicken with thinly sliced pork for a slightly different flavor. Pork pairs well with the spicy and aromatic curry paste.
  3. Pad Prik King with Beef:
    • Use thinly sliced beef, such as flank steak or sirloin, for a beefy twist on Pad Prik King. Cook the beef quickly over high heat for a tender result.
  4. Pad Prik King with Tofu:
    • For a vegetarian or vegan option, use tofu instead of meat. Press and cube the tofu, then stir-fry it until it’s lightly browned before adding the curry paste and vegetables.
  5. Seafood Pad Prik King:
    • Experiment with seafood options like shrimp, squid, or even a combination of seafood. Seafood cooks quickly, so be sure not to overcook it.
  6. Vegetarian Pad Prik King:
    • Create a meatless version of Pad Prik King by using a mix of your favorite vegetables. Bell peppers, green beans, snow peas, and baby corn are excellent choices.
  7. Pad Prik King with Noodles:
    • Instead of serving Pad Prik King with rice, toss it with cooked rice noodles or egg noodles for a Pad Thai-like dish. Adjust the sauce and spices as needed to coat the noodles evenly.
  8. Pad Prik King with Pineapple:
    • Add chunks of fresh pineapple to your Pad Prik King for a sweet and tangy contrast to the spicy curry paste. Pineapple pairs well with chicken or shrimp.
  9. Pad Prik King Lettuce Wraps:
    • Turn Pad Prik King into a fun and interactive meal by serving it as a filling for lettuce wraps. Simply scoop some Pad Prik King onto large lettuce leaves and garnish with fresh herbs and crushed peanuts.
  10. Pad Prik King Fried Rice:
    • Transform your leftover Pad Prik King into a flavorful fried rice dish by stir-frying it with cooked rice and a beaten egg. Add some extra veggies and season as needed.
  11. Pad Prik King Pizza:
    • Get creative by using Pad Prik King as a pizza topping. Spread a thin layer of the paste on pizza dough, add cheese, and bake until bubbly. Top with fresh herbs before serving.
  12. Pad Prik King Tacos:
    • Make Thai-inspired tacos by filling soft taco shells with Pad Prik King, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and a drizzle of sriracha mayo.

differences between Pad Prik King and Pad Thai

pad prik king
  1. Flavor Profile:
    • Pad Prik King: Pad Prik King is a spicy Thai stir-fry dish that features a rich and aromatic curry paste as its primary flavor. It is known for its spiciness, with the heat level varying based on the amount of chili peppers used. The dish typically has a savory, slightly sweet, and spicy taste.
    • Pad Thai: Pad Thai, on the other hand, is a sweet and savory stir-fried noodle dish. It has a more balanced and milder flavor profile compared to Pad Prik King. The key flavors in Pad Thai come from ingredients like tamarind paste (for tanginess), palm sugar (for sweetness), fish sauce (for saltiness), and peanuts (for crunch and nuttiness).
  2. Main Ingredients:
    • Pad Prik King: The main ingredients of Pad Prik King include a protein source (chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu), Pad Prik King curry paste, vegetables (such as bell peppers and green beans), and Thai basil leaves. It’s often served with steamed rice.
    • Pad Thai: Pad Thai features rice noodles as its base, along with a protein source (commonly shrimp or chicken), eggs, tofu, bean sprouts, chives, and crushed peanuts. The sauce for Pad Thai typically consists of tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar, and lime.
  3. Spiciness:
    • Pad Prik King: This dish is known for its spiciness, which can be quite intense depending on the amount of chili peppers used in the curry paste. It’s a spicy stir-fry dish with a focus on heat.
    • Pad Thai: While Pad Thai can be customized to your desired spice level with the addition of chili flakes or chili sauce, it is not inherently a spicy dish. Traditional Pad Thai is mildly seasoned.
  4. Texture:
    • Pad Prik King: Pad Prik King typically features stir-fried ingredients with a variety of textures, including tender meat or tofu, crisp vegetables, and the aromatic curry paste.
    • Pad Thai: Pad Thai offers a combination of soft and chewy rice noodles, tender protein, crunchy bean sprouts, and the crunch of crushed peanuts.
  5. Serving Style:
    • Pad Prik King: It is usually served as a stir-fry dish accompanied by steamed rice. The curry paste coats the meat and vegetables.
    • Pad Thai: Pad Thai is served as a noodle dish, often garnished with lime wedges, fresh herbs, and additional crushed peanuts. It’s a complete meal in itself.

In summary, while both Pad Prik King and Pad Thai are delicious Thai dishes, they differ significantly in terms of flavor, ingredients, spiciness, and texture. Pad Prik King is a spicy stir-fry with a curry paste base, while Pad Thai is a sweet and savory noodle dish with a tamarind-based sauce. Your choice between the two will depend on your preference for spice and the type of Thai cuisine you’re in the mood for.

frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Pad Prik King

  • How spicy is Pad Prik King?
  • The spiciness of Pad Prik King can vary widely depending on the amount and type of chili peppers used in the curry paste. It can range from moderately spicy to very hot. You can adjust the spice level by adding more or fewer chili peppers.
  • Can I make Pad Prik King vegetarian or vegan?
  • Yes, you can easily make a vegetarian or vegan version of Pad Prik King by using tofu as the protein source and omitting shrimp paste. Ensure you use a vegetarian or vegan-friendly fish sauce substitute if desired.
  • Is Pad Prik King the same as other Thai curry dishes?
  • No, Pad Prik King is distinct from other Thai curry dishes like Green Curry or Red Curry. While it involves curry paste, it’s more of a stir-fry dish, and its flavor profile is spicier and less creamy than traditional Thai curries.
  • What vegetables are commonly used in Pad Prik King?
  • Common vegetables used in Pad Prik King include bell peppers, green beans, baby corn, and Thai basil leaves. However, you can customize the vegetable selection based on your preferences.

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pad prik king

pad prik king recipe

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 393 calories 28g fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


For the Curry Paste:

  • 2-3 dried red chili peppers (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only)
  • 1-inch piece of galangal or ginger
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika (for color)
  • Salt to taste

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of your choice of protein (chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1-2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh Thai basil leaves or cilantro for garnish


  1. Prepare the Curry Paste:
    • Remove the seeds from the dried chili peppers and soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes until they soften.
    • Drain the chilies and place them in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
    • Add garlic, shallot, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, shrimp paste (if using), ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, and a pinch of salt.
    • Grind or process the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Set it aside.
  2. Stir-Fry:
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
    • Add the curry paste you prepared earlier and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
    • Add your choice of protein and cook until it's almost done, then add the sliced red and green bell peppers and green beans. Continue stir-frying for a few more minutes until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the protein is fully cooked.
  3. Season:
    • Add fish sauce and sugar to the stir-fry and toss everything together to combine. Adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more fish sauce or sugar if needed.
  4. Finish and Garnish:
    • If using kaffir lime leaves, tear them into small pieces and add them to the pan. Stir-fry for an additional minute.
    • Remove the pan from heat and garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves or cilantro.
  5. Serve:
    • Serve the Pad Prik King hot over steamed jasmine rice.
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