I loooove Pad Krapow, a quick and easy Thai street food dish made with chicken and lots of fresh Thai basil to complement the heat from the chiles. I realized that it can be delicious without the meat, using meaty oyster mushrooms and corn (fresh is best, but frozen or canned is okay in the off-season). It’s brighter, lighter, crunchier, and vegetarian, and honestly you can try any vegetables you like in this. I want to try with broccoli (John’s favorite) or green beans next!
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 or 4 Thai Bird chiles (or 1 small serrano or jalapeño)
- 3 large or 4 medium ears fresh corn, husked; one 12-ounce can corn, drained; or one 12-ounce bag frozen corn, thawed
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounces (3 cups) stemmed oyster mushrooms (from 1 12-ounce bunch)
- 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups fresh Thai or regular basil leaves
- Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
Mash the garlic and chiles in a mortar and pestle until finely smashed (or mince with a knife).
If using fresh corn: Trim the bottom end off of each corn cob to create a flat surface. Place a small bowl upside down inside a larger bowl. (This helps catch all the little corn pieces!) Then stand each ear of corn and, using a sawing motion, cut off the corn from the cobs, getting as close to the cob for maximum corniness (but not so close that you cut off and include the woody parts of the cob itself).
Separately, combine the mushrooms in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, and pepper.
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, flipping once, until crisped, 2–3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, then add the corn and cook, stirring only once or twice, until lightly charred, 3–4 minutes. Add to the plate with the mushrooms.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, then add the garlic-chile mixture and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high, then add the mushrooms, corn, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, and cook, stirring, until just warmed through, 1–2 minutes. Add the basil and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve with rice.