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Pad Kana Moo Krob Recipe (Chinese Broccoli With Crispy Pork)

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This pad kana moo krob recipe makes an easy Chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly stir-fry that’s better than takeout. The fried pork belly is tossed with vegetables and stir-fried in a sweet, savory, and spicy stir-fry sauce. Serve with steamed jasmine rice to soak up all the delicious sauce!

Pad kana moo krob, crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli, ready to be enjoyed alongside steamed rice.

The main ingredient in this pad kana moo grob recipe is Thai fried pork belly. In Thailand, this is a key ingredient in many Thai pork recipes, such as Thai basil pork belly (krapow moo krob), and pork belly chili.

You can prepare the crispy pork belly in advance, allowing you to make this delicious Thai pork stir-fry in less than 20 minutes on busy weekdays!

I’d love to share all the insider secrets with you on how to make the tastiest crispy pork with Chinese broccoli stir-fry. However, if you’d prefer to jump straight to the instructions, you can do that below.

What is pad kana moo krob

Pad kana moo krob is a classic Thai dish featuring stir-fried crispy pork belly and Chinese broccoli in a savory, spicy, and slightly sweet sauce. It’s a popular street food in Thailand, often served with steamed jasmine rice.


In Thai, pad means stir-fried, kana is the Thai word for Chinese broccoli, and moo krob refers to crispy pork belly.

Crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli

Kana crispy pork is the perfect dish for those who love Thai food, especially street food. It’s a saucy dish with a perfect balance of flavors.

The stir-fry sauce is made from light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. The flavors in this recipe are just like those in Thailand, but you can easily adjust them to your liking by tweaking the amounts. You can also add extra chili peppers if you prefer a spicier dish, or omit them entirely if you’re having this with kids.

Close-up of pad kana moo grob, Thai crispy pork with Chinese broccoli.

The most crucial element is getting the fried pork belly right. It should be fried until it has a golden layer and is very crispy.

In some ka nar moo krob recipes, the pork belly might end up soft rather than crispy. This often happens because the pork belly isn’t added at the very end of the cooking process. To ensure it stays crispy, it’s crucial to add the pork belly to the stir-fry just before serving, giving it a quick sear to re-crisp the exterior without overcooking the meat.

The best Thai crispy pork with Chinese broccoli

I can tell you right now is that this is the best moo krob recipe you’ll find! This easy recipe comes from my mother, and she can make pad kana moo grob like no other.

She includes some unique ingredients, like dried chili peppers, which add a smoky kick. She also adds a splash of tamarind paste, which isn’t a typical ingredient in this crispy pork stir-fry, but it really completes the dish.

Crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli served in a clay dish.

In our previous Thai restaurant, we had a regular customer who came only for my mother’s authentic recipe for Thai crispy pork belly stir-fry, it’s that delicious!

Chinese broccoli substitute

A key vegetable in this Thai recipe is Chinese broccoli.

Chinese broccoli is also known as gai lan, kai lan, and Chinese kale. If you can’t find this leafy green, you can use one of the following Chinese broccoli substitutes:

  • Regular broccoli (more readily available and has a similar texture)
  • Bok choy (lighter and more delicate but works well in stir-fries)
  • Kale (similar leafy texture but with a different flavor profile)

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for pad kana moo krob recipe: fried pork belly, water, garlic, dried chilies, oyster sauce, tamarind, golden mountain seasoning sauce, white sugar, and Chinese broccoli.
  • Pork belly – Fry the pork belly until it’s golden and crispy. Thin slices will better absorb the sauce.
  • Chinese broccoli – Known as gai lan or kai lan, Chinese broccoli has thick stems and lush leaves that add a fresh, slightly bitter flavor to the stir-fry. It’s a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, perfect for stir-frying.
  • Dried chilies – Use dried chilies to give the dish a smoky flavor that you don’t get with fresh chilies.
  • Oyster sauceOyster sauce is a thick, savory sauce made from oyster extracts, perfect for adding a rich, umami depth to Thai stir-fries and marinades.
  • Golden mountain sauceGolden mountain is a type of soy sauce that’s a bit richer and adds a deep umami flavor to the dish.
  • White sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the spicy and salty flavors. To replicate the exact flavors of thi recipe, use white sugar and not brown sugar or palm sugar!
  • Tamarind pasteThai tamarind paste adds a tangy sweetness that perfectly complements the crispy pork and gai lan.
  • Garlic – Adds a strong, aromatic flavor that’s key to many Thai dishes.
  • Water – Helps thin the moo krob sauce and evenly distribute the flavors.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil for stir-frying, like vegetable oil or canola oil.

How to make crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli

Fried pork belly in a colander.

Step 1: Heat a large amount of oil on medium-high and fry pork belly until it’s golden and crisp. Let it cool and drain excess oil, then slice it thinly. For detailed instructions, see my Thai fried pork belly recipe.

A mix of Thai sauces and seasonings in a clay bowl.

Step 2: In a bowl, create the moo krob sauce by mixing together tamarind paste, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, and water until well blended.

Aromatic garlic and dried chilies being fried to a golden hue in a wok.

Step 3: Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Sauté dried chilies and garlic for 20 seconds, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant.

Moo krob sauce with garlic and chilies simmering in a pan.

Step 4: Pour the prepared moo krob sauce into the wok and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients meld together.

Freshly cooked Chinese broccoli stir-fry with vibrant greens and red chilies in a traditional wok.

Step 5: Add the Chinese broccoli to the stir-fry sauce, cooking until the leaves have just wilted, and the stems offer a tender crunch.

Pad kana moo krob sizzling in a wok, showcasing the mix of crispy pork, Chinese broccoli, and red chilies.

Step 6: Add the pre-fried pork belly slices to the pan and quickly stir-fry them just long enough to heat through and coat evenly with the sauce. Serve hot alongside jasmine rice for the best flavor. Enjoy!

Kitchenware

  1. Cutting board and a sharp knife
  2. Measuring spoons and cups
  3. Wok or large non-stick skillet
  4. Spatula or stirring spoon

How to customize pad kana moo grob recipe

In Thai cuisine, it’s very important to adjust the flavors to your liking before serving. Here’s how you can customize this recipe:

  • Vegetarian option: Replace pork belly with tofu and switch to a vegetarian oyster sauce alternative, such as mushroom sauce.
  • Adjust the spice: Add more chilies or Thai chili flakes for more heat, or use fewer for a milder dish.
  • Add more veggies: Throw in any stir-fry vegetables like bok choy, broccolini, bell peppers, or mushrooms.
  • Try different meats: While crispy pork belly is great, you can also use chicken, beef, or seafood like shrimp for variety.

Recipe tips and tricks

Here are some simple tips and tricks for making your pad kha na better:

  • Don’t overcrowd: Don’t pack the wok too full; cook in batches if needed to ensure everything gets a good stir-fry rather than steaming.
  • Prep everything first: Since stir-frying is fast and at high temperatures, have all your ingredients ready and measured out before you start.
  • Rest the pork belly: After frying the pork belly, let it sit for a few minutes before you slice it. This helps it retain a better texture.
  • Adjust seasonings: Always taste your dish as you cook. If necessary, adjust the seasonings to get it just right.

How to serve pad ka na moo grob

Serve crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli immediately after cooking to enjoy the crispiest pork belly. Pair it with steamed jasmine rice for a classic combination. For an extra touch, top it with a Thai fried egg and serve with prik nam pla for added flavor. Feel free to garnish with fresh herbs such as cilantro and chopped green onions to enhance the dish.

How to store

Storing: To store leftovers, allow them to cool to room temperature before placing them in an airtight container. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: For reheating, warm the leftovers in a pan over medium heat until thoroughly heated. It’s best to avoid using the microwave to preserve the crispy texture of the dish.

Frequently asked questions

Is Thai pork belly and broccoli spicy?

Thai pork belly and broccoli can have a mild to high spice level depending on the inclusion of dried chilies. The spiciness is easily adjustable to suit personal taste by varying the amount of chilies added to the dish.

Can I prepare this in advance?

This dish is best enjoyed fresh to maintain the crispiness of the fried pork belly. However, to save time, you can prepare your vegetables and mix the sauce ingredients in advance.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, this recipe is not suited for those avoiding gluten.

Authentic Thai pork stir-fry recipes

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Pad Kana Moo Krob Recipe (Chinese Broccoli With Crispy Pork)

Pad kana moo krob, crispy pork belly with Chinese broccoli, ready to be enjoyed alongside steamed rice.
This authentic pad kana moo krob recipe delivers a delicious Chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly stir-fry, perfect for a Thai dinner at home.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 dried chilies to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoon golden mountain sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 200 g Chinese broccoli roughly chop the leaves, remove outer layer of the stems and slice stems diagonally
  • 200 g crispy pork belly sliced thinly

Instructions

  • Heat a large amount of oil on medium-high and fry pork belly until it’s golden and crisp. Let it cool and drain excess oil, then slice it thinly. For detailed instructions, see my Thai fried pork belly recipe.
  • In a bowl, create the moo krob sauce by mixing together tamarind paste, golden mountain sauce, oyster sauce, white sugar, and water until well blended.
  • Heat oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Sauté dried chilies and garlic for 20 seconds, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
  • Pour the prepared moo krob sauce into the wok and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients meld together.
  • Add the Chinese broccoli to the stir-fry sauce, cooking until the leaves have just wilted, and the stems offer a tender crunch.
  • Add the pre-fried pork belly slices to the pan and quickly stir-fry them just long enough to heat through and coat evenly with the sauce. Serve hot alongside jasmine rice for the best flavor. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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