Thai Basil Stir Fry (Kapow Jae)

Kapow Jae, noun: Hot, spicy (*** level), and oh so delectable vegetarian friendly Thai basil stir fry made with a dash of #thesharedspice love that will transport your taste buds to the streets of Bangkok.

When anyone asks me what my favorite cuisine to cook is, the answer is always Thai. My family’s new motto is: “Why go out for Thai at a restaurant, when we got Tash to cook it for us at home!“.  A challenge with cooking Thai food for my family is recreating the flavors without the use of seafood bases like fish sauce or oyster sauce. These sauces have unique flavors my Indian family is not accustomed to, and doesn’t plan on it dabbling with it, like ever.

With much time & $$$ spent researching the aisles of my local Asian supermarket (with hopes of finding Peter Kavinsky here buying “those little yogurt things”), I found my answer — Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Mushroom Flavored Stir Fry Sauce. This sauce is tangy, smoky, salty, sweet! It adds the perfect umami touch and truly rounds out Thai cooking (honestly any Asian cooking including Indo-Chinese). And it’s seafood free!

And please thai to remember, not all basil is made the same. There’s Thai Basil, Holy Basil, and Basil. Most packages labeled “Basil” are Italian Basil and have a milder flavor. Thai Basil is a bit anise/licorice like in flavor, and Holy Basil is more spicy & peppery. While Holy Basil is recommended in Thai cuisine, it’s hard to find. With much recipe testing, Thai Basil is a perfectly fine exception.

Now, go give this appethaizing meal a try. 🙂

PREP: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 40 minutes
YIELD: 4-6 servings


  • 1 medium head of Broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 6-7 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 White or Yellow Onion, sliced thick
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup Thai Basil leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetarian Mushroom Flavored Stir Fry Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp. Minced Garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 tbsp. Minced Ginger (1 inch of a ginger root)
  • 4 Thai Green Chilies, finely minced (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Cooking Oil (Olive or Canola)


  1. Chiffonade 5-6 basil leaves together.
  2. In a large wok over low to medium heat, add Sesame and Cooking Oils. Once oil starts to slightly bubble, add Garlic and Ginger Let fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Add Thai Green Chilies, Broccoli florets, Shiitake Mushrooms, White Onion, and Red Bell Pepper. Stir fry vegetables for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Mix in Soy Sauce, Mushroom Stir Fry Sauce, and Sriracha. Toss vegetables gently.
  5. Add Water and let cook for 1-2 minutes. A thin gravy should form.
  6. Stir fry vegetables for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat. Add in chopped Basil Leaves and gently mix.
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

I recommend serving with rice, unless doing Keto, which in that case – this meal can stand on its own too! You can add chicken and make this dish a Kaprow Chicken as well. Don’t forget, this dish is intended to be spicy.  

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