BBQ Thai Basil and Ginger Pork Chops (with Tomato Salad)

Serves: 4

There is this wonderful website (well, Instagram) I follow called What to Cook.

It is by a father/daughter team where he cooks really simple, fresh and fun food and she takes great photos of the food. They look like they have so much doing it and they are obviously eating well.

I have only cooked one of their recipes (this one) though I have a bunch more lined up. Its modern, bistro-quality food and during the week, that’s just fine.

I let this marinate for two nights before BBQing and together with the salad, a bottle of white we opened and my favourite travelling companion Nat, we had a perfect weeknight in.


4 large pork chops,
1 Thai chilli, finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
½ c fresh thai basil leaves
Pinch of salt
Juice of 1 lime

Tomato salad

1 bunch butter lettuce, leaves torn
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
1 oxheart tomato, sliced
2 baby cucumbers, sliced
½ cup bean sprouts
¼ cup fresh mint leaves

Salad dressing

3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar, grated


  1. Place the chops in a dish, then add the chilli, ginger, garlic, salt Thai basil, lime juice, cover and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours (or as long as you want).
  2. Preheat your BBQ over a high heat. Once preheated, BBQ the chops until cooked and then cover with foil and rest for 5 miutes.
  3. To serve; assemble the salad on the plates and drizzle with the dressing. Add the chops and (in their words) “enjoy”!

Terry Durack’s Thai Chicken and Basil

Serves 4

This is a Terry Durack recipe from his book Yum, a $1 purchase from St Vincent de Paul. (Seriously, St Vincent de Paul has to be one of the best cook book chains in Sydney!)

Up until I tried this recipe, I had admired Terry Durack as a food critic though had been less impressed by his recipes. Though I am sure that this was about me and not you Terry!

He opens his book with this dish and describes it as one that changed his cooking life just because it is so unbelievably simple; I have to agree that cooking this and tasting it, it really did open my eyes too. Genuinely, like tasting the snow-egg at Quay or eating at Per Se in New York, cooking this recipe really is one of the seminal moments in my cooking life.

It is hard to believe that this recipe could taste combined, complex or even good. Instead, it really is an amazing dish that demonstrates that with only a few of the right flavours, you can produce a wonderful dish without any complaints.

To put it as Terry Durack does, ‘this dish taught me that you could toss things in the wok while half-drunk and without a care in the world, and still be able to feed people without killing them…’

I have always been lazy with this dish and substituted 3 chicken breasts for the a whole chicken (and I’ll keep doing it) and I have altered (as I usually do) the recipe to be slightly easier to follow.


1 small chicken, meat from the breast, thighs and legs removed, sliced into strips
3 or 4 green (or red) chillies, deseeded and sliced into thin slivers
2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
Bunch of basil leaves, removed from stem
4 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp fish sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a wok and cook the chicken over a moderate heat for a few minutes, then add the chillis, most of the basil and the parsley.
  2. Cook, stirring as you go for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Splash in the fish sauce and stir through.
  4. Add remaining basil and serve with jasmine rice.