Phed Mark: Bangkok’s Best Pad Kra Pao
Phed Mark is renowned for its exceptional Pad Kra Pao. This unassuming shop may not boast opulent decor, but it more than makes up for it with its unforgettable flavors. Widely acclaimed as the best in the city, locals and travelers alike yearn for the fiery, palate-igniting experience of its signature dish.
Name (Thai): เผ็ดมาร์ค
Address: 928 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Phra Khanong, Khet Khlong Toei
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Owner: Mark Wiens
Sitting down at Phed Mark, the anticipation was palpable as I eagerly awaited my order of Pad Kra Pao. I opted for the beef version, and the spiciness level, which you can customize to your preference, was cranked up to the max. When the dish arrived, the aroma of Thai basil and chilies filled the air, setting my taste buds on alert. The first bite was a revelation – the beef was tender, soaked in the rich, aromatic sauce, and the spiciness hit with a satisfying kick.
What truly stood out was the perfectly fried duck egg perched on top, its yolk oozing into the dish, creating a delightful interplay of flavors. The contrast of the rich, creamy egg with the fiery spiciness of the beef was a culinary match made in heaven.
Undoubtedly, Phed Mark’s Pad Kra Pao is an absolute gem. Having savored this gastronomic delight multiple times, I can confidently recommend that anyone visiting Bangkok makes a beeline for this shop to experience the best Pad Kra Pao in the city. It’s a fiery adventure that you won’t want to miss.
Phed Mark offers an impressive array of Pad Kra Pao dishes, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Whether you prefer the savory goodness of chicken, the tenderness of pork, the robust flavors of beef, or even a vegetarian twist, they have it all. Moreover, you can customize the heat level to your liking with five different spice options.
For a delightful post-meal cooldown, I highly suggest heading to the nearby 7-Eleven to enjoy some refreshing coconut water.
Getting to Phed Mark in Bangkok is a straightforward process.
First, make your way to a BTS station. If you’re not within walking distance to a station, then navigate your way there using your preferred mode of transportation. You can take a taxi, tuk-tuk, or use a ridesharing service like Grab to reach the station.
Next, buy a BTS ticket. At the station, purchase a ticket to the Ekkamai BTS station, which is located on the Sukhumvit Line (light green line). A teller or a ticket vending machine will make it easy to calculate and pay your fare (<50 baht).
Once you reach Ekkamai BTS Station, exit the train and proceed to the station’s exit. Then, walk towards the Ekkamai Bus Station. Simply follow the signs, and you’ll reach the terminal within a minute. At the far corner of the terminal sits the one-and-only, Phed Mark.
Pad kra pao is a popular and flavorful Thai stir-fry dish made with minced or ground meat, typically pork or chicken, stir-fried with Thai holy basil, garlic, chili, and a savory sauce. It’s often served over rice and topped with a fried egg. The dish is known for its spicy, aromatic, and slightly sweet flavors, making it a beloved street food and home-cooked meal in Thailand.
Pad Kra Pao is a classic Thai dish known for its bold and vibrant flavors. It typically features a savory and slightly spicy taste with a hint of sweetness. The key components that contribute to its distinctive taste include:
Holy Basil (Bai Kaprow): This herb is the star of the dish and has a unique, peppery, and slightly spicy flavor. It’s what gives Pad Kra Pao its characteristic taste. The basil leaves are added to the dish just before serving, allowing their aroma to infuse the entire dish.
Chili Peppers: Thai chili peppers are often used to add heat and spiciness to the dish. The level of spiciness can vary depending on your preferences, as you can choose the number of chili peppers to include.
Garlic: Garlic provides a pungent and aromatic flavor that combines well with the other ingredients.
Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce: These sauces add a salty and savory umami quality to the dish.
Ground Meat (often pork or beef): The meat brings a rich and hearty flavor to the dish.
Oyster Sauce: Adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the sauce.
Sugar: A small amount of sugar is often used to balance the flavors and provide a mild sweetness.
Fried Egg: Sometimes, Pad Kra Pao is served with a crispy-edged fried egg on top, which adds a delightful contrast of textures and a rich, creamy taste.
Overall, Pad Kra Pao is a harmonious blend of these flavors, creating a dish that’s both savory and spicy with an aromatic herbal note from the basil. It’s commonly served with rice, and the combination of the flavorful sauce and fragrant basil makes it a beloved Thai dish.
Pad kra pao is a dish with a history rooted in Thai culture and flavors. While there isn’t a specific documented history of the dish, its origins are deeply intertwined with Thai culinary traditions. The key elements of Pad kra pao – minced or ground meat, Thai holy basil, garlic, chili, and a savory sauce – represent the fundamental flavors and ingredients used in Thai cuisine for generations.
Thai cuisine has a rich heritage, influenced by various cultures, including Chinese, Indian, and Khmer. The use of fresh herbs, aromatic spices, and a balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavors is a hallmark of Thai cooking. Pad kra pao exemplifies these principles, showcasing the bold and vibrant taste profile of Thai food.
Today, Pad kra pao is a beloved and accessible street food dish found throughout Thailand. It’s favored for its bold and spicy flavors, making it a satisfying and quick meal for locals and visitors alike. The dish’s history is a testament to the enduring popularity of Thai cuisine and its ability to blend tradition with contemporary tastes.
In Thai, “Pad Kra Pao” (also spelled Pad Krapow or Phat Kaphrao) is transliterated as “ผัดกระเพรา.” This dish’s name essentially means “stir-fried holy basil” in English, referring to the main ingredient, holy basil (bai kaprow or Thai basil), which is the highlight of the dish due to its distinct flavor and aroma. The term “Pad” refers to the stir-frying cooking method used to prepare the dish.
The owner of Phed Mark is Mark Wiens.
Mark Wiens is a well-known food and travel vlogger, blogger, and content creator. He is widely recognized for his passion for exploring different cultures through their food and sharing his experiences with a global audience.
His adventures have taken him to numerous countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, where he has delved into local cuisines, street food, and culinary traditions. Mark’s infectious enthusiasm for food and storytelling has made him a prominent figure in the world of food tourism, and he has a substantial following on his YouTube channel, Migrationology, and his blog, eatingthaifood.com.
Through his work, Mark Wiens introduces people to the diverse and delicious world of international cuisines, and he is often regarded as an authority on street food and local dining experiences.