Salt and pepper will flavor fried rice but if you want nuance, better use less salt and add soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice too. Thai fried rice will rock your world!
Like most Asian fried rice dishes, cooking Thai fried rice is just another way to salvage leftover rice, recycle it — usually for breakfast the next day — and come up with something that will brighten your day.
In the past, fried rice was always a side dish — the carb component of a meal that gives the necessary bulk — unless copious amounts of meat or seafood, and vegetables, were thrown in. That’s why I’ve been such a fan of Chinese-style fried rice. It has everything.
But Thai fried rice had me thinking. Is rice good enough to be standalone dish in the tradition of the Italian risotto? Because once you try Thai fried rice, you’ll realize you don’t need meat or seafood to accompany it. It has eggs and if you add enough eggs, you get protein with your carbs.
Try it, I urge you, because it will forever change your definition of Asian fried rice.
Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil (see notes after the recipe)
- 3 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic either finely chopped or very thinly sliced
- 4 cups cooked rice preferably day-old
- 4 large eggs beaten with two pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- juice of one lime
- 6 tablespoons fried shallots to garnish
- torn cilantro to garnish
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Over medium heat, saute the shallots and garlic until softened and aromatic.
- Turn up the heat, add the rice and stir fry for a minute. You want to keep everything moving so that the shallots and garlic do not stay at the bottom of the pan where they are likely to burn.
- Drizzle in the soy sauce and fish sauce. Sprinkle in the pepper.
- Continue stir frying to distribute the seasonings evenly.
- Push the rice to the side of the pan to make a well at the center.
- Pour the eggs into the well and leave for 15 to 20 seconds to allow the bottom to cook. Stir the eggs, gathering some of the rice around it. Stir in widening circles until the eggs are distributed and cooked through.
- Off the heat, drizzle in the lime juice and toss well. Taste the rice. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Garnish the Thai fried rice with fried shallots and torn cilantro.
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