An authentic recipe for Thai fried rice – just like you get in Thailand and at Thai restaurants!
Have you been to Thailand? I’ve been a handful of times. It’s one of my favorite “fly and flop” destinations. On most holidays, I’m “go, go, go”. Trying to see and do (and eat) as much as I can.
Thailand is one of the places I go to really relax. Specifically Phukhet and Kho Samui, the two most popular islands in Thailand. I never stay at the busy tourist hubs, I always choose quaint little beaches.
I turn into an unrecognizable lazy bum. Seriously. I think back over those breaks and am actually appalled at how lazy I am. My mind completely switches off, the most active thing I do is maybe – just maybe – a couple of laps in the pool. I deal with the highly stressful activities of moving between the pool, the beach lounges (a whole 50 meters from the hotel – ugh, such effort!), deciding which beach shack restaurant to haul myself to for lunch, where to go for sunset cocktails and which restaurant to go to for dinner.
I don’t bother going to massage parlors. I make them come to me! I mean, how could one possibly expect me to take the 20 steps from my beach lounge to where the masseuse is when they will take the 20 steps and come to me?
It’s just too much sometimes. So stressful! So stressful! 😉 I needed a cocktail regularly to calm my nerves!
My absolute favorite thing about Thailand is the food. I go nuts over Thai food here in Australia but nothing beats the real thing in Thailand. It’s just so good. SO good!
I love the beach shack restaurants set up under the palm trees along beaches. They’re so quaint, ridiculously cheap and I love squidging my feet in the sand while I eat and looking out over the impossibly blue ocean.
I say “love”, but I should say “loved”. Because in the few years since I last went to Thailand, all the beach shack restaurants have been banished! Can you believe that? Apparently, the King of Thailand visited Phuket, didn’t “like the look” of the beach shacks and created a law to ban them. So they’re all gone. Gone! I’m so sad. And also I got sad thinking about all those families who lost their livelihood.
Thai Fried Rice is a favorite of mine both in Thailand and in Australia. I made this with chicken but you can use any protein you want – or make it meat free with tofu. I’ve provided alternatives for the sauces which you can choose depending on what you have or can source. Traditionally, Thai Fried Rice is not made with soy sauce. Purists will tell you that if you use soy sauce, it becomes Chinese fried rice.
But I have a few cookbooks by Thai restaurateurs and they do use soy sauce. So I’ve provided both.
Serve it with wedges of tomato and slices of cucumber for a truly authentic experience. This is just how they used to serve it at the beach shack restaurants!! – Nagi x
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola or peanut oil)
- 2 large garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1/2 onion , diced (brown, white or yellow)
- 5 oz / 150 g chicken breast , thinly sliced (Note 1)
- 3 scallion/shallot stalks , cut into 1.5 "/4 cm pieces
- 2 eggs , lightly beaten
- 3 cups cooked jasmine rice , cold (preferably refrigerated overnight) (Note 2)
- Sauce of choice (see below for options)
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce + 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce + 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce + 1 tsp sugar (any type)
- 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce + 1 1/2 Thai Seasoning (Gold Mountain) (Note 4)
- Tomato wedges
- Cucumber slices
- Fresh coriander
Heat oil in a large wok or a large skillet over medium high heat. (Add 1 tbsp extra oil if using a skillet)
Add garlic and stir fry for 20 seconds.
Add onion and stir fry for 1 minute.
Add chicken and shallots and stir fry for 1 minute or until the chicken just turns white (but still pink inside).
Push the chicken to the side and pour the egg into the middle. Scramble it quickly - about 30 seconds.
Add the rice and Sauce. Stir fry for 2 minutes or so to heat the rice and coat all the rice with the Sauce.
Serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro/coriander with tomato and cucumbers on the side.
1. Make sure you cut the chicken against the grain. To do this, look at the chicken and you will notice that the fibres mostly go in one direction. Cut through the fibres i.e. 90 degrees to the direction of the fibres. This yields the most tender pieces of chicken.
You can substitute with any protein you want, or even tofu.
2. You can substitute with long grain or medium grain rice. Short grain rice is too sticky to make fried rice. It's best to use rice refrigerated overnight because the grains dry out, making them ideal for stir frying to make fried rice. Freshly cooked rice is moist and sticky so it is more difficult to stir fry. If you are cooking rice especially to make fried rice, transfer the freshly cooked rice to a large bowl or spread it out onto a plate and refrigerate it until cold.
1 cup of uncooked rice will make 3 cups of cooked rice. But to be safe, I would suggest cooking 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice. Follow the directions on your rice packet.
3. There are many variations of Thai Fried Rice. I have provided different sauces so you can choose one you can make with the condiments you have available. The one made with Soy Sauce + Oyster Sauce is more akin to Thai home cooking. The sauce made with fish sauce + Oyster Sauce is the version that purists say is "real" Thai fried rice without soy sauce (because they say if you use soy sauce, it is Chinese fried rice). And the sauce made using Thai Seasoning Sauce is commonly used by Thai restaurants in Australia. All are delicious, that I promise you!
4. Thai Seasoning Sauce is thicker, sweeter and saltier than soy sauce. It is similar to Oyster sauce in consistency. Gold Mountain is the most common one in Australia. It is available in Asian stores and costs around $2 for a large bottle.
5. Optional extras: Add leafy Asian greens or other vegetables of choice, add finely chopped red chili when cooking the garlic or add chili paste when you add the Sauce into the rice.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 3 servings.