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Thai Fried Rice - Khao Phat ข้าวผัด Recipe & Some Tips for Fried Rice

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Labels: , , , |

Fried rice is based on the leftover philosophy.  What better way to make use of your leftover ingredients or when cleaning your fridge than to cook a good bowl of delicious fried rice?  Since I have been trying my hand at Thai cuisine lately, like my tom yum soup and green curry chicken, I was left with a handful of kaffir lime leaves and of course I bought a new jar of nam prik pao (Thai roasted chilli paste) and still have an almost full bottle of fish sauce. (Note: fish sauce is also used a lot in Chinese cooking.)  Naturally, I thought of making fried rice, Thai style.

Thai Fried Rice Recipe and Tips

There are no fixed rules for what you can put in your fried rice.  Just be creative and add in whatever vegetables or protein that you fancy or have on hand at the moment.  However, I would say that using day-old cooked rice is of utmost importance as freshly cooked rice will be too starchy and will result in a wok of fried mush instead of fried rice!  If you really crave fried rice but don't have day-old cooked rice on hand, you can try laying out freshly cooked rice on a baking tray and force-cool it down.  Wait until rice is entirely cold before frying.

Thai Fried Rice Recipe and Tips

As a huge fan of fried rice, I have tried making it at home numerous times, the first few times were pretty disastrous when I tried years ago, the taste was good but the texture of the rice left much to be desired.  Finally, I concluded that apart from day-old rice, it is important to use a big wok and to make sure it is smoking hot!  While frying the rice, the rice should be dancing about in the wok - that means the wok is hot enough.  A wok is really the best apparatus for cooking fried rice, pans won't work half as good and you have to make sure there is enough room to stir the rice around as you will be furiously stirring the rice to make sure nothing gets burnt while maintaining the high heat.  The high heat is necessary in fried rice for the necessary 'wok breath' that makes it more aromatic and tastier.  According to some Chinese chefs, the mark of a good fried rice dish apart from taste is that each grain of rice should be coated evenly hence fast and furious frying is usually needed to ensure such.

Thai Fried Rice Recipe and Tips

In conclusion, the bare essentials (excluding ingredients) for fried rice are:

1.  Day-old cooked rice (preferably jasmine)
2.  Big wok (typing this makes me laugh a little as 'big wok' translated literally to Cantonese (a slang) means  big trouble)

What else would you add to this list?


2 cups day old cooked rice (kept in fridge)
4 eggs (2 for making omelettes to be laid on top of rice while serving and 2 for cooking with the rice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks green onions/ scallions, sliced
handful of kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
4 bird's eye chilli peppers, sliced
1 tbsp of nam prik pao (Thai roasted chilli paste)
Fish sauce, to taste
Generous handful of dried anchovies (rinsed)
Dash of white pepper (optional)

Thai Fried Rice Recipe and Tips


Firstly, prepare the omelette (this is optional) and set aside.  Before starting to cook, use your hands to crush the cooked rice to make sure there are no lumps. 

Heat up your wok till almost smoking.  Add about 2 tbsps of cooking oil and swirl around to coat well.  Remove from heat. This is done to avoid burnt garlic.  Place the minced garlic, green onions, chilli peppers and kaffir lime leaves and stir fry for about 10 seconds or until fragrant.  Place wok back on heat and add anchovies.  Fry till aromatic.  Add nam prik pao and 1 tbsp of fish sauce.

Immediately add the cold rice and stir around quickly to coat.  The rice should be dancing around your wok merrily at this point.  Make a well in the middle of the wok i.e. stir the rice onto the sides of the wok (that's why a big wok is preferable).  Add the 2 eggs onto the middle and quickly stir the rice into the eggs, all the while frying quickly to coat well.  Add another 1 tbsp of fish sauce to the rice and again stir around quickly to coat.  Do a taste test and add more fish sauce if desired. 

Plate rice and garnish with omelette, green onions and chilli peppers.  Add a dash of white pepper before eating if desired.

Thai Fried Rice Recipe and Tips


Cheah said...

Your fried rice looks so inviting. Great clicks too!

Rosa said...

I would add a sturdy metal spatula :) Love your fried rice dish.

PeterH said...

thanks for the tips!

Peggy said...

Fried rice is definitely a typical weeknight meal for us! Your version looks absolutely delicious!

tigerfish said...

Indeed. Love those Thai aromatics such as kaffir leaves!

Carolyn Jung said...

Oooh, kaffir lime leaves. That's a wonderful addition. I'll have to try that. That IS the beauty of fried rice and omelets, too. You can personalize them in almost any way you want.

Jen (Tastes of Home) said...

Cheah, thanks!

Rosa - good point :D

Peter - thks!

Peggy - thanks, yup fried rice is such a quick and easy meal.

TF - yes, now I love cooking with kaffir leaves :D

Carolyn - you're right on the personalisation and for omelette too :D

KennQ29 said...

i love fried rice and i can't wait to have a taste of this. thanks for sharing.

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