What is Thai Fried Rice?
Fried rice is a popular and versatile dish found in many cultures, and Thai fried rice is a delicious variation that adds a unique twist of flavors. Thai fried rice, also known as “khao pad” in Thai, is a flavorful and aromatic rice dish that is commonly served as a main course. It is made by stir-frying cooked rice with a variety of ingredients and seasonings.
How is Thai Fried Rice Different?
While traditional fried rice typically uses soy sauce as the main flavoring agent, Thai fried rice takes it up a notch by infusing it with the distinctive flavors of Thai cuisine. Thai fried rice often incorporates a combination of fish sauce, oyster sauce, and soy sauce, giving it a rich umami taste with a hint of sweetness.
What are the Key Ingredients?
Just like any fried rice, the base of Thai fried rice is cooked rice. Jasmine rice, a fragrant long-grain rice, is commonly used in Thailand. However, you can still make a delicious Thai fried rice with other types of rice such as basmati or even leftover rice from the previous day.
In addition to the rice, Thai fried rice typically includes a medley of ingredients such as:
- Protein: Common choices are chicken, shrimp, pork, or tofu. You can also combine multiple proteins or use your favorite meat substitute.
- Vegetables: Thai fried rice often incorporates vegetables like onions, garlic, peas, carrots, bell peppers, and green onions. You can customize the vegetable mix according to your preference.
- Eggs: Fried rice wouldn’t be complete without the addition of eggs. They are commonly scrambled and mixed into the rice to add a creamy and rich texture.
- Seasonings and flavorings: The star of the show is the combination of fish sauce, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. These condiments give Thai fried rice its distinct flavor profile. Thai chili peppers or chili sauce can also be added for those who enjoy a bit of heat.
How is Thai Fried Rice Prepared?
To prepare Thai fried rice, start by cooking the rice according to the package instructions. It’s important to refrigerate the cooked rice for a few hours or overnight before using it in the recipe. This helps the grains to separate and prevents the rice from becoming mushy.
Next, heat some oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the protein of your choice and cook it until done. Push the protein to one side of the pan and crack in the eggs on the empty side. Scramble the eggs until they are cooked through, and then mix them with the protein.
Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and stir-fry them until they are crisp-tender. Then, add in the refrigerated cooked rice and stir-fry everything together. Pour in the sauces – fish sauce, oyster sauce, and soy sauce – and toss well to coat the rice evenly. If desired, add some chopped Thai chilies or chili sauce for an extra kick.
Continue stir-frying for a few more minutes until everything is well combined and heated through. Serve your delicious Thai fried rice hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or green onions for added freshness and flavor.
Thai fried rice is not only simple to make, but it also allows you to get creative and adapt the recipe to your personal preferences. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice and pack it with protein and vegetables for a satisfying and flavorful meal!