Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad)

4.09 from 12 votes

This authentic Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad) is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes. Try this easy recipe and serve it as a side dish or main course.

You can also try my other favorite Thai recipes: Vegan Pad Thai Noodles, Thai Red Chicken Curry, and Thai Pineapple Fried Rice.

Thai fried rice served in a bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

About Thai Fried Rice

Have you ever heard of Khao Pad? It’s the Thai name for the irresistible dish we know as Thai Fried Rice.

Picture this: fragrant jasmine rice tossed with vibrant Thai basil, fiery bird’s eye chilies, a medley of veggies, and a symphony of sauces dancing together perfectly.

Let me tell you, this dish isn’t just any fried rice; it’s a flavor explosion! Thai cuisine nails that delicate balance of sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy flavors, and Khao Pad perfectly showcases that culinary magic.

Stroll through the streets of Thailand, and you’ll catch whiffs of this tantalizing aroma wafting from street stalls and restaurants alike. It’s a staple, a go-to, and for good reason. Quick to whip up, it’s a lifesaver for those lunch or dinner dilemmas.

And here’s the beauty: you can customize it to your heart’s content. Load it up with your favorite veggies, and toss in some protein if you fancy; the possibilities are endless!

Now, let’s talk serving. A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of white ground pepper, and don’t forget the Nam Pla Prik dipping sauce – that’s how you elevate your Khao Pad game. And if you’re feeling extra indulgent, crown it with a perfectly fried egg.

So there you have it – Thai Fried Rice, the ultimate comfort food with a Thai twist. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients

Thai fried rice sauce ingredients.
Thai fried rice ingredients.
Thai fried rice ingredients.

Rice – Cooked Thai jasmine rice is the ideal choice for this Thai-style fried rice recipe, as it has a unique sweet flavor and is the most preferred rice among Asians. However, feel free to use any short-grain rice to make this recipe.

To give this dish a healthy twist, you can replace rice with quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice.

Basil – Try to get Thai basil for that authentic taste. If it’s unavailable, use regular sweet basil (Italian basil) instead.

SaucesYou will need fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. To make this dish vegetarian, skip adding fish sauce and use vegetarian oyster sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.

Thai bird’s eye chilies give this dish a spicy kick. If these chilies are unavailable, you can use any hot red chili.

Shrimp – Use fresh or frozen shrimp. If they are not already cleaned and deveined, do so.

You can replace shrimp with chicken, crab meat, pork, or beef.

Other Ingredients – This recipe also requires oil, garlic, green onions (spring onions), brown sugar, onions, salt, and pepper.

Brown sugar can be replaced with palm sugar or honey.

How To Make Thai Fried Rice

Preparation

Start by gathering all the ingredients. Making this fried rice hardly takes time, but you must be quick while stir-frying it. To make the process quick and smooth, ensure all the required ingredients are prepared and kept next to the cooking counter.

Make sure the rice is already cooked and cooled well. It is essential to use cold rice to keep the grains separate. The fried rice will turn out mushy if the rice is freshly cooked. Check out my Instant Pot White Jasmine Rice recipe to cook perfect rice.

Prepare the shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, thaw them to room temperature. Wash them and pat them dry using a kitchen towel. If using fresh shrimp, remove the head and tail. Remove the vein using a sharp paring knife. Wash the shrimp well and pat dry.

Make The Sauce

Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl and keep aside.

  • 3 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
Sauce ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Pound The Chilies And Garlic

Add the following ingredients to a mortar and pestle and pound to make a coarse paste.

  • 2-3 bird’s eye chilies
  • 3-4 peeled garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Thai red chilies, garlic and salt pounded in a  mortar.

Stir Fry The Rice

Heat 3 tablespoon oil in a wok or a large skillet on high heat.

Once the oil is very hot, add the crushed garlic and red chilies and saute for 8-10 seconds.

Chili paste added to hot oil.

Add ½ cup thinly sliced onion and fry for 4-5 seconds.

Onions added to the pan.

Add 10-12 shrimp and cook until they turn pink in color, 2-3 minutes.

Shrimp added to the pan.

Now add the sauce mixture and 3 cups of cooked and cooled rice and mix everything well.

Sauce and rice added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup packed Thai basil (roughly torn)

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Salt, pepper and green onions added to the pan.

Serve hot with sliced tomato, cucumber, and lime wedges.

Ready Thai Fried Rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make vegan Thai-style fried rice?

For a vegan version, you can skip shrimp and add vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, green onions, beans, mushrooms, etc. You can also use tofu instead of shrimp for the protein in the dish.

Regarding fish sauce, you can use an equal amount of soy sauce instead. And you can opt for vegetarian oyster sauce.

You Might Also Like

This authentic Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad) is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes. Try this easy recipe and serve it as a side dish or main course.
4.09 from 12 votes

Authentic Thai Fried Rice Recipe (Khao Pad)

This authentic Thai Style Fried Rice (Khao Pad) is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes. Try this easy recipe and serve it as a side dish or main course.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients 

For The Sauce

  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar

For The Stir Fry

  • 2-3 Thai bird's eye chilies (stalks removed)
  • 3-4 peeled whole garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more as per taste)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 10-12 shrimp (cleaned and deveined)
  • 3 cups cooked Jasmine rice (cooled completely)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup packed Thai basil (roughly torn)
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

Make The Sauce

  • Mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and keep aside.

Pound The Chilies And Garlic

  • Add bird’s eye chilies, garlic cloves, and salt to a mortar and pestle and pound to make a coarse paste.

Stir Fry The Rice

  • Heat oil in a wok or a large pan over high heat.
  • Once the oil is very hot, add the crushed garlic and red chilies and saute for 8-10 seconds.
  • Add onions and fry for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink in color, 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add the sauce mixture and cooked rice and mix everything well.
  • Add black pepper, green onions, and Thai basil and mix well.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Serve hot with sliced tomato, cucumber, and lime wedges.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Use day-old rice. If you cook it fresh, cool the rice fully before using it to make the dish.
You can add vegetables along with shrimp to make it filling and wholesome.
Prep all the ingredients beforehand and then start this dish. As it is cooked on high heat, you will need ingredients one after the other, and there will be no time left to prep.
If using frozen shrimp, thaw them to room temperature. Wash them and pat them dry using a kitchen towel. If using fresh shrimp, remove the head and tail. Remove the vein using a sharp paring knife. Wash the shrimp well and pat dry.

Nutrition

Calories: 645kcal, Carbohydrates: 92g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 2542mg, Potassium: 470mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 758IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 127mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
4.09 from 12 votes (10 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Great meal. I did not have any Thai basil so I just used regular dry basil. Next time I’ll hav to try it with the Thail basil. I am sure it will just make it much better.

  2. 5 stars
    I am a terrible cook but managed to follow the recipe, OMG it’s amazing! Almost as good as if someone other than me cooked it 😊

  3. 5 stars
    My husband and I LOVE this!! I end up adding mushrooms but there are never any leftovers! Incredible recipe!!!!

  4. Hey Neha. Just made this for dinner tonight and happy to say it disappeared within 15 minutes between the four of us 😊

    I’ve tried a few other recipes you’ve posted on Instagram and absolutely love them. I’m a baker by profession and when it comes to cooking for the family I’m always on the lookout for quick easy and yummy recipes. I’m so happy I found you ! Thank you 😊