This spicy and robust Thai Fried Rice (Khao Pad) is a Thai Style Fried Rice dish that is super easy to make and is full of flavors. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
Thai Fried Rice, which is also popularly called as ‘Khao Pad’ in the local language, is a stir-fried rice recipe with lots of Thai basil, bird’s eye chilies, veggies, and sauces. It is a great one-pot dish to serve for lunch or dinner.
The blend of steamed grained rice, stir-fried vegetables, and rich spices and sauces effuse aroma that leaves everyone craving for Thai Basil Fried Rice.
Here, I have added Prawns, but you can even make it with chicken or even lots of vegetables for a vegan option.
The tantalizing aroma of Khao Pad lingers in the streets of Thailand as this traditional dish is very common amongst the street hawkers and restaurants. Not only in Thailand, nowadays you will find this easy and delicious Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe on the menu of almost every Thai restaurant all over the world.
I often make this as a quick and light dinner or serve it as a side dish with my special Thai meals on weekends.
This Basil Thai Fried Rice is,
- Quick & Easy
- Just like the restaurant one
- Perfect for your weekend Thai Brunch
Rice – Rice is the main component in this fried rice recipe and to get the best texture one must use day-old rice.
In Thailand, jasmine rice is the ideal choice as it has a unique sweet flavor and is the most preferred rice amongst the Asians. However, feel free to use any short grain rice to make this recipe.
Sometimes to give it a healthy twist, I even substitute rice with quinoa or cauliflower rice for my weekday meals.
Basil – The other main ingredients that are incorporated to infuse taste in Thai Basil Fried Rice are condiments and sauces that bring in a distinctive taste to the recipe. Thai Basil is added to intensify the taste of the dish.
Fish Sauce – The main component that brings the unique taste in Thai Rice is the Fish sauce. Fish sauce induces a beautiful balance of sweet, salty, acidic, and spicy flavors that are important in Thai cuisine. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can skip adding fish sauce.
Soy sauce, Oyster Sauce and brown sugar are also added to intensify the food.
Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies – Thai bird’s eye chilies give this dish a spicy kick. You can use any hot red chili if these chilies are not available.
Prawns – I have added prawns that are a hit in my house. Many people add scrambled eggs, crab meat, chicken, and varied vegetables according to their taste preferences.
Other Ingredients – Apart from these ingredients, you will need garlic, scallions, onion, salt, and pepper.
Step By Step Recipe
Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and keep aside.
Add chillies, garlic, and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound to make a fine paste.
Heat oil in a wok.
Once the wok is very hot, add the crushed garlic and red chillies and saute for a minute.
Add onion and fry for a few seconds.
Add prawns and cook until they turn pink in colour.
Now add the sauce mixture and cooked rice and mix everything well.
Add salt, pepper, scallion and basil and mix well.
Frequently Asked Questions
This fried rice recipe tastes best better when made with one-day-old rice and therefore leftover rice is the best to make Thai Basil Fried Rice. Even if you are making fresh rice for this recipe, let it cool down completely before adding it to the fried rice mixture.
Khao Pad literally translates to stir-fried rice and is a classic dish of Thailand. Unlike Chinese fried rice that contains a lot of vegetables, Thai Rice is a blend of green onions, prawns/ shrimps, scallion, and a few sauces that bring in tanginess in the recipe.
Fish sauce is the main ingredient that differentiates Thai from Chinese Fried Rice. Thai version also has lots of Thai Basil Basil added to it which adds a very unique taste.
Chinese Fried Rice is prepared using any short grain rice while Thai Fried Rice is mostly made using jasmine rice.
Another alternative of this recipe is the Thai Cauliflower Fried Rice that is healthier as it contains low carbs compared to the regular one. Replace the rice with cauliflower rice and keep the rest of the recipe and you have a low carb KETO dish ready in no time.
For a vegan version, you can skip prawns and add in vegetables such as Carrots, Broccoli, Green Onions, Beans, Mushrooms, etc. You can also use Tofu instead of Prawns for the protein in the dish.
When it comes to fish sauce, you can use an equal amount of soy sauce instead. And you can opt for vegetarian oyster sauce, which is a little thinner than the regular oyster sauce.
Thai Basil Fried Rice is a bit high on fat content and calories, therefore it cannot be considered healthy. You can enjoy it once in a while like on weekends for your cheat meals.
To make it a bit healthy, you can substitute rice with Quinoa or Couscous.
This Thai Fried Rice if full of flavor on its own and thus can be served as a weekday dinner. You can serve it along with some Thai Curries such as Thai Red Chicken Curry, Thai Basil Chicken or Thai Green Curry.
Sometimes I even like to serve a simple Thai flavoured Grilled Chicken or Fish on the side.
This rice recipe stays good in the refrigerator for about 2 days. Store it in an airtight container. Heat it in the pan or in the microwave for a few minutes, before serving.
With Pineapple – Add 1/2 cup of cubed pineapple pieces in the rice while stir-frying.
With Mango – Cut a ripe mango into small cubes and add it in the rice Use firm mango for this recipe.
Cauliflower Rice – Use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice for a low carb Keto version of this dish.
With Sausages – Add chopped sausages in the rice.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use a day old rice to prepare this Thai Basil Fried Rice. If you are making it fresh too, make sure you cool down the rice fully and then use it to make the dish.
You can also add in vegetables along with Prawns 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 by one and there will be no time left to prep.
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Thai Fried Rice Recipe
For the sauce
- 3 tsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp Oyster Sauce
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
For the stir Fry
- 2-3 Bird's Eye Chilies
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 cup Onion (Thinly Sliced)
- 10-12 Prawns (Cleaned and deveined)
- 3 cups Cooked Short Grain Rice
- 1/4 cup Scallions (Chopped)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 cup Thai Basil (Roughly torn)
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce in bowl and keep aside.
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce in bowl and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a wok.
- Once the wok is very hot, add the chilli and garlic paste and sauce for a minute.
- Add onion and fry for a few seconds.
- Add prawns and cook until they turn pink in colour.
- Now add the sauce mixture and cooked rice and mix everything well.
- Add salt, pepper, scallion and basil and mix well.
- Serve hot.