Updated: Jul 5, 2022
Everyone loves fried rice, it is a standard on every Chinese menu, and variations of this dish exist in Chinese, Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines. It is a classic dish that takes on the flavors and meat from the region and is absolutely a customer favorite.
So how do you know when you are having terrific fried rice? the few characteristics are that the rice grains should be separate, not mushed together in a gooey mess. The dish should be lightly oiled, not floating in a layer of grease. And finally, the perfect balance of spice, flavor, and everything delicious. Trust me, you know when you have good fried rice, it truly is memorable.
This traditional recipe was with beef, however, I have substituted mutton. You can also choose to substitute chicken, or finely diced firm tofu for a vegetarian version.
Here is fried rice that I think is absolutely delicious. I chose to make this with brown jasmine rice for the extra bite. The spices and chilies in the dish beautifully coat the rice and meat giving the dish that pops of flavor. The ground meat is crisp and compliments the bite of the rice beautifully. It is served with a spicy sauce that adds that touch of acid from the lime juice to cut the fat and that extra pop of spice to make you sweat. this is fried rice I am in love with.
This is a new cookbook on my shelf, one I have craved for a long time. The cookbook is from a chain of restaurants in London and across the UK. The recipes are very authentic and they pop with flavors. Most recipes are super simple to make and those that I have made are always wonderful. You will see me cook from here again when I crave simple Thai cuisine.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 lb ground beef, mutton, or chicken
1 cup white or brown jasmine rice, cooked separately
2-3 Thai red chilies, halved
2-3 Thai green chilies, halved
A few drops Thai fish sauce, or any fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Salt, to taste
15-20 Thai basil leaves, roughly torn
Scallions, cut in fine circles, to garnish (optional)
For the chili paste:
4 garlic cloves, 3-4 Thai red chilies, chopped
3-4 Thai green chilies, chopped
A pinch of salt
For the nam pla prik chilli fish sauce:
1 Thai red chili, finely minced
1 Thai green chili, finely minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup water
Start by making the chili paste. Add the ingredients to a small mortar and pound to a rough paste. Set aside.
Make the nam pla prik chilli fish sauce by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and setting it aside for the flavors to mingle. Allow curing for at least 1 hour. The sauce starts very spicy but usually mellows out with time. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep wok on a high flame. Add the meat and stir fry till the meat is lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes depending on the heat of your stove. Take care to use a wooden spatula to break up the lumps till you get a very fine crumble.
When the meat is lightly colored, turn the heat down to medium and add the chili paste, and fry. Cook for 1 minute till you can smell the spice.
Add the rice, chilies, fish sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce and mix in well tossing the rice to coat it with the sauce. Cook for an additional 3 minutes on very high heat till the rice starts getting crisp on the outside, you will see it change a shade of color. Taste and adjust the salt.
Serve immediately garnished with the basil, and scallions (if desired), and with the nam pla prik chilli fish sauce on the side.
Note: This is a dish that should be eaten as soon as it is made. Do not make it ahead of time and keep.