Easy Thai fried rice. Surprising and delicious, the perfect quick meal for one
When I first came to Thailand, I always kind of snobbishly avoided fried rice…somehow thinking that it was only tourist food. Firstly…I know how lame that makes me sound, and secondly, was I ever wrong; and a quick meal of fried rice is a very often enjoyed and delicious authentic Thai meal.
After I learned to love it, I wanted to learn to cook it… and although a very easy dish to prepare, it is done a little bit differently than I would have assumed.
You can make fried rice with either freshly made rice (jasmine if you've got it!) or with day old refrigerated leftover rice. The maestros at the street side food stands here seem to have no problem using fresh hot rice, but I've always found that using day old leftover rice results in a better texture, and is less likely to become mushy. It doesn’t matter a great deal though, and you should probably just use what you have!
The surprising thing to me about making Thai fried rice…is that the vegetable additions are not actually fried, and are only added after the rice has been incorporated. The vegetables are only allowed to heat through/steam for a brief minute within the hot rice before serving.
The most common mistake made when people try to replicate the tastes of Thailand outside of Thailand, is using far too much meat in all dishes, especially in fried rice. Whether the meat is chicken, pork shrimp or crab (funnily enough often spelled crap in English translations, or poo as the Thai word written in English…funny to me and my three year old son anyway) you only need a small amount per portion, probably about an ounce to an ounce an ounce and a half cut thinly.
Thai fried rice
- 50 grams of meat (crab, shrimp, pork or chicken)
- 1 heaping cup of cooked rice
- One egg
- 1 half of a small and not overly ripe plum tomato, quartered
- About a quarter of a small onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed but not minced
- 1 tsp Fish sauce
- 1 tsp Soya sauce
- 1 Tbls Oyster sauce
- Pinch of msg (optional)
- ½ tsp of sugar
- Cooking oil
- Lime wedges and green onions for garnish
- Heat a small amount of oil (spoonful) in a wok over medium high heat, and when hot add the garlic for about 20 seconds, and then the meat for about another minute or until the meat is almost cooked through, crack the egg in, let it set for 20 seconds or so, and then scramble into the mixture.
- Add the rice and spread it out to integrate all the ingredients together. Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, msg (if using) and vegetables and let cook for about another minute. Taste for seasoning, and add more fish sauce for extra salt if needed.
- Garnish with cucumber slices, lime wedges, green onions (not chopped, but in 4 inch sections) and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro is desired.
The perfect quick and easy yet oh so satisfying 5 minute dinner for one.
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