Spicy Rice

Fried rice is one of my go-to dishes. I love making it for lunch because it's quick and I can usually just use up a bit of this and that. I love making it for dinner because my family loves it and can add extra toppings at the table to customize it. I even love making it for breakfast because it already has scrambled eggs in it! And it's so versatile that it can be tweaked to use what you have on hand and represent any number of cultures, including Thailand:

This sweet and spicy rendition brings a lot of flavor to the table in about 20 minutes. If you wanted to make it heartier and serve it as a main course, consider adding chopped chicken or tender chunks of shrimp. As it is here, it makes a beautiful side dish to any number of Asian dishes. We love making spicy Asian-inspired pork tacos and having this alongside, but put together a menu that will make your family smile.

Really, when time is short, I love making this and pulling apart a rotisserie chicken and just laying a few pieces of tender chicken over a bowl of this and serving it with the hot sauces, tamari, and other condiments my family enjoys. And who out there hasn't wanted a quick dinner just like this once in a while?

Thai Fried Rice

  • 2 T. canola oil, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. thinly sliced watercress, arugula, or cilantro (optional)
  • 1½ c. chopped pineapple
  • 6 yellow mini peppers, sliced into rings
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. cooked and chilled jasmine rice
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 T. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 1 small lime, halved
  • Salt, to taste

Heat a large wok, cast iron skillet, or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and place an empty serving bowl nearby. Once the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact, add 1 teaspoon of the oil. Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are scrambled and lightly set. Transfer the eggs to the empty bowl. Add the chopped greens on top of the eggs in the bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan; add the pineapple and yellow pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated and the pineapple is caramelized on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl of eggs and greens.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of the oil to the pan. Add the rice to the pan, sprinkle the Chinese five spice powder over the rice, and stir to combine. Cook until the rice is hot, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.

Pour the contents of the bowl with the eggs and vegetables back into the pan and stir to combine, breaking up the scrambled eggs with your spoon. Cook until the contents are warmed through; remove the pan from the heat. Add the tamari and chili garlic sauce, to taste. Squeeze the juice of ½ lime over the dish and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve warm.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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