Fried rice happens a lot at my house. Whenever I'm making rice - usually in my Instant Pot - I make more than I need so I can make fried rice sometime in the next few days. It's a planning for leftovers thing I do a lot. Then I'm likely to grab other leftovers, garden treasures, and yummy things to make a quick fried rice. Often, it's a little chaotic, but it's delicious and fast. Sometimes, however, I like to put a little more planning into it and give my fried rice a theme. I'm presenting one of my favorites here: Thai Red Curry Fried Rice.
Now, you need not go out of your way to get all of these ingredients. At its heart, fried rice is still a dish that begs you to use what you have on hand. I've made this with leftover diced pork, chilies of unknown origin handed off to me by a friend, and garlic chives from the front garden. I like to stick with the sauce stuff: fish sauce, red curry paste, and soy sauce. You can swap granulated sugar for honey or maple syrup, but I find the granulated sugar disperses in the dish much better than these other options. If you use them, make sure you stir things thoroughly before finishing the dish.
I find this to be a complete dish on its own and usually have it with iced tea (Thai iced tea would be a fun option) or a light beer or cider. Then sit down and enjoy and pat yourself on the back for having gotten dinner on the table in less than half an hour!
- 2 T. canola oil, divided
- 1 lb. minced chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ c. chopped red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 Thai chilies, minced
- 2 T. red curry paste
- 4 c. cooked rice - ideally leftover rice from another day
- 1 T. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ c. chopped Thai basil
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 4 fried eggs
- Hot sauce, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add the minced chicken and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
Heat the other tablespoon of canola oil in the same pan. Add the chopped bell peppers and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and Thai chilies. Stir to combine and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the red curry paste and sauté for another minute, stirring to combine.
Return the cooked chicken to the pan along with the rice. Break up the rice with a wooden spoon and mix until well combined. Continue to cook until the rice is hot.
Season the fried rice with fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped Thai basil and chopped scallions.
Portion the Thai red curry fried rice into 4 shallow bowls or plates and top with fried eggs. Serve immediately. Drizzle some of your favorite hot sauce over the eggs, if desired.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes