Thai red curry fried rice is an easy-to-make and flavorful dish made with ground chicken, topped with a fried egg, and served with lime wedges for a tangy burst of flavor.
Thai Red Curry Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons oil divided
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 4 shallots chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1-2 Thai chilies minced
- 3 scallions chopped, white and green ends separated
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped Thai basil
- 4 fried eggs
- lime wedges to serve
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.
- Heat another tablespoon oil in the same pan. Add chopped bell peppers and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add shallots, garlic, Thai chilies, and chopped white scallion ends. Stir to combine and saute for 2 minutes or until softened. Add red curry paste and saute for another minute, stirring to combine.
- Add back cooked ground chicken along with rice. Break up rice with a wooden spoon and mix until well combined. Continue to cook until rice is hot.
- Season fried rice with fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and black pepper. Remove from heat and stir in chopped Thai basil and chopped green scallion ends.
- Portion Thai red curry fried rice onto 4 plates and top with fried eggs. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
When I visited Thailand I was immediately drawn to the endless street food carts. Every corner had at least 2 or 3 vendors, offering more Thai food than I've ever had the pleasure of trying. In fact, there was one popular cart right outside our Airbnb that served the most delicious Thai basil chicken topped with a fried egg and served with rice. Just thinking about that dish makes my mouth water.
And so, I decided to create a version of that meal, combining it with another favorite, Thai red curry. This Thai red curry fried rice is a mashup of two popular dishes to create one amazing dish. It's easy to make, packed with flavor, and easily adaptable. A great satisfying weeknight dinner if you ask me!
- Ground chicken: Instead of ground chicken, you can use other types of ground meat such as beef, pork, or turkey. You can also use diced chicken breast, shrimp, or tofu.
- Rice: Although this is a fried rice recipe, you can use other grains such as quinoa, farro, bulgur, or even cauliflower rice.
- Red curry paste: Red curry paste is the main flavor component of this dish. You can find the paste at most Asian grocery stores.
- Vegetables: You can use a variety of vegetables such as carrots, green beans, broccoli, or mushrooms in addition to or in place of the red bell pepper.
- Egg: If you're not a fan of fried eggs, you can scramble the egg right into the fried rice or omit it completely.
- Herbs: Thai basil had a slightly savory, spicy, anise-like flavor that compliments the Thai red curry fried rice perfectly. However, if you can't find Thai basil, you can substitute it with Italian basil.
How to make Thai Red Curry Fried Rice
Step 1: Cook the Fillings
Start by browning the ground chicken. No matter what protein you choose, you want to cook it first. Make sure to fully cook the chicken and drain all of the excess juices. If you add the juices to the rice, the fried rice will be mushy.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside while you saute the bell peppers. Cook the peppers until softened, then add the aromatics including shallots, garlic, Thai chilies, and chopped white scallion ends. Only add the white ends of the scallions; we will be adding the green ends later on.
Step 2: Add the Rice
Add back the ground chicken to the pot along with the rice. Use a wooden spatula to break up the rice and heat until warm. You want to make sure there are no clumps of rice. The perfect fried rice means making sure every single grain of rice is seasoned.
Once the rice is hot, add the seasonings including fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and black pepper. If you don't like fish sauce, you can substitute it with soy sauce instead.
Step 3: Garnish the Fried Rice
Finish the fried rice with the reserved green onions and Thai basil. Although this Thai red curry fried rice is delicious on its own, a fried egg on top is the perfect finish. When you break into the runny egg, the rice becomes richer from the yolk, more comforting, and yes, even tastier.
Serve the dish with lime wedges on the side if desired. I personally loved the little bit of tang from the lime to offset the creamy egg.
Can I use any type of rice for fried rice?
While any type of rice can technically be used for fried rice, it is best to use long-grain rice such as jasmine or basmati rice.
Do I need to use day-old rice for fried rice?
Using day-old rice is preferred because it has a drier texture which makes it easier to stir-fry without becoming mushy. However, you can also use freshly cooked rice as long as you let it cool down completely before stir-frying.
Can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, you can make this dish vegetarian or vegan by substituting the ground chicken with crumbled tofu or omitting it altogether, and using soy sauce or vegetarian fish sauce instead of fish sauce.
For more fried rice inspiration check out this omurice with kimchi fried rice recipe!
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