Thai Fried Rice

Growing up I was never a big fan of rice; despite having it at every meal I always used to push it away after a few bites in favor of the other things on my plate. These days, while my palate has grown significantly, it still hasn’t developed much of a taste for rice. That being said today’s recipe is one of my favorite meals ever. 

I happened upon the delicious grains while hunting down a dinner dish on The criteria were as follows: it should be fast, healthy, and have a Chinese, Thai , or Vietnamese flavor profile. Fast because I was getting hungry, healthy because its the right thing to do, and Asian because i’d been cooking a lot of Italian and Hispanic dishes and felt the need to change things up. I had long since bookmarked a recipe for Fried Rice on that had been gathering dust, but after quickly skimming the ingredients I knew this fit the bill perfectly.

What sets this recipe apart from the rest is the sauce. Made with equal parts fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar it is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. If Fish Sauce eww! is your reaction, I implore you to try this dish anyway. Fish sauce is an integral ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine and lends popular dishes such as Pad Thai and Green Papaya salad their tangy flavor.  In fact fish sauce is so ubiquitis in Southeast Asian fare that if you have ever had this type of food before you have almost certainly already sampled it.

OK, now that you are confidently wielding a bottle of fish sauce it’s time to get down to business. As I mentioned before, I adapted this recipe from Fried Rice with Cilantro which can be found on That version is very good, but because it has such a short ingredient list it’s more suited as a side than a main.To turn this into an entree I added in a lot more vegetables and upped the protein content. Happy eating!

Thai Fried Rice

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon oil

3 eggs, beaten

1 white onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapenos, diced

1.5 cups cubed chicken breast, pork, shrimp, or combination

2 cups cooked jasmine rice cooked, chilled

1.5 tablespoon white sugar

1.5 tablespoon fish sauce

1.5 tablespoon soy sauce

red pepper flakes to taste

2 teaspoons chopped green onion

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 

Have all ingredients pre-cut before beginning. In a small bowl dissolve the sugar into the soy and fish sauce and season with rep pepper flakes to if desired; set aside. 

Lightly oil a wok or large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Scramble the egg then remove to a separate plate. Next add in the pork and cook ~1 min. Add in the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic and continue to cook stirring frequently for 2-3 min. Add in the rice, eggs, and sauce and stir to incorporate into the rest of the ingredients cooking ~1 min. Turn off heat and stir in the herbs. Serve intermediately with additional red pepper flakes and Sriracha. 

Adapted from: Fried Rice with Cilantro on