Thai Basil Fried Rice is absolutely delicious and can be made in 12 minutes with basic ingredients like shrimp, rice, eggs, and aromatics. Get ready for a one pan weeknight dinner that's so easy to make and packed full of flavors!
This quick and easy shrimp Thai fried rice recipe captures the authentic essence of a street-side dining experience in Thailand, echoing the vibrant and aromatic dishes found in bustling markets or cozy Thai eateries. The combination of fragrant jasmine rice, fresh vegetables, and succulent shrimp, delicately seasoned with a medley of Thai basil and spices, mirrors the true taste of Thailand.
Feel free to customize this Thai basil fried rice to your liking by substituting shrimp or prawns with your preferred protein—tender chicken, pork, beef, or tofu. This dish is so versatile and allows you to infuse your own personalization.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- So quick and easy! This Thai basil fried rice comes together in just 12 minutes, ideal for busy days, providing a convenient yet satisfying option for a flavorful homemade meal without compromising on taste.
- The protein option is versatile. Whether you're a seafood lover or prefer a plant-based alternative, the flexibility to switch out shrimp for chicken, beef, or tofu ensures this dish caters to your preferences.
- It is a great way to use up the ingredients you have on hand! I usually have leftover Thai basil from pho or bun rieu, and it's a great way to use it up before it goes bad.
Gather These Ingredients:
- Cooked and cooled rice - leftover, day-old white rice is the best, but you can use freshly cooked rice spread out on a baking sheet and cooled in the refrigerator/freezer. The key is that the rice is cooled and dried out a bit before stir-frying to prevent it from becoming mushy or clumping together during the cooking process.
- Seasonings - oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar. You can also substitute soy sauce for fish sauce or use an oyster sauce substitute.
- Oils - cooking oil and sesame oil. You can use any cooking oil, such as olive, vegetable, or avocado oil, to help stir-fry the ingredients. Sesame oil is used for a nutty aroma.
- Aromatics - use shallots or onions, green onions, garlic, and Thai basil. These ingredients contribute to the dish's overall taste, fragrance, and depth. Thai basil is a key ingredient in Thai cuisine known for elevating the taste of various dishes.
- Thai chili peppers (optional) - to give it some heat. Thinly slice the peppers and sauté them with the aromatics.
⬇️ Please scroll down to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions ⬇️
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Heat oil in a large skillet or large wok over medium high heat. Add shrimp and stir fry both sides for about 1-2 minutes until fully cooked. Remove and set it aside.
Step 2: In the same skillet, add a drizzle more oil and stir in shallots, the white part of green onions, garlic, and Thai chili peppers (if desired). Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet.
Step 3: Pour the beaten eggs into the open space and scramble until just cooked -about 20 seconds. Incorporate the eggs with the aromatics.
Step 4: Add rice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir-fry the mixture, ensuring the sauces are evenly distributed. Reintroduce the cooked shrimp and stir-fry for an additional 2-3 minutes. Top with fresh Thai basil and stir it in.
Step 5: Transfer the Thai fried rice to a serving dish. Garnish with additional Thai basil, green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
While you can use freshly cooked rice for Thai fried rice, using leftover rice is generally preferred as it tends to be drier, preventing the dish from becoming overly sticky and allowing the grains to maintain a distinct, chewy texture. If using freshly cooked rice, consider spreading it out on a tray to cool (either in the refrigerator or freezer) and dry for a while before stir-frying to achieve the best results.
Jasmine rice is commonly considered the best choice for Thai fried rice due to its fragrant aroma, slightly sticky texture, and ability to absorb flavors well.
Can I make Thai basil fried rice without shrimp or with a different protein?
Certainly, Thai basil fried rice is versatile, and you can customize the protein to suit your preferences. Instead of shrimp, you can use alternative proteins such as chicken, pork, beef, tofu, or a combination of vegetables for a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking times accordingly based on the protein you choose, ensuring it is cooked through and well incorporated into the fried rice.
To make Thai fried rice vegetarian or vegan, choose plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh, or omit them entirely, and replace fish sauce with soy sauce or tamari while incorporating a colorful array of vegetables for added flavor and nutrition. Adjust seasonings and consider using vegan-friendly substitutes for eggs, ensuring all ingredients align with your dietary preferences.
The spiciness of the fried rice can vary, but it often includes a moderate level of heat. To adjust the spice level to your preference, control the amount of Thai chili, chili sauce, or other spicy ingredients you add during the cooking process. Start with a smaller quantity and taste, and incrementally increase until you achieve the desired level of spiciness.
How to Store Leftovers
Allow the Thai fried rice to cool to room temperature, but don't leave it at room temperature for too long, ideally within two hours.
Refrigerate: Once the fried rice has cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and consume it within 3-4 days.
Reheat: Use a microwave or stovetop for reheating. Ensure the fried rice reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria.
Craving for More Fried Rice?
Thai Basil Fried Rice
- 3 cups cooked and cooled white rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive or avacado or peanut oil)
- ⅓ pound large prawn or shrimp (about 12-15)
- 1 shallot (or ½ onion) diced
- 2 green onions (scallions) thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1-2 Thai chili peppers (optional)
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoon oyster sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2-3 sprigs Thai basil
- Tomato wedges
- Cucumber slices
- lime wedges
- Heat oil in a large skillet or large wok over medium high heat. Add shrimp and stir fry both sides for about 1-2 minutes until fully cooked. Remove and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add a drizzle more oil and stir in shallots, the white part of green onions, garlic, and Thai chili peppers (if desired). Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet.
- Pour the beaten eggs into the open space and scramble until just cooked -about 20 seconds. Incorporate the eggs with the aromatics.
- Add rice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar. Stir-fry the mixture, ensuring the sauces are evenly distributed. Reintroduce the cooked shrimp and Thai basil and give it a good stir. Then, turn the heat to medium-high and let the bottom get crispy for 2 minutes. Stir, and repeat a couple of times.
- Transfer the Thai fried rice to a serving dish. Garnish with additional Thai basil, green onions, and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired. Serve hot.