This isn’t so much a recipe as a general guideline for making fried rice, which I’ve adapted from Kasma Loha-unchit. Feel free to make any variation that best suits you, but do try out the original to get you started; I think the amount of thick sweet black soy sauce and fish sauce is just perfect for seasoning the rice, while the basil adds a delicious perfume. I like to add a fried egg on top: the rich, runny yolk and the golden crunchy-edged whites contrast very well with the rice.
There is only one rule: use cold rice. I’m generally not really strict about recipe-following, but this comes from experience: fresh, warm rice just turns to mush in the pan. Leftover rice that’s been stored overnight in the fridge is best – the grains become cold and dry, frying up perfectly in the wok. You can also cook and then cool rice earlier in the day: using the absorption method or a rice cooker, 200g raw Thai jasmine rice to 280ml water should yield enough rice for this recipe (or 2 people generally).
If your pan or wok is only small, please feel free to make one portion at a time: that’s how I do it! This is easily one of the most delicious, versatile, good-natured meals you can make.
- . 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus a little extra.
- . 200g chicken skinless, boneless thighs or breasts, or any protein of choice
- . 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- . 4 shallots, sliced into thin rounds
- . 3 medium carrots, or about 200g vegetables of your choice, thinly sliced
- . 2 Thai birds eye chillies, finely chopped. Use more or less to your liking
- . About 500g cold, cooked Thai jasmine rice.
- . 2 teaspoons thick sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
- . 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- . 25g sweet basil leaves (about a generous handful)
- . 1 egg per person (optional)
- . Ground white pepper
- . Lime wedges to serve
- Make sure all of the chicken and vegetables are ready to go when you stir fry.
- Using a fork or your hands, fluff up the rice so the grains are separate.
- Heat a wok or skillet over a high heat, then add the oil, swirling to coat the surface.
- When the oil is just starting to smoke, add the chicken and garlic, stir-frying until fragrant and just turning firm.
- Add the shallots, chilli and vegetables. Stir-fry until just cooked – the vegetables should be brightly coloured and easily pierced with a knife.
- Tumble in the rice, stirring well until thoroughly coated in oil and beginning to brown.
- Evenly sprinkle over the thick soy sauce and fish sauce, giving everything a good toss.
- Stir in basil leaves until just wilted and very fragrant.
- Divide the fried rice onto plates immediately.
- If you like, fry the eggs in a separate frying pan with 1 tablespoon oil over a medium-high heat. They should have crisp golden edges and runny yolks, and go on top of the fried rice immediately when they’re ready.
- Add plenty of ground white pepper and serve with lime wedges.