When my mom was here, not only did she cook dinner every night, she also cleaned up after everyone. When she wasn’t cooking up a three course Thai meal, she was organizing my refrigerator and cupboards. When she wasn’t doing that she was running around town doing my errands. Let’s hear it for MOMS! (Dad did his fair share too, more on that later.) My hard-working parents flew back east this morning. There is a pain in my heart and a rumble in my tummy.
One of the first things my mom taught me how to cook was Thai fried rice. If there is ever a revision of How to Win Friends & Influence People I strongly suggest Dale Carnegie include a chapter entitled Learn How to Cook Thai Fried Rice and copy the recipe below.
Mom’s Thai Fried Rice
Wok, Rice cooker, wooden spoon (flat or angled is better than rounded, for scraping the sides of the wok)
- 4 cups cooked long grain jasmine rice. I use brown. Sometimes I use Japanese short grain. What’s important is that rice for fried rice should be a little drier than usual. You’ll be adding ingredients that make it wetter.
- 1/2 pound pre-cooked shrimp (or 1/2 box of Firm Tofu)
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame or peanut oil for more flavor (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups pre-steamed broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup peas
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar (I use raw)
- 1 stalk scallion, chopped
- 2 limes (1 to squeeze onto rice, 1 for garnishes)
- 1 cucumber, cut and set aside on plate with lime wedges)
Make sure your ingredients are prepped and ready to be cooked. Keep sauces close at hand. Once the wok is hot you will have to move quickly.
So…. In a wok:
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil
- Add garlic. Soften, don’t burn.
- Add rice, stir
- Add fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, stir.
- Make a hole in the rice and cook your egg inside it, beating it as you cook. (if this step freaks you out, just pre-cook the egg separately.)
- Add tomatoes and peas, continue stirring
- Add pre-cooked shrimp or tofu and broccoli, stir
- Add scallion and squeeze half lime all over, stir
- Add more soy sauce, fish sauce or sugar to taste.
Serve with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, scallion (cut into 3” pieces), lime wedges and Pik Nam Pla (See Below.)
Pik Nam Pla (ignore this part if you can’t take the HEAT! Also, not kid-friendly.)
Mix the following in a small condiment bowl:
- 5 chopped red and green thai chillies
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I often find myself with no fresh limes, bottled lime juice is fine.)
The broccoli can be substituted for bok choy, or even kale. When I’m making it for the kids I will scramble the egg around the rice creating more of an omelet with rice and vegetables inside. Kids can make quite a mess with rice, so it’s good to have it clumped together.
With a few adjustments this recipe can become Pineapple Fried Rice. (coming soon!)
Enjoy! Get ready for people to friend you for your fried rice. Maybe we’ll call it Thai Friend Rice…