Thai Basil Fried rice is one of my favourite things to order at most Thai restaurants here in Atlanta. It is also one of the safest things on the menu whenever I visit a new Thai restaurant and I am unsure of what to order.
My love for Thai food grew when I moved to the States from England and found it difficult finding decent Chinese food that wasn’t fast and worthy of your money. Yes, I still have not found any decent Chinese restaurants and it is a shame because they were all over the place in England and Chinese food in Nigeria where I am originally from is far from basic too.
Moving here really made me appreciate Chinese food, as I long for it every now and then. Funny how you hardly appreciate what you have until you no longer have it. Passed through London on my way back from Lagos, Nigeria last Christmas and I made sure to stop at a Chinese restaurant that night.
The people at the restaurant probably thought my friend and I were so hungry because we were two smallish girls with a large appetite that night. I ordered some perking duck and flat pancakes, Chinese fried rice, chicken in sweet corn soup and some beef in black bean sauce. Yes, I ordered all four for just me and my friend Diane ordered her own picks.
When the food came and we had no space on the table, we had a little regret moment. Perhaps we should have shared after all, especially because we had dessert just before we stepped into the Chinese restaurant. Oh well, in the end, I got to eat all I had been missing here in the States.
All in all, glad I could discover the beauty that is Thai food and now, I can try it on my own at home. I love Thai basil fried rice and the distinctive taste and aroma it gets from the Thai basil. This dish is simple and quite easy to make at home. It also gives a break from the regular fried rice you are use to. My recipe for this simple dish is as follows;
1 cup of Basmati/Jasmine Rice
1/2 bell pepper (sliced)
5 shrimps (deveined)
1/4lb flank steak
1/4 Chicken breast
1 carrot (chopped)
1 onion (sliced)
1 tomato (cut into 4)
1 thumb Ginger (grated)
2 Garlic clives (crushed)
Thai Basil leaves (1 cup)
2 tsps chilli paste (or more)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Oil
Wash rice properly and boil on low heat for about 15 minutes. Transfer rice to a tray and completely cool.
Note: You can also boil rice the day before. A day olds rice works really well.
Heat oil in a wok, and add in your onions and fry until golden brown.
Add in carrots, bell peppers, ginger, and garlic in that order. Stir fry on low heat for about 3 minutes.
Add in red chilli paste, sugar, salt and soy sauce and stir fry for about 4 minutes more.
Add in the cooked rice and mix until well incorporated.
Add in thai basil leaves, tomatoes and shrimps and mix lightly. Cover to steam for about 5 minutes on low heat.
Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste buds.
Serve rice and enjoy.
Note: I added the tomatoes at the stage of the sugar, but I noticed my tomatoes got overcooked and gave my rice a distinct taste I did not like. So I have altered the recipe to add the tomatoes at a later stage.
Also, rice can be made with just one protein – you do not have to use a mix like I did. It can also be made as a veggie option, using no protein at all.