Thai Basil Fried Rice


March 15, 2023

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You won’t need to order this favorite Thai dish once you learn how to make this Thai basil fried rice at home! I can’t express how much I love this dish, and whenever I cook it my kitchen smells INCREDIBLE! I paired mine with shrimp, but you can swap this out for any protein, or even make it vegetarian!

I love the flavors from the subtle heat of the Thai chili peppers and the fragrance from the Thai basil. Finish it off with a squeeze of lime and you can have an authentic Thai dish at home! It’s truly a spectacular way to eat fried rice that will surely be a crowd pleaser!

Watch the Thai Basil Fried Rice Recipe Video Below!

Thai Basil Fried Rice in bowl

Ingredients You’ll Need For Thai Basil Fried Rice

The ingredients for Thai basil fried rice are quite simple. You may need to take a visit to your local asian market to pick up some of the harder to find ingredients, but I’ll also provide substitutes for them down below!

  • Protein of choice (I used shrimp, marinade to follow)
  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Thai Chili Pepper
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Palm Sugar
  • White Pepper
  • Onion
  • Shallot
  • MSG (optional)
raw ingredients for thai basil fried rice

My Top Ingredient Tips for Thai Basil Fried Rice


I purchase this from my local 99 Ranch (a Chinese grocery chain) – if you cannot find Thai basil, you can sub with regular basil.

As always, this is optional 🙂 

My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Chinese food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.

Palm sugar is commonly used in Thai cooking – it’s made from the sap of coconut palm trees and has a caramel-y color & flavor to it that is most similar to brown sugar. It’s sold in circular blocks; I buy mine from 99 Ranch (a Chinese grocery chain). If you cannot find palm sugar, the best substitute is brown sugar or even white granulated sugar.

Thai cooking is known to have a bit of a kick to it, and oftentimes the spice is from using Thai chili peppers! I love using them, as a little goes a long way – however, if you are sensitive to spice, I would recommend starting with half the amount and adjusting accordingly.

Thai Basil Fried Rice: Recipe Instructions

Make Your Thai Chili Pepper & Garlic Paste

The first step in this process is to make your chili & garlic paste. This is one of the elements of the dish that makes it so fragrant! I use a mortar & pestle here, but if you don’t have one you can use a wide knife to chop and smash your paste together. Just be careful to not touch your face after handling the chili peppers! Gloves are also helpful here 🙂

thai chilis and garlic in a mortar and pestle

Smash your garlic cloves and thai chili peppers until a paste forms. I’m using 5 cloves of garlic and 3 thai chili peppers, but you can adjust according to your spice tolerance. This was about a 6 out of 10 on the heat scale for me!

Chili garlic paste made of thai chili and garlic

My Key Recipe Tips for Thai Basil Fried Rice


Do not use freshly steamed rice! The rice should be at least one day old to avoid having too much moisture; too much moisture in the rice will make your fried rice soggy and mushy.

I like to crumble my rice (I’ve found that dried out rice gets clumpy) – this helps each rice grain get cooked and coated in all of the delicious flavors!

For a recipe that comes together extremely quickly, the key to pulling this recipe off successfully is having your ingredients prepped and in bowls right next to your wok or pan! Have your premixed sauce, paste, vegetables, rice, and other ingredients ready and easily accessible during the cooking process.

Bring The Dish Together in the Wok

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE cooking in my wok. It brings an extra element of smokiness and flavor to the dishes I make (wok hei). Follow the recipe video for the full process and by the end, you’ll have a beautiful pan full of Thai Basil Fried Rice!

Thai Basil Fried Rice in a wok

If you liked this Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe, check out some of the most popular fried rice recipes on the blog!

Thai Basil Fried Rice in bowl

Thai Basil Fried Rice

This Thai Basil Fried rice is extremely fragrant, delicious, and so much better than takeout! It's super versitile and can be paired with any protein of your choice.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 3


Shrimp (or Protein of Choice)

  • 1/2 lb shrimp U40-50
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Garlic & Chili Paste

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 thai chili peppers adjust to your spice preference


  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar sub regular sugar
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp msg

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice uncooked measurement
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 2 cups thai basil can sub regular basil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil I used avocado oil

Optional Garnish

  • Thai Basil
  • Lime


  • In a bowl, add peeled and deveined shrimp and marinate with soy sauce, salt, white pepper, neutral oil, baking soda and cornstarch for 15 minutes.
  • In a mortar and pestle, combine garlic and thai chili peppers into a paste and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together oyster sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, white pepper, and msg.
  • In 3 tbsp of neutral oil over high heat, saute shrimp for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the garlic/chili paste for 15 seconds until fragrant, then immediately add shallots and onion. Stir fry for 1 minute.
  • Push the ingredients to the side, then add eggs and scramble (add 1 tbsp more oil if needed to cook the eggs). Mix together.
  • Add the day old rice and mix together over high heat, stir frying until the rice is toasted and relatively dry. Add the premixed sauce and combine.
  • Add shrimp and basil and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes over high heat. Garnish with limes and more basil and enjoy!
Keyword fried rice, shrimp, thai basil
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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    The most delicious fried rice i’ve ever made/eaten. So simple and addictive, nearly ate the whole thing.

  2. 5 stars
    Holy moly this tasted like it came straight from a restaurant! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My boyfriend loved it!!

  3. 5 stars
    Basil Fried Rice is my favorite! I left out the Chile’s because I don’t love spicy but now it’s lacking a little flavor. Us there anything you recommend replacing it with?

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I did add diced carrots and fresh shelled peas (CSA box came yesterday). The whole family loved it!

  5. Absolutely the best fried rice recipe (and I’ve tried A LOT)! I love that all the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and comes together so quickly. Adding this to our regular dinner menu. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first attempt at Thai Basil Fried Rice, which is one of my favorite meals. I cut the recipe in half and had to sub the Thai chilis (used serrano instead), but otherwise was faithful to the recipe. It was amazing. The leftover rice the next day was fantastic with a fried egg on top.