Authentic Thai Fried Rice in 30 Min – VIDEO

5 from 24 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

I learned how to make AUTHENTIC Thai Fried Rice during my travels in Thailand and I want to show you how you won’t need to order Thai Fried Ricee anymore once you learn how to make it at home! There’s nothing quite like Thai Fried Rice – the Thai Chili Peppers and the aromatic fragrance of the Thai Basil makes this one of the best Fried Rice dishes you’ll ever have!

Thai Basil Fried Rice in bowl

Watch the Thai Fried Rice Recipe Video Below!

raw ingredients for thai basil fried rice

Ingredients You’ll Need (and Substitutions) for Thai Fried Rice

Most of the ingredients for your Thai Basil Fried Rice are probably items you already have in your pantry. However, a few of the ingredients you need to make authentic Thai Fried Rice will require a visit to your local Asian grocery store. In the event that you cannot find them, I am going to provide some substitutions for you:

Protein and Rice

  • Protein of choice – I used shrimp in my version but you can use anything you prefer, like chicken, beef, crab, or even tofu.
  • Basmati or Jasmine Rice – I prefer long grain white rice for this recipe due to the lower moisture content but you can substitute with another white rice, if needed.
    • Fresh rice will not work, as it will be too moist and your fried rice will be soggy. You have two options:
      • You can use leftover old rice (rice that was cooked previously and refrigerated for at least one day).
      • You can cook rice in preparation for this dish and lay it out on a baking sheet uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight. This will help dry out the rice.
  • Eggs

Aromatics and Seasonings

  • Thai Basil – Thai Basil is used in Southeast Asian cooking extensively because of it’s spicy and savory quality. It’s great cooked in your dish or as a garnish. There’s nothing quite like it; however, I know it can be hard to come by at times. I find mine sometimes at my local Chinese grocery (99 Ranch) but it’s never guaranteed.
  • Garlic
  • Thai Chili Pepper
    • Thai Chili Peppers are used in countless Thai dishes; they’re delicious and spicy and when I can use them, I know they’ll make my dish that much better! However, they can be hard to come by – I’ve found them pretty consistently only at my local Chinese grocery (99 Ranch) but no other grocery stores.
    • If you can’t find Thai Chili Peppers, I would substitute with Serrano Peppers. Note, Serrano Peppers are not as spicy, so you may want to increase the amount, depending on your spice tolerance.
    • If you are sensitive to spice, start off with less than you think you need – trust me, Thai spicy is much spicier than other cuisines!
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Palm Sugar – Palm Sugar is a sugar made from palm trees that is less processed than white or brown sugar. It’s used in a lot of Southeast Asian cooking and has a nutty, caramel-y flavor. It’s usually sold in circular discs – I purchase mine from my local 99 Ranch.
    • If you can’t find palm sugar, you can substitute with brown sugar.
  • White Pepper
  • Onion
  • Shallot
  • MSG – As you know, I love to use MSG in moderation as a flavor enhancer. This is always optional.

Thai Fried Rice: Recipe Instructions

1. Marinate The Shrimp

Peel and devein your shrimp. In a mixing bowl, add your peeled and deveined shrimp and marinate with soy sauce, salt, white pepper, neutral oil, baking soda, and cornstarch. Set Aside for 15 minutes.

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.

Shrimp marinating in a bowl.

2. Make Your Thai Chili Pepper & Garlic Paste

A key elements to an authentic Thai Fried Rice is to your Thai Chili and garlic paste – this what makes Thai Basil Fried Rice so fragrant! I use a mortar and pestle here, but if you don’t have one you can use a wide knife to chop and smash your paste together.

NOTE: DO NOT touch your face after handling the Thai Chili Peppers! They are extremely spicy.

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. 5 Thai Chili Peppers was about 6 out of 10 on the heat scale for me!

3. Mix the Sauce

In a small bowl, add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, white pepper, and msg. Mix well. This will be your Thai Fried Rice sauce.

Thai Fried Sauce mixed in a bowl with a whisk.

4. Cook The Shrimp

In your wok or pan, heat 3 tbsp of neutral oil over high heat. Add your shrimp into your hot wok and saute for 2-3 minutes (or until cooked through). Remove the shrimp and set aside in a clean bowl.

Shrimp cooking in a wok.

5. Fry The Aromatics

In the same wok or pan, fry your Thai Chili Paste for 15 seconds, until fragrant. Immediately add shallots and onion. Stir fry together until well incorporated for 1 minute.

6. Scramble The Eggs

Push the shallots and onions to one side of your wok or pan. Add your beaten eggs and cook until scrambled. You may need to add 1 tbsp of oil to cook the eggs. Once eggs are scrambled, mix with the shallots and onions.

7. Add and Cook The Rice

Add your rice and mix together over high heat. Stir fry until the rice is toasted and looks relatively dry. Add the pre-mixed sauce and cook until sauce is incorporated into the rice.

Thai Fried Rice cooking in a wok.

8. Add Back The Shrimp And Basil

Add your cooked shrimp and Thai basil. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes over high heat.

Once your shrimp is incorporated and your basil is wilted, your Thai Basil Fried Rice is done! Turn off your heat, plate your fried rice, and garnish with limes and more fresh basil on top, and enjoy your delicious Thai Fried Rice!

PRO TIPS

Expert Tips for the BEST Thai Fried Rice at Home!

  • Rice – Do NOT use freshly steamed rice. Freshly steamed rice has too much moisture and will make your Thai Basil Fried Rice soggy and mushy. The rice needs to be at least one day old. I like to make my rice in advance and lay it out on a baking sheet to dry out overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Crumble Your Rice – When cooking with dried out, day old rice straight from the refrigerator, you’ll notice that your rice may be clumpy and dried together. You want to make sure to crumble your rice as you’re cooking it so each rice grain gets cooked and coated in all of the delicious aromatics and flavors.
  • Success is in the Prep –
    • This recipe comes together very quickly once you start cooking in your hot wok or pan. You don’t want to waste any precious time DURING the cooking to prep your ingredients – this will lead to the ingredients in your hot wok or pan getting overcooked or even burned.
    • The key to pulling off a quick-cooking recipe is to have everything prepped and available before you begin cooking. I like to have my sauce premixed, and all ingredients portioned and prepped in bowls next to my cooking station. Having all of your ingredients readily available and within arm’s reach will make this the most seamless cooking process.
Thai Basil Fried Rice in a wok

Storage and Reheating your Thai Fried Rice

You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I don’t like to freeze my Thai Fried Rice but if you want, you can freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe bag for 2-3 weeks.

I like to reheat fried rice in a hot wok or pan; I heat up 2-3 tablespoons of oil and give it a quick stir fry over high heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave with a damp paper towel to help steam the rice and properly reheat it.

What to Serve with Thai Fried Rice

I was lucky enough to learn how to make several Thai dishes during my travels to Thailand – Thai Basil Fried Rice pairs perfectly with popular Thai noodle dishes, like Pad Thai or Drunken Noodles. By now, you know I LOVE fried chicken, so I developed an addictive Thai Sweet Chili Chicken Wings that would also be delicious with Thai Fried Rice!

Other Fried Rice Recipes

Fried Rice is a perfect dish in my opinion – so I love to make different variations of it all the time!

If you’re looking for more classic Chinese Takeout dishes, try my Chicken Fried Rice (or Shrimp Fried Rice, if you prefer shrimp over chicken). My childhood favorite was eating Spam Fried Rice at home or ordering Billionaire Fried Rice at our favorite Chinese restaurant on the weekends. Now that I’ve gotten older, I’ve even grown an appreciation for vegetarian versions, like Egg Fried Rice or Mushroom Fried Rice! My wife’s favorite is Kimchi Fried Rice, which I agree – the spicy kick is so addictive!

Cooking With a Wok

By now, you know that I LOVE cooking with my wok! It is my #1 most recommended kitchen tool, as I believe it is perfect for high-heat cooking and results in restaurant quality Chinese food!

If it is your first time cooking with a wok, make sure to read my “How To Season a Wok” post. There is a video included that shows exactly how to season your brand new wok and how to maintain it so it lasts for years.

If you cannot or do not want to use a wok, you can use a large pan, cast iron, or even a dutch oven. My KEY TIP would be to avoid crowding your pan – crowding can lead to your fried rice not cooking thoroughly and becoming mushy.

If you tried this Thai Fried Rice or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
5 from 24 votes

Thai Fried Rice

Servings: 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Thai Basil Fried Rice in bowl
This Thai 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.

Ingredients 

Shrimp (or Protein of Choice)

Garlic & Chili Paste

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

Sauce

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups Basmati or Jasmine rice, cooked and dried out in the fridge overnight
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

KEY TIPS:
  • Rice – Do NOT use freshly steamed rice. Freshly steamed rice has too much moisture and will make your Thai Basil Fried Rice soggy and mushy. The rice needs to be at least one day old. I like to make my rice in advance and lay it out on a baking sheet to dry out overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Crumble Your Rice – When cooking with dried out, day old rice straight from the refrigerator, you’ll notice that your rice may be clumpy and dried together. You want to make sure to crumble your rice as you’re cooking it so each rice grain gets cooked and coated in all of the delicious aromatics and flavors.
  • Success is in the Prep
      • This recipe comes together very quickly once you start cooking in your hot wok or pan. You don’t want to waste any precious time DURING the cooking to prep your ingredients – this will lead to the ingredients in your hot wok or pan getting overcooked or even burned.
      • The key to pulling off a quick-cooking recipe is to have everything prepped and available before you begin cooking. I like to have my sauce premixed, and all ingredients portioned and prepped in bowls next to my cooking station. Having all of your ingredients readily available and within arm’s reach will make this the most seamless cooking process.
 

Storage and Reheating your Thai Fried Rice

You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I don’t like to freeze Fried Rice but if you want, you can freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe bag for 2-3 weeks.
I like to reheat fried rice in a hot wok or pan; I heat up 2-3 tablespoons of oil and give it a quick stir fry over high heat. You can also reheat it in the microwave with a damp paper towel to help steam the rice and properly reheat it.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 22gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 1150mgPotassium: 432mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1029IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I did add diced carrots and fresh shelled peas (CSA box came yesterday). The whole family loved it!

  4. 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?

  5. 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!!

  6. 5 stars
    The most delicious fried rice i’ve ever made/eaten. So simple and addictive, nearly ate the whole thing.