Thai basil fried rice is an aromatic fried rice made with fresh Thai basil. The herb infuses a licorice flavor into the fried rice, which gives it the authentic taste of Thai cuisine. The addition of shrimp (or chicken) and egg makes it even more satisfying meal.

Thai basil and shrimp fried rice  is cooked in a wok

If you love the anise flavor of Thai basil, you already know how good it would be in the form of fried rice. This Thai basil fried rice is a must-try for any Thai food lover.

And it’s easy to make with a just a few ingredients.

What is Thai Basil?

Fresh Thai basil has purple stems

Thai basil is a type of basil native to Southeast Asia. The main difference between Thai basil and Italian sweet basil is in the fragrance and taste. Thai basil has a black licorice-like fragrance and flavor that becomes very aromatic when added into the dish.

Another distinguishable difference is the color of the stem: Thai basil has a purple stem, while sweet Italian basil has a green stem.

One thing you have to understand is what makes Thai fried rice different than Chinese fried rice. The difference is in the seasoning. While Chinese fried rice relies heavily on soy sauce, Thai fried rice uses fish sauce to season the rice.

This Thai basil fried rice is seasoned with a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce to bring out the full flavor of the aromatic Thai basil herb. It’s slightly spicy due to the addition of fresh chili, which is common in Thai fried rice, but you can omit the chili if you’d rather enjoy it as a mild fried rice.

A white plate of Thai basil fried rice and shrimp is served with cucumber slices.

To add a protein to this basil fried rice, I found that a shrimp and egg combination is the best for my taste. But chicken and beef (or ground beef) are also equally tasty in the same recipe if you are not a shrimp lover. 

If you have abundant Thai basil, use this easy recipe to replicate this authentic Thai fried rice with basil in your own kitchen. You will enjoy the taste of Thai without traveling to Thailand!

The ingredients for making Thai basil fried rice are presented.

Thai Basil Fried Rice Ingredients

  • oil: to stir-fry everything in the recipe
  • shallot: you can replace with onion or green onion
  • garlic: adds an additional savory taste
  • fresh chili: red or green (optional)
  • shrimp: peeled and cleaned
  • egg: the fluffiness scrambled egg adds a good texture to the fried rice
  • cooked Jasmine rice: a day old is better.
  • fish sauce: to season and flavor
  • oyster sauce: to season and flavor
  • sugar: adds a hint of sweetness
  • Thai basil: a key ingredient in the recipe
  • cilantro: optional but highly recommend.

How to make Thai Basil Fried Rice with Shrimp

Step 1. Mix fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a small mixing bowl; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add minced shallot, garlic, chili and stir-fry for a few seconds.

Step 2. Add shrimp to the wok and cook for 1 minute or until they begin to turn pink. Move the shrimp mixture to the side of wok. Add another tablespoon of oil in the wok and crack the eggs.

Step 3. Using a spatula, break the egg yolk and stir-fry the eggs scrambled. When the eggs are still slightly wet, add the rice and mix with eggs to coat. Drizzle the remaining oil around the wok and separate the rice grains using a spatula for about 20 seconds, and then mix it up with the shrimp and continue to stir-fry.

Step 4. Pour the Thai fried rice seasoning over the fried rice and make sure all the sauce gets mixed in. Add the Thai basil and cilantro (if using) and toss well. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Thai style fried rice is made with Thai basil and shrimp in a wok

Serving Suggestion

Thai basil fried rice if often served with fresh cucumber slices and a lime wedge on the side. You can squeeze some lime to add a tang to the fried rice if you wish (which I love), but that is optional. 

Thai basil fried rice with shrimp is served on a white plate with cucumber slices

More Thai Basil Recipes

Do you need more recipes using Thai basil? Try these dishes below.  They are all easy to make and each creates fabulous a Southeast Asian dish (or Chinese dish).

Tried this recipe? Please take a moment to leave a star rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers, too.

Thai basil and shrimp fried rice is cooked in a wok

Fragrant Thai Basil Fried Rice

Thai basil fried rice is an aromatic rice dish under 30 min. Shrimp and egg makes this fragrant Thai fried rice an even more satisfying meal.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 fresh green chili, minced, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cup cooked white rice, preferably Jasmin rice
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, chopped, optional

For Thai fried rice sauce

Equipment

Instructions 

  • To make Thai fried rice sauce, mix fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a small mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add minced shallot, garlic, chili and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add shrimp to the wok and cook for 1 minute or until they begin to turn pink.
  • Move the shrimp mixture to the side of wok. Add another tablespoon of oil in the wok and crack the eggs. Using a spatula, break the egg yolk and stir-fry the eggs scrambled.
  • When the eggs are still slightly wet, add the rice mix and with eggs to coat. Drizzle the remaining oil around the wok and separate the rice grains using a spatula for about 20 seconds, and then mix it up with the shrimp and continue to stir-fry.
  • Pour the Thai fried rice seasoning over the fried rice and make sure all the sauce gets mixed in.
  • Add the Thai basil and cilantro (if using) and toss well. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Notes

If you are not a fan of shrimp, you can replace it with chicken or beef.
Calories: 397kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 173mg, Sodium: 738mg, Potassium: 300mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 463IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 1mg
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