Authentic Thai Basil Fried Rice
Thai basil fried rice is a fragrant and delicious dish made with fresh Thai basil. This herb infuses the fried rice with a unique licorice-like flavor, giving it an authentic taste of Thai cuisine. This dish often includes protein (shrimp, chicken, or tofu) and scrambled egg, making it filling and satisfying.
Get ready to take your taste buds on a trip to Thailand with this delicious Thai basil fried rice! As a Thai food enthusiast myself, I highly recommend trying this recipe as it captures the essence of Thai cuisine.
The best part? It’s incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
What is Thai basil?
Thai basil is a variety of basil that originates from Southeast Asia. What sets Thai basil apart from the more commonly used Italian sweet basil is its unique fragrance and taste. With a black licorice-like flavor and aroma, Thai basil adds a distinct and aromatic flavor to any dish it’s added to.
Another notable feature is the purple stem of the Thai basil plant, which distinguishes it from the green stem of Italian sweet basil.
What makes Thai basil fried rice unique?
One key factor that sets Thai fried rice apart from Chinese fried rice is its seasoning. While Chinese fried rice typically uses soy sauce as its main flavoring agent, Thai fried rice relies on fish sauce for its distinct taste.
In this particular dish, a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce is used to bring out the full flavor of the fragrant Thai basil herb.
For a slightly spicy kick, fresh chili is added to the mix, which is a common ingredient in Thai fried rice. However, if you prefer a milder taste, the chili can be omitted.
Customize your Thai basil fried rice with your favorite protein
If you’re a fan of shrimp and egg, you’ll love this version of Thai basil fried rice – it’s my personal favorite!
However, don’t worry if seafood isn’t your thing – this recipe is versatile and tastes equally delicious with chicken or beef (or ground beef).
With this easy recipe, you can bring the authentic flavors of Thailand right into your own kitchen. Plus, if you happen to have an abundance of fresh Thai basil, this dish is a great way to put it to use.
So why not try customizing your fried rice with your preferred protein and enjoy the taste of Thailand without ever leaving your home?
- 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 basil fried rice is often served with fresh cucumber slices and a wedge of lime on the side.
If you like a bit of tanginess in your fried rice, you can squeeze the lime over the rice (which I personally love), but it’s completely optional. These simple sides complement the flavors of the dish and provide a refreshing contrast to the spiciness of the rice.
Discover More Delicious Dishes with Thai Basil
If you’re a fan of the aromatic and licorice-like flavor of Thai basil, you’ll love these recipes! Each one is easy to make and offers a tasty Southeast Asian dish or Chinese dish. Check out the list below for some inspiration:
- Easy Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables
- Crunchy Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Recipe
- Quick Thai Beef and Basil Stir-Fry
- Three Cup Chicken (San Bei Ji)
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.
Authentic Thai Basil Fried Rice
- 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
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 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.
So easy and super delicious. A winner.
This is a delicious dish and I would definitely make it again; however, the recipe calls for 3 Tbsp oil and I only see instructions for adding 2 Tbsp of the oil. Is this a typo?
Thanks for pointing out the last 1 tablespoon of oil. It should be drizzled around the wok after rice is added, so that rice won’t stick to the bottom. I am so glad that you like this dish. Thanks for your comment.
The 3rd tbsp of oil shows up in step-4. Recipes are, to me, are akin to Work Instructions, (W/I’s)…I was a Mfg Engineer for many years…
Thai basil has such great flavor! I need to grow some this year — didn’t last year, and missed it. Anyway, this is a lovely, lovely recipe — thanks.