Wanderlust- a strong desire to wander, to travel and to explore the world. I’ve got the bug… and a killer “vintage ASP” Thai Fried Rice Recipe for you today, pulled out of the shadows for new friends.
Early on, I felt a strong yearning to learn, and explore. I had a need to be a part of something bigger than myself. This desire was subdued by traveling every summer, to some far away place with other teens ridden by wanderlust and passion.
One of my favorite trips was to Thailand. I was fifteen years old, and spent a sweaty summer meeting new people and exploring cultural differences in a land of extreme contrast. A dirty, smog-filled urban jungle surrounded by lush miles of rain forests and wildlife.
The small hotel we lived in most of the summer sat on a bustling side-street in Bangkok, and had all the charm (and roaches) a developing nation can offer. The breakfast they served us most mornings, Thai Fried Rice, is forever etched in my mind. The ingredients varied, but mostly involved chicken, peas, onion and pineapple. There was an underlying essence of coconut and something else I couldn’t put my finger on at the time. They served the fried rice in a perfectly-shaped dense mound that was created by packing it into a bowl and flipping it onto the dish. Although others found this tiresome, I was always delighted to eat Thai fried rice for breakfast!
I have spent a substantial amount of time learning how to make fried rice and trying to recreate this Thai fried rice recipe from memory. That unknown flavor I couldn’t distinguish as a teen was curry powder! Just a touch of curry separates Thai fried rice from other Asian varieties.
Although I never make fried rice for breakfast, I always secretly hope there will be leftovers in the morning!
This fried rice recipe is very quick and easy to prepare. Once you chop and prep all the ingredients, it just takes minutes to cook.
How to make fried rice:
If your ginger has a thick bumpy skin, peel it with a veggie peeler or spoon. If the skin is soft and smooth–don’t bother!
Precook the jasmine rice—substituting 1 can of coconut milk as part of the water. The most important thing to remember in any good fried rice recipe, is that COLD RICE creates a better texture. Cook your rice, then chill it before using. I usually cook my rice a day ahead.
Heat the skillet and oil to high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken and curry powder and cook 2 minutes—moving it around the pan.
Add the white onions to the pan and cook another minute. Add the ginger and garlic along with a couple pinches of salt and cook 1 more minute.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if needed, followed by the cooked rice. Stir well.
Add the peas, pineapple, green onions and cilantro and stir again. Squeeze the lime juice over the rice and add the soy sauce to taste. Stir another minute or two, until the peas have warmed through.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Swirl the eggs around the skillet, gently pushing them toward the middle. The eggs should cook through, but to stay in a large circle—about 3-5 minutes. Slide them out of the pan onto a cutting board. Roll the egg into a cylinder and cut ¼ inch slices.
To plate: Use a small bowl (1 cup) and fill it with fried rice. Place a plate up-side-down over the bowl and carefully flip it over. Remove the bowl to create a perfectly-shaped mound. Top the mound with several egg spirals and place tomatoes, cucumbers and a lime wedge around the mound. Serve warm.
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