Thailand’s amazing dish invented by Thai people and pretty well-known around the world.
In Thailand, fried rice along with basil chicken (or other variations), are dishes that nearly every stir fry restaurant serves, especially common at street food stalls.
You can order Thai fried rice with your choice of meat, but one of my personal favorite versions is known in Thai as khao pad goong (ข้าวผัดกุ้ง), or fried rice with shrimp.
The reason I like it so much, because if you peel the shrimp, but leave the head on, so the oily goodness from the head of the shrimp acts like a sauce to coat the rice in red buttery shrimp flavor – it’s amazing (I’ll show you how in this recipe).
That being said, you can make this Thai fried rice recipe with shrimp or any other meat or protein you like.
One of the things that really makes this fried rice Thai (from other types of fried rice from around the world), is that Thai fried rice is served with a wedge of lime on the side, and something known as prik nam pla (พริกน้ำปลา), which is a condiment of chillies and fish sauce to garnish the fried rice.
The best way to approach the shrimp is to start with whole fresh shrimp.
Pinch off the head, and de-shell the body, but keep the tail on (for Thai style), and try to retain the shrimp oil from inside the head on top of the body. This is what will give you fried rice a wonderful red orange color, and a nice rich flavor.
Best kind of rice to use?
In Thailand, fragrant jasmine rice is the favorite.
When it comes to rice for fried rice, it’s best to actually use day-old rice. That way, the rice is a little dried so it doesn’t get mushy or clump together when you stir-fry it.
However if you must use freshly steamed rice, just try to make sure your bowl of rice has cooled off and that it’s somewhat dried out before you get started.
If you try to fry your rice when it’s still sticky and moist, it will stick to the pan a lot easier, and it also won’t give you that nice dry fried rice that you’re going for.
Chilies and fish sauce (prik nam pla พริกน้ำปลา)
Along with the fried rice itself, an essential component of this Thai fried rice recipe is a condiment known as prik nam pla (พริกน้ำปลา).
No matter what Thai street food restaurant you eat at, you’ll always find this delicious condiment on your table.
Prik nam pla (chilies and fish sauce พริกน้ำปลา) is really nothing more than diced chilies mixed with fish sauce, and sometimes a squeeze of lime juice, and that’s it.
A little sprinkle of the fish sauce and some fresh chilies on top of your plate of fried rice, plus an extra squeeze of lime juice, take each bite of fried rice to the next level, and truly makes it Thai fried rice from any other type of fried rice.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Thailand!
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