RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Thai red curry fried rice

Open jar of Thai red curry lurking in your fridge? Turn it into fried rice.
Open jar of Thai red curry lurking in your fridge? Turn it into fried rice. Photo: RecipeTin Eats

Why is fried rice always touted as a side dish? Buried at the back of menus alongside plain steamed rice, it's often the last thing people order – "oh yeah, and some fried rice too, thanks".

Pffft. Fried rice should be front and centre, at the top of the "Chef's Special" and "Recommended Dishes"! It's the universal food, the one thing that groups of friends and families can always agree on when eating out.

So, here's a fried rice recipe that will never be relegated as "just" a side dish: Thai red curry fried rice. Take all the big flavours you know and love about Thai red curry, and turn it into fried rice.

RecipeTin Eats x Good Food: Thai red curry fried rice

This is a great way to use up the dregs of a jar of red curry paste.

Put it among a big spread of dishes and it will steal the show. It's mouth-wateringly good!

Thai red curry fried rice

This is a great way to use up the dregs of a jar of red curry paste. Unlike most fried rice, this version is packed with big flavours, and really does taste like Thai red curry. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 180g chicken thighs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2½ tbsp red curry paste (see note)
  • 3 cups day-old cold cooked jasmine rice, packed
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1½ tbsp coconut milk powder (see note)
  • 2 tsp water
  • ¼ cup spring onions, finely sliced, plus extra to serve
  • ½ cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • fresh lime wedges and finely sliced red chilli, to serve

METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a wok or heavy based skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 10 seconds until tinged with gold.
  2. Add red curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add rice, coconut powder, fish sauce and water. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir through spring onions and Thai basil, then drizzle with lime juice. Toss then serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges, spring onion and red chilli.
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Serves 4 as a side or 6 as part of a banquet

Notes:

To get really great Thai red curry flavour into fried rice, you need coconut, however coconut milk or cream makes the fried rice too wet and soggy. The solution is to use coconut milk powder. Sachets are available in the Asian section of large supermarkets and Asian grocers (I use Ayam brand).

I recommend Maesri red curry paste, also available at large supermarkets. Not only is it the best, it's also considerably cheaper than other brands.

Recipe from Nagi Maehashi of RecipeTin Eats