Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thai Curry Stir-Fried Rice


3 c. Cooked rice*
2-3 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 Green onions, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Eggs
1/2 Fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
3/4 c. Vegetables**
1 tbsp Sesame oil

2 tbsp Soya sauce
2 tsp Curry powder
1-2 tsp Thai curry paste


* Freshly cooked rice has too much moisture and it is too soggy to fry; therefore, it is best to use leftover rice. If you don't have leftover rice, you can cool freshly cooked rice to room temperature and then place the rice in the refrigerator, uncovered, for a minimum of 1 hour to reduce the moisture.

** You can use any vegetables you like. I used frozen vegetable mix because it was the easiest thing to do and I thaw the vegetables to room temperature. Alternatively, you can chop up fresh vegetables into small pieces (eg. carrots, mushrooms, peppers, etc.), pre-cook them on the frying pan and drain the excess liquid.


Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil to the rice and break up the rice into grains with a fork. Set aside.

Stir together the soya sauce, curry powder and Thai curry paste. Set aside.

Heat up a little bit of oil in the wok. Beat the eggs and pour into the wok, stir quickly to "scramble" the eggs until the eggs are just cooked. Do not overcook. Set aside.

(Clean up the wok with paper towel if needed.)

On a separate frying pan, cook the vegetables in the sauce for about 1 min.

While the vegetables are cooking, heat up a little bit of oil in the wok and cook the onions and garlic for about 30 seconds, or until the onions and garlic are fragrant.

Add the rice, pineapple chucks, eggs and vegetables to the wok. Toss to combine the ingredients. Spread out the rice evenly on the wok and let it cook until the rice "dance" (popping noise), about 3 min. While the rice is cooking, resist the temptation to stir.

Drizzle sesame oil over the rice, give the rice a few quick toss and remove the wok from heat.

Do a quick taste test and add salt if needed.

Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish.


My comments:

I saw this dish in a Thai restaurant menu and I was suddenly inspired. Although I had never had this dish before, I could easily imagine how delicious it would be and it is something I can definitely pull together myself. My biggest problem was that I have never been good at making fried rice. My fried rice always turned out too soggy even though I use leftover rice that have been sitting in my fridge for several days. Then, I came across this lovely Shrimp Fried Rice recipe on Simple Recipes. Guest author Jaden Hair (of Steamy Kitchen) included some really useful tips for making stir-fry dishes and I quickly realized why my fried rice always failed.

With these useful tips in hand, I then found this Thai Fried Rice recipe for the list of ingredients. By combining the cooking instructions from both recipes, I was able to whip up the BEST fried rice that ever came out of my kitchen!! The rice tasted even better the next day after the flavours had a chance to blend together.

I believe the key to a successful fried rice is to minimize the amount of moisture. This time, I used freshly cooked rice that have been refrigerated for 3-4 hours and it worked really well. Pre-cooking the eggs instead of pouring it over the rice also stopped the rice from clumping together. Furthermore, cooking the vegetables with the soya sauce and then tossing all the ingredients with the rice at the end worked much better than pouring the sauce over the rice directly; this ensured an even distribution of spices and moisture throughout the rice.

Most importantly, I didn't add any vegetable/chicken stock to the rice during the whole process when I thought the rice looked dry or when the rice began to stick to the bottom of the wok. The rice can absorb moisture from the rest of the ingredients while it's heating up in the wok. To minimize sticking, use a little more oil in the wok before cooking the rice. I still had quite a bit of rice stuck to the bottom (I didn't use a teflon wok); but once the bottom was caked with a thin layer of rice, the rest of the rice didn't stick to the wok anymore. After transferring the rice to a serving dish, I immediately soaked the wok with hot water and the burnt rice came off quite easily.

The original Thai fried rice recipe suggested using coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. I think the combination of curry and coconut would give the fried rice an unique aroma. Next time, I think I'll try incorporating a little bit of toasted coconut flakes (unsweeten) since I don't have any coconut oil at home. Alternatively, I can prepare the fried rice using this Coconut Rice (but without the sugar and salt).

Finally, chicken, beef, pork or shrimp would also taste wonderful in this recipe. Simply marinade the meat with a little bit of salt and pepper for 30 min. Then, pre-cook the meat and toss into the rice with the pineapple. And voila! there is the non-vegetarian version of the Thai curry fried rice is born!

2 comments:

SteamyKitchen said...

wonderful! glad you found the tips useful...now i want to make some thsi fried rice.

jOjOn said...

AWESOME recipe and advices, i've been making last minute fried rice using freshly cooked rice, and i can't resist the temptation to stir the rice the second its in the wok. No wonder my fried rice looks horrible...anyway, thanks for the great advices!!!! Excellent blog!