Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice Recipe

Learn how to make traditional Thai Basil Fried Rice, a healthy meatless veggie side dish.

Homemade Spicy Basil Fried Rice is a fragrant comfort food recipe from Thailand that is typically served with coconut curry.

Authentic recipes feature healthy ingredients like eggs, garlic, ginger, red chili, shallots, carrots, cashews, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, Maggi sauce, brown sugar, jasmine rice, fresh Thai basil, scallions and cilantro.

We’ve traveled extensively through Thailand and eaten at all of the best Thai restaurants in Toronto. We’ve taken Thai cooking classes in Chang Mai and learned expert cooking techniques courtesy of the executive chef at JW Marriott Phuket Resort.

Cooking Thai food at home is quick and easy. We suggest doubling this recipe as we know you’ll love loitering over Thai Basil Fried Rice leftovers all week!

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What Is Thai Basil?

Thai Basil is an herb native to Southeast Asia with small, narrow leaves, purple stems and pink-purple coloured flowers.

It’s flavour is described as anise and licorice-like and slightly spicy. It is more stable under high or extending cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil from Italy.

Thai basil leaves are a common ingredient in Thai green and red curries, though in Thailand the basil used in drunken noodles and many chicken, pork, and seafood dishes is holy basil. In the West, such dishes typically contain Thai basil instead, which is much more readily available than holy basil.

Thai basil is also an important ingredient in the very popular Taiwanese dish sanbeiji. Used as a condiment, a plate of raw Thai basil leaves is often served as an accompaniment to many Vietnamese dishes, such as Bun Cha, Bun Thit Nuong and Bánh Xèo.

You can purchase Thai basil at Asian supermarkets.

Traditional Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe ingredients.
Traditional Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe ingredients.

Travel to Asia by Cooking Thai Basil Fried Rice at Home

I love traveling through Asia.

My first visit had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting the PhilippinesIndonesiaMalaysiaSingaporeCambodia, MyanmarThailandVietnam and Laos.

On my first visit I spent over a month backpacking through Thailand. I’ve revisited Thailand two times since as a food and travel journalist and always love to discover new regional dishes. Over the years I’ve explored Thai destinations such as Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Chiang Khong, Chang Mai, Sukothai and Bangkok.

What I found most fascinating is Thailand’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in GermanyItaly or Spain, each town in Thailand had its own local speciality.

Today, Thai Basil Fried Rice is served all over Thailand. It makes for a perfect meatless veggie side dish for those looking to reduce the amount of chicken, pork, beef in their diet.

Traditional Spicy Basil Fried Rice is not vegan or vegetarian as it contains fish sauce and oyster sauce, which contains seafood.

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Basil Fried Rice features shallots, garlic, ginger, chili, eggs, cashews, carrots and scallions.
Basil Fried Rice features shallots, garlic, ginger, chili, eggs, cashews, carrots and scallions.

Where To Eat Basil Fried Rice

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Thai restaurant that serves traditional Basil Fried Rice.

Haven’t traveled to Thailand before? It may be helpful to first taste Spicy Basil Fried Rice at a local Thai restaurant to better understand how the side dish is served. You can also assess what vegetables the chef added to the stir fry, chili heat level and other Thai recipes to serve with the popular rice dish.

I spent months researching the best Thai restaurants in Toronto, visiting popular restaurants that serve authentic Thai dishes such as Sabai Sabai, Sukothai, Khao San Road, Pai, Kiin, Bangkok Garden, Mengrai Thai and Favorites Thai BBQ. If you’re looking to sample authentic Thai Basil Fried Rice in Toronto try visiting one of these award-winning restaurants.

Prepare Thai Basil Fried Rice in a large wok.
Prepare Thai Basil Fried Rice in a large wok.

Spicy Basil Fried Rice Health Benefits

Our Basil Fried Rice recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Nearly 50% of the people in the world get over 50% of their daily calories from rice. If eating brown rice featuring nutritious bran you’ll enjoy health benefits like cancer risk reduction and diabetes control.

Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system. 

Chili has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss. 

An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.

Cashews are low in sugar and rich in fibre, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein. They’re also a good source of copper, magnesium, and manganese — nutrients important for energy production, brain health, immunity, and bone health.

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids making it quite nutrient rich!

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

Thai Basil Fried Rice is best prepared with day-old steamed jasmine rice.
Thai Basil Fried Rice is best prepared with day-old steamed jasmine rice.

Thai Basil Fried Rice Cooking Tips

This yummy homemade Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe is quick and easy to make at home.

  • We suggest preparing Basil Fried Rice in a large wok so it’s easy to stir fry the ingredients without making a mess of the stove.
  • We’ve used canola oil in this recipe but you could use any flavourless vegetable oil with a high smoke point.
  • We’ve made Spicy Basil Fried Rice by adding chopped Thai Red Long Chili. If can’t handle a lot of spicy food be sure to scrape out the seeds and throw them in your compost bin. If you prefer a fiery flavour mix the spicy seeds into the wok.
  • Fried Rice in Thailand is always prepared with day-old steamed jasmine rice. The slightly dried rice absorbs moisture from the vegetables and various sauces added to the wok.
  • We’ve used shallots in this recipe but you could substitute with half a small Spanish cooking onion or scallion whites.
  • Authentic Thai fried rice recipes are sweetened with palm sugar, which is available for purchase at Asian supermarkets. You can substitute for brown sugar as it’s more widely available in North America.
Spicy Basil Fried Rice features crunchy cashews, soft scrambled eggs and hot chili peppers.
Spicy Basil Fried Rice features crunchy cashews, soft scrambled eggs and hot chili peppers.

What To Serve with Fried Rice

Thai Basil Fried Rice is typically enjoyed as a side dish, served alongside creamy curries.

If you’re hosting a large Thai dinner party, we suggest serving homemade Spicy Basil Fried Rice buffet-style with other popular Thai dishes like:

Fried Rice keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days so store it in an airtight container.

Serve Spicy Basil Fried Rice with your favourite Thai curries.
Serve Spicy Basil Fried Rice with your favourite Thai curries or grilled

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Now you're an expert on how to make the best traditional Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe!
Now you’re an expert on how to make the best traditional Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe!

How To Make Thai Basil Fried Rice

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Thai Basil Fried Rice

How to make Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice. Our quick & easy recipe features eggs, garlic, ginger, chili, carrots, cashews and scallions.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Thai Basil Fried Rice
Servings: 6
Calories: 313kcal

Equipment

  • French knife
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • Wok
  • Wooden spoon or spatula

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 Eggs beaten
  • 5 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger minced
  • 2 Red Thai Chili sliced
  • 2 Shallots finely chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 cup Cashews
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp Maggi Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 cups Jasmine Rice day old cooked and cold
  • 1.5 cups Thai Basil packed
  • 2 Scallions chopped
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions

  • Heat a large wok over high heat and add 1 tbsp cooking oil. Pour beaten eggs into hot wok and scramble the egg to cook evenly. Remove egg from wok and set aside.
  • Reheat wok over high heat, add 3 tbsp oil, garlic, ginger, Thai chili and shallot. Stir fry 30 to 45 second. Add diced carrot and cashews. Stir fry 30 seconds, then add cold rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, maggi sauce, and brown sugar. Stir fry everything together until rice is coated with sauce, about 1 minute.
  • Add Thai basil, fried egg and green onions. Break down egg into rice and keep stir frying until reheated, approximately 1 minute. 
  • Transfer Thai Basil fried rice to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Nutrition

Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 7.9g | Fat: 14.6g | Saturated Fat: 1.9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 742mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 3.1g | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3mg

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