Quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes and incredibly flavorful, this Thai Red Curry Fried Rice is loaded with juicy shrimp and an easy weeknight dinner! Serve it with a crispy Thai style fried egg for a showstopping meal!
¼ cup Canola Oil (or other neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point)
3 large Eggs
To Serve: chopped Coriander (Cilantro) and Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion), sliced cucumber, lime wedges for squeezing
Prepare the ingredients: Peel and devein the shrimp (if not already). Rinse thoroughly and pat-dry. Pick the Thai sweet basil leaves off the stems, then wash and pat-dry. Destem the makrut lime leaves and tear into quarters. Chop the garlic, Thai red chilies, Prik Kee Nu green chilies (if using). Pound into a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle and set aside. (Note: If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, finely chop instead or pulse into a coarse paste using a mini blender.) Thinly slice the large red chili and finely chop the Asian red shallots. Set everything by the side of your wok on the stovetop.
For the Thai Red Curry Fried Rice:
Fry the eggs: Heat ¼ cup canola oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, crack in an egg. Use your spatula to spoon the surrounding oil on top of the egg continuously until the edges of the white part is crispy and browned and the yolk is cooked to your liking. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
Stir-fry the garlic and chilies: Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the wok and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the smashed garlic-chilies paste and large red chili slices. Stir-fry for a minute until fragrant.
Cook the shrimp: Add the shrimp and toss for 1 minute until they start to turn pink.
Add the curry paste: Add the red curry paste, shallots, and makrut lime leaves. Stir-fry until the curry paste is combined well everything and fragrant – about 1 minute.
Add the rice and seasonings: Add the cooked rice, fish sauce, and white sugar. Stir-fry using a scooping motion, breaking the clumps with your spatula as needed until combined well and evenly coated with the curry paste.
Toss through basil: Toss through the Thai sweet basil leaves until just wilted – about 15 seconds. Switch off the heat.
To Serve: Divide evenly onto three plates and top each plate with a fried egg. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring onion. Serve with cucumber slices and lime wedges for squeezing on the side.
Shrimp. I used pre-peeled and deveined shrimp. If using shrimp or prawns that are not already peeled and deveined, use double the quantity indicated (400 grams / 14 ounces). The weight will go down by approximately half once peeled and deveined.
Thai Sweet Basil. Known as ‘horapa’ in Thai. Thai sweet basil has a unique sweet fragrance and it adds incredible flavors to Thai curries and stir-fries. Find them in a Thai grocery store or Asian supermarket. Substitute with Italian basil leaves if unavailable.
Makrut Lime Leaves. Known also as kaffir lime leaves, these fragrant citrusy leaves add a beautiful aroma and flavor to Thai dishes. Look for them in a Thai grocery store. They usually aren’t eaten (unless finely chopped or sliced) and are only used to add flavor in this fried rice. Substitute with dried makrut like leaves or the powdered version if unavailable.
Prik Kee Nu Green Chilies (and other chilies). Thai prik kee nu chilies may be difficult to track down outside Asia. Feel free to use any other hot small green chilies you like. If you do find them, note they are FIERY hot. Use with caution. If you prefer to make this fried rice milder, use less or omit the hot Bird’s eye and prik kee nu chilies all together. The large red chili is mild and is mainly used for color.
Asian Red Shallots. If using yellow or red onion instead of shallots, it’s best to add them with the chilies and garlic in the first step so that they soften enough. You can add the shallots in the first step if you wish, but note that they tend to become sweeter the longer they are cooked.
Thai Red Curry Paste. I use Mae Ploy Thai red curry paste in my home because the flavor is more authentic (and hotter!) than some other brands such as De Siam and Thai Kitchen. Maesri red curry is also authentic tasting and I can vouch for its great flavor. Find it in large supermarkets that are well-stocked with international ingredients, Asian or Thai grocery stores, or purchase it online. Depending on the brand of Thai red curry paste you’re using, you may need to add more or less fish sauce and sugar to get the right balance for your preference.