That Spicy Chick

Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice

This Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice is quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes and incredibly flavorful! Tender chicken, garlic, chilies, veggies, Thai yellow curry paste and jasmine rice get stir-fried together in this showstopping high protein one wok wonder! It’s customizable with your favorite protein and veggies and SO delicious!

If you love Thai yellow curry and fried rice, this delicious and flavorful Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice is a must-try! 

We have:

  • Savory tender chicken pieces. 
  • Mild yet flavor-packed store-bought Thai yellow curry paste that’s made of fragrant spices. 
  • Tasty aromatics and herbs. Garlic, ginger, fresh red chilies, citrusy makrut lime leaves and coriander.
  • Colorful and flavorful veggies like bell pepper, carrots, peas, sweet corn and crunchy baby corn.
  • Fluffy grains of aromatic Thai jasmine rice.

Everything gets stir-fried in a hot wok and all you need is 30 minutes to get this easy fried rice on the table! 

While I used brown jasmine rice to make this a more nutritious meal, white rice will taste great too. This is an easy high protein and high fiber meal you’ll love the taste of. It’s also meal prep friendly and can be made ahead to enjoy for an easy lunch or dinner during the week!

If you love the idea of using Thai curry paste in fried rice, try my Thai Red Curry Fried Rice and Thai Green Curry Fried Rice!

Closeup front view of plate with Thai yellow curry fried rice with chicken and utensils.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy! It’s ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for dinner on busy weeknights. Using frozen mixed veggies and store-bought yellow curry paste makes it a quick and convenient dish.
  • Full of BIG FLAVORS! It’s full of aromatic Thai yellow curry flavors and intoxicatingly fragrant with citrusy makrut lime leaves.
  • High in protein and fiber. Chicken breast makes this a high protein meal and using brown rice and plenty of colorful veggies makes this a high fiber and healthy dish.
  • Versatile and customizable. You can swap the chicken for your favorite protein (pork, shrimp, beef, crab, tofu etc.) and add any stir-fry friendly veggies you like. You can also make it as mild or as spicy as your heart desires.
  • Meal prep friendly. Make a big batch ahead of time and reheat in the microwave throughout the week for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labelled ingredients for Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice on a wooden board.
  • Marinated Chicken: I used bite-sized pieces of boneless and skinless chicken breast and marinated it with salt, ground white pepper, fish sauce and light soy sauce. You’re welcome to skinless chicken thigh fillets if you prefer. (See the ‘Variations’ section below for other protein options.)
  • Aromatics: Garlic, ginger and red chilies. I used Thai Bird’s Eye chilies, but any small hot red chilies that are easily available to you will work. I add quite a few since I like my food spicy and because Thai yellow curry paste is quite mild. Adjust the quantity of chilies to taste based on your heat level preference.
  • Veggies: We have red onion, red bell pepper, frozen mixed vegetables (green peas, corn, carrots) for convenience, and baby corn. Feel free to use any other variation of bagged frozen mixed vegetables which may include green beans, cauliflower or other veggies. I also add some extra green peas because I love the taste of them in this yellow curry fried rice. You can do the same or just use more frozen mixed veggies. 
  • Cooked Rice: Use any type of cooked long grain rice. I used Thai jasmine brown rice but white jasmine rice will work too. Day-old chilled rice works best for making fried rice.
  • Thai Yellow Curry Paste: I recommend using a Thai brand yellow curry paste to yield the best authentic flavor. More often than not, western brands made yellow curry pastes don’t taste like the real deal. I mostly use Mae Ploy curry pastes in my home. Mae Ploy’s Thai yellow curry paste is mild in flavor, vegetarian and vegan friendly. Maesri is another great brand that I can vouch for in terms of flavor and authenticity. Order it online or pick it up at an Asian or Thai supermarket. Your local mainstream supermarket might carry a Thai brand yellow curry paste too if it’s well-stocked with international ingredients. In a pinch, use any yellow curry paste that is easily available to you.
  • Makrut Lime Leaves: Also known as kaffir lime leaves, this fragrant Thai herb has a citrusy aroma and adds a sweet lime-like scent and flavor to Thai food. Find them in a Thai grocery store or substitute with the ground dried version or dried makrut lime leaves, which can be found in most well-stocked mainstream supermarkets.
  • Ground Turmeric: Just a pinch to make the fried rice’s yellow color stand out.
  • Canola Oil: Or use any other neutral flavored cooking oil with a high smoke point.
  • Fish Sauce: To add salty umami flavors. Can be substituted with light soy sauce.
  • Granulated Sugar-free Sweetener: I used Wholesome Zero Sugar (made from erythritol) to balance out the savory and spicy flavors. As Thai yellow curry paste is mild, you won’t need a lot. Feel free to use regular granulated white sugar, coconut sugar, or any other sweetener of your choice.
  • Thai Chili Powder (optional): Thai chili powder is made from crushed dried chilies and is comprised of flakes, seeds and powder. It’s optional and can be added to give the fried rice an extra kick of heat. Substitute with crushed red pepper flakes or leave it out if you prefer to a milder flavor.
  • Fish Sauce: Add more or less depending on your salt level preference. Substitute with light soy sauce if you prefer.
  • Lime: For freshly squeezed lime juice to add a hint of tang at the end. 
  • Coriander (Cilantro): Leave it out if you’re not a fan or use chopped spring onion (scallion/green onion) instead.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice

1. Cook the chicken. In canola oil in a large nonstick wok or heavy bottomed deep skillet until no longer pink but not yet fully cooked.

2. Stir-fry the onion and bell pepper until just starting to soften.

3. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilies and stir-fry until fragrant.

4. Add remaining veggies, curry paste, turmeric powder and makrut lime leaves. Stir-fry until the curry paste has broken down and is combined well with everything.

Process steps for stir-frying Thai yellow curry fried rice.

5. Add the cooked rice and seasonings. Stir-fry the rice, fish sauce, sweetener and Thai chili powder (if using) until everything is combined and the rice is evenly coated with the curry paste. 

6. Toss through the coriander. Add the lime juice and toss through most of the chopped coriander (reserve some for garnish). 

Added rice, seasonings, and coriander to wok.

Serve! Divide evenly onto plates and sprinkle with the reserved coriander. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing and cucumber slices if desired.

Top view of yellow curry fried rice with chicken, cucumber and lime on a plate.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Cook over high heat. Too low heat can cause fried rice to become mushy.
  • Use day-old chilled rice. Even rice that’s two days old is great for making fried rice because it will have less moisture after chilling in the fridge than freshly cooked warm rice. It will ensure that the fried rice won’t become mushy.
  • Adjust spice level to taste. If you’re not big on heat, use less Thai Bird’s eye chilies (or none) and an even milder yellow curry paste such as one from Thai Kitchen or De Siam. Omit the Thai chili powder too. Use more chili powder and chilies if you like your fried rice spicy.
  • Season to taste. Depending on the brand of Thai yellow curry paste you’re using, you may need to add more or less fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to get the right balance of flavors for your preference.
  • Meal prep option. This fried rice is great for meal prep and will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Double the ingredients by clicking the ‘2x’ button in the recipe card below to make enough for 4 servings. Use a large enough wok or pan to cook the fried rice, then divide into meal prep containers. Store in the fridge and enjoy for an easy lunch or dinner during the week!
Front view of plate with Thai yellow curry fried rice with chicken, sliced cucumber and lime.

FAQs

What is Thai yellow curry paste made of? 

Garlic, lemongrass, salt, shallots, galangal, dried red chili, coriander seed, makrut lime peel, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and nutmeg are the usual ingredients that make up Thai yellow curry paste. The turmeric is what makes it yellow in color.

Can I use yellow curry powder instead of curry paste?

Yes, you can. I recommend using a Thai yellow curry powder if you can find it. If not, any yellow curry powder that you love will work. Add the curry powder when you add the rice and seasonings and mix until evenly coated.

Does yellow curry paste have shrimp?

Depending on the brand, shrimp paste may be added to yellow curry paste to add a subtle savory umami flavor. It’s usually indistinguishable in the final cooked dish you’ve used it in. If you prefer to use a yellow curry paste without shrimp or fish related ingredients, try Mae Ploy of Thai Kitchen brand yellow curry paste.

Closeup front side view of yellow curry fried rice on a plate with utensils.

Variations

  • Use a different protein. Shrimp, sliced pork tenderloin, flank or skirt beef steak or canned crab meat (lump, claw, or chunk) can be used instead of chicken. 
  • Use different veggies. Snow peas, sugar snap peas, diced tomato, broccoli florets, yellow or green bell pepper or any stir-fried friendly veggies would taste great in this yellow curry fried rice. You can also use cooked diced sweet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. Cook them by boiling them in a pot with some kosher salt for 10-12 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Add them to the fried rice when you add the rice and seasonings into the wok in step 4.
  • Add pineapple. Make it a Thai pineapple fried rice by adding diced pineapple! You can also add some raisins and cashew nuts and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut just before serving.
  • Make it gluten-free. Make sure that the curry paste you’re using is gluten-free and use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari for the chicken marinade. Double check that your fish sauce is free of any hidden wheat ingredients. Fish sauce usually is gluten-free but it’s best to check if you or anyone you’re cooking for has sensitivities.
  • Make it vegetarian. Toss some delicious crispy pan-fried tofu cubes or pan-fried tempeh just before adding the rice and seasonings. Make sure that the yellow curry paste you’re using doesn’t contain any shrimp or fish ingredients. Use light soy sauce in place of the fish sauce.
  • Add coconut milk or powder. Add a quarter cup (60ml) of coconut milk when adding the curry paste and stir until for a minute to let the flavors meld. Then proceed with adding the rice and seasonings. Or you can sprinkle coconut powder directly on top of everything to deliver that coconut flavor. 
  • Top with a crispy fried egg. My Thai red curry fried rice post details how to make a Thai style crispy fried egg (‘kai dao’).
Closeup front and top view of fried rice on a plate. Text overlay "Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice with Chicken" and "thatspicychick.com".

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Print

Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice

Closeup of yellow curry fried rice on a black plate with sliced cucumber and lime wedge.

Quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes and incredibly flavorful, this Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice is full of tender chicken, garlic, chilies, veggies, fluffy rice grains that are kissed by Thai yellow curry paste! It’s a showstopping one wok wonder!!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Thai

Ingredients

Scale

For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 300 grams / 10.6 ounces Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless – cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ⅛ TSP Fine Sea Salt (or ¼ TSP Kosher Salt)
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
  • 1 TSP Fish Sauce
  • 1 TSP Light Soy Sauce (preferably a Thai one, substitute with any low sodium light soy sauce)

For the Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice:

  • 80 grams / ⅓ medium Red Onion – finely chopped
  • 100 grams / ½ medium Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 20 grams / 4-5 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 6 grams / ¾ TBLS minced Ginger
  • 910 fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any other small hot red chilies – note 1*), to taste – finely chopped
  • 60 grams / 4-5 pieces Baby Corn – sliced through the middle lengthwise, then again widthwise
  • 6 grams / 3 sprigs Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
  • 3 Makrut Lime Leaves (note 2) – destemmed, finely minced into a powder
  • 100 grams / 1 cup Frozen Mixed Vegetables (I used a bag with corn, peas and carrots), thawed
  • 50 grams / about ¼ cup frozen Green Peas, thawed
  • 1 TBSP Canola Oil (or any other neutral flavored cooking oil with a high smoke point)
  • 20 grams / 4 TSP Thai Yellow Curry Paste (I use Mae Ploy brand – note 3)
  • ¼ TSP Turmeric Powder
  • 240 grams / 1.5 cups cooked Thai Jasmine Brown Rice, day-old, chilled (100 grams / 3.5 ounces uncooked weight – note 4)
  • ½ TSP Fish Sauce
  • ½ TSP granulated Sugar-free Sweetener (or regular granulated white sugar – I used Wholesome Zero Sugar – note 5)
  • ½ TSP Thai Chili Powder (optional – substitute with crushed red pepper flakes), to taste
  • 1 TSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • To Serve (optional): Lime wedges for squeezing, sliced cucumber

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Marinate the chicken: Clean and pat-dry the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium bowl, followed by the fine sea salt, ground white pepper, fish sauce and light soy sauce. Mix well to coat and set aside.
  2. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the red onion, red bell pepper, garlic, ginger, red chilies, baby corn, coriander and makrut lime leaves as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section. Measure out the frozen mixed vegetables and green peas in a microwave safe bowl and thaw in the microwave by heating on high for 40-50 seconds.

For the Thai Yellow Curry Fried Rice:

  1. Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick wok (or heavy bottomed deep skillet) over high heat. Add the chicken and immediately spread the pieces out in the wok. Allow to sear for 30-40 seconds, then stir-fry until no longer pink but not fully cooked yet – about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir-fry the onion, bell pepper and aromatics: Add the red onion and bell pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds until starting to soften. Add the garlic, ginger and red chilies and stir-fry for 20-30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add remaining veggies, curry paste and makrut lime leaves: Add the baby corn, frozen mixed veggies and peas, minced makrut lime leaves and turmeric powder. Stir-fry until the curry paste has broken down and is combined well with everything.
  4. Add the rice and seasonings: Add the cooked rice, fish sauce, granulated sugar-free sweetener, and Thai chili powder (if using). Stir-fry for 1 minute until everything is combined well.
  5. Toss through the coriander: Add the lime juice and toss through most of the chopped coriander (reserve some for garnish). Switch off the heat.
  6. To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and sprinkle with the reserved coriander. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing and cucumber slices if desired.

Notes

  1. Fresh Red Chilies. Adjust quantity to taste based on your heat level preference. Leave them out for a milder fried rice.
  2. Makrut Lime Leaves. Also known as kaffir lime leaves, this fragrant Thai herb has a citrusy aroma and adds a sweet lime-like scent and flavor to Thai food. Find them in a Thai grocery store or substitute with the ground dried version or dried makrut lime leaves, which can be found in most well-stocked mainstream supermarkets.
  3. Thai Yellow Curry Paste. I recommend using a Thai brand yellow curry paste to yield the best authentic flavor. More often than not, western brand made yellow curry pastes don’t taste like the real deal. I mostly use Mae Ploy brand curry pastes in my home. Mae Ploy’s Thai yellow curry paste is mild in flavor, vegetarian and vegan friendly. Maesri is another great brand that I can vouch for in terms of flavor and authenticity. Order it online or pick it up at an Asian or Thai supermarket. Your local mainstream supermarket might carry a Thai brand yellow curry paste too if it’s well-stocked with international ingredients. In a pinch, you can use any type of yellow curry paste that is easily available to you.
  4. Thai Jasmine Brown Rice. White jasmine rice or any long grain rice will work. Day-old or even two day-old cooked and chilled rice works best for making fried rice and won’t become mushy. Freshly cooked warm rice will have too much moisture and will become soggy in the wok even if you are cooking over high heat
  5. Granulated Sugar-free Sweetener. I used Wholesome Zero Sugar (made from erythritol) to balance out the savory and spicy flavors. As Thai yellow curry paste is mild, you won’t need a lot. Feel free to use regular granulated white sugar, coconut sugar, or any other sweetener of your choice.
  6. Meal prep option. Double the ingredients by clicking the ‘2x’ button at the top of the recipe card to make four 4 servings. Use a large enough wok or pan to cook the fried rice, then divide into meal prep containers. Store in the fridge and enjoy for an easy lunch or dinner during the week!
  7. Storing and reheating leftovers. Store in an airtight sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat on high in the microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes or until hot throughout.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ½ of recipe
  • Calories: 549
  • Sugar: 8.5g
  • Sodium: 1295.5mg
  • Fat: 13.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 67g
  • Fiber: 10.2g
  • Protein: 44g
  • Cholesterol: 109.5mg

Keywords: yellow curry fried rice, curry fried rice, Thai yellow curry fried rice

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