That Spicy Chick

Tom Yum Fried Rice

Tom Yum Fried Rice combines the tantalizing spicy, savory, tangy and sweet flavors you love in tom yum soup with fried rice! Juicy jumbo shrimp, fragrant aromatics, veggies, rice and fresh herbs get tossed in a zingy flavor-packed tom yum stir-fry sauce in this quick and easy weeknight dinner!

If you love the flavors of tom yum soup, try my Tom Yum Noodle Soup and crowd-pleasing Creamy Tom Yum Pasta next.



 

If you love Thai tom yum soup and easy weeknight fried rice dishes, you are going to LOVE this Tom Yum Fried Rice! It has all the hot, sour, salty and slightly sweet flavors you love in tom yum soup and is ready in 35 minutes!

Thanks to using store-bought instant tom yum paste, you don’t need several Thai aromatics to infuse this fried rice with all those tantalizing tom yum flavors.

We have here:

  • Seared, sweet and juicy jumbo shrimp (prawns).
  • Fragrant aromatics like garlic, chilies and makrut lime leaves.
  • Refreshing veggies like crisp baby corn, sweet cherry tomatoes and leafy Chinese broccoli.
  • A quick and easy fried rice sauce made with store-bought instant tom yum paste and roasted Thai chili paste to deliver the signature savory, tangy, spicy and sweet flavors!
  • Fluffy Thai jasmine rice.
  • Fresh herbs like coriander and spring onion.

Top off your plate with a fried egg to finish and you have yourself a Thai restaurant quality easy and healthy fried rice meal at home that’s better than taskeout! 

While I’ve used shrimp, you can switch up the protein and make it with chicken, crab meat, squid, pork, beef or tofu, etc. On the veggies front, this fried rice dish is flexible and pretty much anything that needs using up in your crisper drawer can be tossed in!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy. Using leftover cooked rice, a quick tom yum stir-fry sauce made with store-bought instant tom yum paste, fast cooking shrimp and some everyday aromatics and herbs makes this a speedy weeknight dinner!
  • Exploding with flavor! The unique salty, sweet, spicy and tangy flavors in this fried rice are a true party in your mouth!
  • Customizable. Use your favorite protein and any fried rice friendly veggies that need using up in your crisper drawer! You can also easily make it vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free too!
  • Make ahead and meal prep friendly. This fried rice will keep for a few days in the fridge. Whip up a double batch today to enjoy for a quick and easy lunch during the week!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labeled sauce ingredients for tom yum fried rice.
Tom Yum Fried Rice Sauce Ingredients
  • Tom Yum Paste: I used a store-bought instant tom yum paste for convenience instead of using several fresh Thai aromatics like galangal, lemongrass, shrimp paste and other ingredients which are used to make tom yum soup. My favorite brand is Por Kwan which is hotter and not as sweet as other instant tom yum paste brands. However, any brand will work and you can customize the spice and sweetness levels to your liking by adjusting the amount of chilies and sugar you use.
  • Thai Chili Paste/Chili Jam (nam prik pao): A sweet and savory jarred Thai roasted chili paste that has the texture of jam. It’s also known as “roasted chili paste” or “roasted chili paste in soybean oil”. It’s used in dishes like tom yum noodle soup, Thai roasted chili fried rice and sometimes in Thai cashew chicken stir-fry. Find it in a Thai or Asian grocery store or order a jar online.
  • Fish Sauce: For savory umami notes. Substitute with more soy sauce if unavailable.
  • Thai Light Soy Sauce: It has a milder flavor and is less salty than Chinese and Japanese light soy sauce. Substitute with any low sodium light soy sauce.
  • Brown Sugar Replacement: I used Swerve Brown Sugar but regular light brown sugar or any other sweetener of your choice can be used.
  • Lime Juice: I highly recommend freshly squeezed lime juice for the best and bright sour flavors.
Labeled ingredients for tom yum fried rice on a wooden board.
Tom Yum Fried Rice Ingredients
  • Shrimp (or prawns): I used frozen peeled and deveined jumbo black tiger shrimp and thawed them overnight in the fridge. I recommend using any large sized shrimp or prawns for the best juicy sweet flavor and texture. That said, smaller sized shrimp can be used if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Fine Sea Salt & Ground White Pepper: To season the shrimp and fried rice. Use black pepper in a pinch. 
  • Peanut Oil: Or use any other neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point (i.e. vegetable oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, etc.).
  • Aromatics: We have yellow onion, garlic, and fresh red chilies. Thai Bird’s Eye chilies or any other fresh red chilies easily available to you will work. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level tolerance.
  • Veggies: Baby corn, cherry tomatoes and Chinese broccoli. Feel free to sub in sliced tomato wedges and use any other Asian leafy greens like bok choy, choy cum, etc. 
  • Makrut Lime Leaves: Also known as kaffir lime leaves, this fragrant Thai herb has a citrusy aroma and adds a sweet lime-like flavor and aroma to Thai curries, Thai stir-fries and salads. Find it in a Thai grocery store or substitute with the ground dried version or whole dried makrut lime leaves. Both can be found in most mainstream supermarkets that are well-stocked with international ingredients.
  • Thai Jasmine Brown Rice: Feel free to use long-grain Thai jasmine white rice or any cooked long-grain rice. Leftover rice, either day-old or even rice that’s two days old chilled rice works best for making fried rice.
  • Herbs: Fresh coriander (cilantro) and spring onion (scallion/green onion). Leave out the coriander if you’re not a fan and simply use more spring onion.
  • Eggs (optional): Tom yum fried rice is incomplete without a fried egg with a jammy yolk served on top in my opinion! However, you can leave out the fried eggs when serving if you prefer.
Tom yum fried rice with shrimp on a plate closeup.

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

How to Make Tom Yum Fried Rice

  1. Prepare the ingredients. Prepare all the fresh veggies and aromatics. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Roughly chop the garlic and chilies, then pound them into a coarse paste using a mortar and pestle. (If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, finely chop them instead.)
Smashed chilies and garlic in a mortar.
  1. Fry the eggs. Fry the eggs to your liking in a little oil in a wok or pan. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside. 
Frying eggs in a wok.
  1. Cook the shrimp. Heat a little more oil in the wok over medium-high heat and add the shrimp. Season with salt and white pepper and cook both sides until just cooked. Drizzle with lime juice, then transfer to a clean bowl.
Cooking shrimp in a wok.
  1. Sauté the aromatics. Heat more oil in the wok over high heat and sauté the yellow onion and the smashed garlic and chilies paste until fragrant.
Sautéing onion and smashed garlic chilies passte in a wok.
  1. Stir-fry the veggies. Add the baby corn, cherry tomatoes, Chinese broccoli and minced makrut lime leaves. Toss to combine.
Added cherry tomatoes, Chinese broccoli and baby corn to wok with aromatics.
  1. Add the shrimp. Add the cooked shrimp and toss briefly to combine. 
Added cooked shrimp to wok with veggies and aromatics.
  1. Add the cooked rice and sauce. Stir-fry using a scooping and flattening motion until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
Added cooked rice and sauce to wok.
  1. Season with salt and ground white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Tom yum fried rice in a wok.
  1. Toss through the herbs. Toss through most of the coriander and spring onion (reserve some for garnish) and switch off the heat.
Added spring onion and coriander to wok with fried rice.
  1. Serve! Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with the reserved spring onion and coriander. Top each plate with a fried egg. Serve immediately while hot, and with lime wedges for squeezing if desired!
Tom yum fried rice with shrimp on a plate closeup with a spoon.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Leftovers will keep well in an airtight sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.

Cook’s Tips

  • Adjust spice level to preference. Use less fresh red chilies or omit them completely for a milder tom yum fried rice dish. Use more if you’d like to really spice up this fried rice!
  • Use a high-quality instant tom yum paste. I recommend using a Thai brand instant tom yum paste over a western brand produced paste as the flavors will be more authentic.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp. Remove to a bowl as soon as they’re done cooking as overcooking will lead to a rubbery and chewy texture.
  • Cook over high heat. This will ensure that your fried rice doesn’t steam in the wok or pan and the rice grains “fry”. 
  • Use a large enough wok or heavy bottomed deep skillet. You want to avoid overcrowding the wok/pan as doing so can lead to a wet and soggy fried rice. 

Variations

  • Use a different protein. Diced boneless and skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, sliced pork tenderloin (fillet) or beef flank or skirt steak, crab meat, baby scallops, or squid would be equally as delicious in this spicy tom yum fried rice!
  • Use different veggies. Just about any stir-fry friendly veggies can be subbed in. Green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, green peas, sliced carrots, shiitake mushrooms, red bell pepper, sweet corn kernels are some great options. Broccolini, choy sum, baby bok choy or tenderstem broccoli can be subbed in for the Chinese broccoli.
  • Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free tom yum paste and make sure that the Thai chili paste you’re using is free of hidden gluten ingredients. Also use a gluten-free soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari for the fried rice sauce.
Spoon holding up a bite of tom yum fried rice above a plate.

FAQs

Is tom yum fried rice healthy?

Packed with protein and fiber from shrimp, brown rice, fresh veggies and herbs, tom yum fried rice is a nutritious and well-balanced meal. 

Is tom yum fried rice spicy?

Tom yum fried rice is an amalgamation of salty, spicy, sour, savory umami and slightly sweet flavors. These same flavors are signature to tom yum soup. However, the spice level can be customized by using the appropriate amount of fresh Thai Bird’s Eye chilies for your heat level preference. You can also add more sugar to balance out the spicy flavors.

Can I make this tom yum fried rice vegetarian?

You can make a vegetarian tom yum fried rice by using tofu or tempeh for the protein, vegetarian tom yum paste and a vegetarian Thai chili paste with no dried shrimp or shrimp paste in the ingredients list for both pastes. Also be sure to use a vegan fish sauce or more light soy sauce instead. I recommend these salt and pepper crispy pan-fried tofu cubes, tempeh or other plant-based meat substitute for the protein.

Spoon holding up a bite of shrimp fried rice and fried rice on a plate. Text overlay "Tom Yum Fried Rice with Shrimp" and "thatspicychick.com".

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Tom Yum Fried Rice

Top view of plate with tom yum fried rice with shrimp and a fried egg.

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Tom Yum Fried Rice combines the tantalizing spicy, savory, tangy and sweet flavors you love in tom yum soup with fried rice! Juicy jumbo shrimp, fragrant aromatics, veggies, rice and fresh herbs get tossed in a zingy flavor-packed tom yum stir-fry sauce in this quick and easy weeknight dinner!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Thai

Ingredients

Scale

Sauce:

Shrimp:

  • 8.8 ounces (10 jumbo sized pieces) / 250 grams peeled and deveined Shrimp (or prawns) – thawed if using frozen, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/16 TSP Fine Sea Salt
  • ¼ TSP ground White Pepper (or use black pepper)
  • 1 TSP Peanut Oil (or any other cooking oil with a high smoke point)
  • ½ TBSP freshly squeezed Lime Juice

Tom Yum Fried Rice:

  • medium / 80 grams Yellow Onion – finely chopped
  • 45 / 25 grams Garlic cloves – peeled, roughly chopped
  •  8-9 pieces / 30 grams fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any other small hot red chilies – to taste, note 3*) – destemmed, roughly chopped
  • 3 Makrut Lime Leaves (note 4) – destemmed, finely minced into a powder
  • 3 pieces / 30 – 36 grams Baby Corn – sliced in half lengthwise, then again widthwise
  • 56 / 66 – 70 grams Cherry Tomatoes – halved
  • 34 / 100 grams pieces Chinese Broccoli (substitute with other leafy Asian greens like bok choy, choy cum, or tenderstem broccoli) – stems peeled and thinly sliced at an angle, leafy dark green parts cut into rough chunks
  • 1.5 cups / 240 grams cooked Thai Jasmine Brown Rice, day-old, chilled (3.5 ounces/100 grams uncooked weight – note 5)
  • 3 sprigs / 6 grams Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
  • 2 medium stalks / 18 grams Spring Onion (Scallion/Green Onion) – chopped
  • ⅛ TSP Fine Sea Salt
  • ⅛ TSP ground White Pepper
  • 1 TSP + ½ TBSP Peanut Oil
  • 2 Eggs (optional)
  • To Serve: Reserved spring onion and coriander, lime wedges for squeezing

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Make the sauce: Mix together the tom yum paste, Thai chili paste, fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar replacement, lime juice and water in a small measuring cup (for easier pouring) or bowl until thoroughly combined and the pastes have broken down.
  2. Prepare the ingredients: Prepare the yellow onion, garlic, chilies, makrut lime leaves, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, Chinese broccoli, coriander and spring onion as indicated in the ‘ingredients section. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chilies into a coarse paste and set aside. (If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, finely chop them instead.)

Tom Yum Fried Rice:

  1. Fry the eggs: Heat 1 teaspoon peanut oil in a large nonstick wok (or use a small frying pan) over medium heat. Crack in the eggs and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the whites have set. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the yolk is cooked to your liking. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside. (Note: Fry 1 side of the egg only if you prefer a sunny side up egg with a runny yolk.)
  2. Cook the shrimp: Add 1 teaspoon oil to the wok and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and season with salt and white pepper. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes or until just cooked. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon lime juice, then transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
  3. Sauté the aromatics: Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil in the wok over high heat. Add the yellow onion and the smashed garlic and chilies paste. Sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Stir-fry the veggies: Add the baby corn, cherry tomatoes, Chinese broccoli and minced makrut lime leaves. Toss to combine until the leafy green parts of the Chinese broccoli start to soften – 20-30 seconds.
  5. Add the shrimp, rice and sauce. Add the cooked shrimp and toss briefly to combine. Then add the cooked rice and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry using a scooping and flattening motion until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
  6. Season: Season with salt and ground white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Toss through the herbs: Toss through most of the coriander and spring onion (reserve some for garnish). Switch off the heat.
  8. To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with the reserved spring onion and coriander. Top each plate with a fried egg and serve with lime wedges for squeezing if desired.

Notes

  1. Tom Yum Paste. I use a store-bought instant tom yum paste for convenience. My favorite brand is Por Kwan which is hotter and not as sweet as other instant tom yum paste brands. However, any brand will work and you can customize the spice and sweetness levels to your liking by adjusting the amount of brown sugar and fresh chilies you use.
  2. Thai Chili Paste/Chili Jam (Nam Prik Pao). A sweet and savory jarred Thai roasted chili paste that has the texture of jam. It’s also known as “roasted chili paste” or “roasted chili paste in soybean oil”. Find it in a Thai or Asian grocery store or order a jar online.
  3. Fresh Red Chilies. Use less or more based on your spice level tolerance. Any variety of hot red chilies that are easily available to you can be substituted.
  4. 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 curries, stir-fries and salads. Find it in a Thai grocery store or substitute with the ground dried version or whole dried makrut lime leaves. Both can be found in most mainstream supermarkets that are well-stocked with international ingredients.
  5. Thai Jasmine Brown Rice. Feel free to use long-grain Thai jasmine white rice or any type of cooked long-grain rice. Day-old or even two-day old chilled rice from the fridge works best for making fried rice. Due to having less moisture than freshly cooked rice after sitting in the fridge overnight, it’s less likely to become mushy in the wok.
  6. Storing and reheating leftovers. Leftovers will keep well in an airtight sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once in between, until hot throughout.
  7. See the ‘FAQs’ and ‘Variations’ and section in the post above to customize this fried rice to make it vegetarian or for other dietary needs.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 584
  • Sugar: 7.2g
  • Sodium: 2573.9mg
  • Fat: 19.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.6g
  • Fiber: 6.1g
  • Protein: 47.5g
  • Cholesterol: 186mg

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