Thai fried rice is a popular Thai dish that is often eaten as meal for lunch, as a side dish or as a garnish for a complete entree. It is a homogenous combination of vegetables, spices and usually meat such as pork or chicken. A good amount of flavor comes from Thai fish sauce, soy sauce and pepper. The best results are attained when the dish is cooked in a wok that is kept at very high heat for the entire process, quickly searing the meat and vegetables and frying the rice, which is generally drier than rice prepared in a more traditional fashion.
The rice used in Thai fried rice is usually jasmine rice, which is different from the more common long-grain variety used in fried rice from other countries. An important factor is the amount of moisture in the rice before it is cooked. The dish is best made when the rice is drier than normal, making leftover rice that has been prepared the day before a good choice. If there is no leftover rice, then fresh rice can be made, but with less water than would normally be called for. Another option is to take fresh rice and refrigerate it for a time so the moisture is drawn out.
The heat inside the cooking pan is very important when making Thai fried rice. The dish will not cook in an authentic way if the pan is not hot enough. The pan, preferably a wok that transfers heat quickly, should be hot enough so ingredients immediately start to sizzle and cook when added, but not so hot that the oil in the pan smokes excessively. The entire cooking process does not take very long because of this heat, and the flavors imparted by stir frying are distinct from normal pan frying.
Making Thai fried rice begins with heating oil in the hot pan, and then quickly cooking garlic and onions in the oil. Next, any meat is added and cooked through completely. Soy sauce and fish sauce are added and briefly allowed to cook to develop their flavors. The rice and vegetables are then placed in the pan along with an egg and fried quickly while being stirred to prevent any one part from burning on the bottom of the wok.
The entire cooking process for Thai fried rice happens very quickly, and it is important to have all of the ingredients prepared and ready to be put in the pan at the right time. The texture of the rice could become rubbery or overly dry if the pan needs to be taken off the heat and then reheated. The finished Thai fried rice can be served garnished with lime, cucumber, green onions or roasted nuts on top.