Monday, April 23, 2012

Mellow Thai Fried Rice

Oh the joys of living in the tropics during the hot season: perfect sunsets, mangoes in abundance,…and the risk of food poisoning. As soon as we came back from our last island jaunt (I know, I still haven’t posted those recipes yet), my fella felt a bit off colour. I hasten to add I hadn’t cooked for the best part of a week so this wasn’t my doing! I’ll spare you the gruesome details but by Friday night it was like a scene from The Exorcist – I wasn’t sure whether I should call a doctor or an old priest and a young priest.

Anyway, he’s all better now but has been told to lay off rich food, dairy and spices for a while. So I cooked him the most mellow of Thai dishes I could think of; chicken fried rice (or khao pad gai). It’s also very quick and easy and a great way to use leftover rice from the night before, if like me you always make too much.

This dish is mellow Thai cooking. The flavours are delicious but without the usual fire from chillies. The addition of pineapple gives the rice a little sweetness and the cashews add a little texture. The additional core flavours in Thai cooking are in the garnishes and sauce: spicy (chilli), salt (soy and fish sauces), and sour (lime) which you can add as sparsely or liberally as you choose

Will he be laying off the street food from now on? No chance! Just hoping that the exposure to the bugs has increased his immunity.

Time: 30 mins
Rating: Very easy
Serves: 2

300g cooked rice (weight when cooked)
1 large chicken breast (replace with prawns or tofu if you prefer)
1 small red chilli
2 cloves garlic
2cm knob ginger
¼ onion
½ red pepper
30g cashew nuts
1 egg
40g sugar snap peas
40g mushrooms
1 small carrot
1 slice/a few chunks fresh pineapple
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce

Spicy sauce:
1 small red chilli
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Garnish :
1 Lime
2 spring onions
A few slices of cucumber


  1. Prepare your sauce and garnishes: Very finely chop the chilli, including seeds and combine with the other sauce ingredients. Set aside. Cut a couple of spring onions in half length-ways, cut a few slices of cucumber and quarter a lime.
  2. Next prepare your chicken and vegetables. Chop the chicken into small bite-sized chunks. Very finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and dice all the other vegetables and the pineapple.
  3. Next cook your egg. Heat a little oil in a wok. Beat the egg and pour into the wok once it’s hot, spreading it out thinly to make a thin omelette. Cook until done. Remove and cool.
  4. Heat a little more oil in the same wok and fry the chilli, ginger, onions and garlic. Fry for 1 minute until soft. Add the chicken breast and cook for 2 mins on high heat til lightly browned, stirring regularly. Add the vegetables, fish sauce and 1 tbsp soy sauce and keep stirring. Cook for about 4-5 mins until the vegetables have softened.
  5. Add the rice and stir thoroughly. Add the remaining tbsp soy sauce and combine well. Roll the omelette up like a cigar and cut into thin strips width-ways. Add this to the wok along with the pineapple and cashews and keep stirring.
  6. Cook for a further 4-5 mins until the rice is piping hot.
  7. Serve along with the garnishes and sauce.


  1. Love your plating and the photo! Great idea to add cashew nuts as well.

  2. Thanks! You're so right, it's all about lighting! If I only I didn't have to work during daylight hours!