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Thai basil fried rice

Thai Basil Fried Rice

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Thai basil fried rice is a delicious way to use this fragrant herb! Thai basil infuses a delicate anise flavor into this satisfying dish.


  • 1/2 yellow or white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (about 1 inch nub)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice, at least 1 day old or cooled using the shortcut below*
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup Thai basil leaves
  • Optional: 1 pound medium small shrimp (size 51 to 60), shelled and deveined, frozen or fresh**


  1. Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Mince the ginger. Peel the carrots, then dice them.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil medium high. Sauté the carrots and onion for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, peas and salt for 1 minute.
  3. Push the rice to the side. Add 1 tablespoon more oil. Add the eggs and pinch of salt, and scramble them in for 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce, if using. Taste and add additional soy sauce if necessary. Heat for a minute or two, stirring, until all rice is coated. Add the Thai basil and turn off the heat, stirring until it wilts. Serve hot.


*Trick: If you don’t have day old rice, here’s a shortcut. Make the rice. Then spread it onto a rimmed sheet pan and put it into the freezer. Freeze for about 10 minutes until the grains become cool to the touch. Some might even become frozen: that’s ok! They’ll heat right back up once they hit the pan.

**If serving with shrimp, sauté the shrimp before making the rice: Pat the shrimp dry. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil on medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook about 1 minute per side until just opaque cooked through, turning them with tongs. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Remove to a bowl and set aside while you cook the rice, then add them to the rice when it’s done.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Thai basil fried rice