This Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice is packed with vegetables. It uses all plant-based ingredients but still has all the flavors found in Thai cuisine.
A good fried rice is a must have in every aspiring home cook’s arsenal. I enjoy fried rice a lot. Sometimes, I think, maybe a little too much. But in my defense, what’s not to love about it? While I love a good Chinese style fried rice, this Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice has become a new favorite.
Its a simple meal in itself that is super versatile. You can use a lot of different vegetables, whatever you have on hand. It requires just a little advance planning in the form of cooking the rice ahead of time. Combine that with a clever use of some sauces that I always keep on hand and I can sit down to a nice, hot, home cooked meal in a jiffy.
In the past, I’ve always relied on a Chinese style fried rice. But a couple of years ago, when I tried a Spicy Thai Chilly Basil Fried Rice at a local Thai restaurant, I was smitten. All this flavor and spice – this fried rice blew my socks off. I ordered it every time we went out for Thai food. After a few such instances, I knew that I simply had to learn to make this at home and so with some experimentation, I ended up with a recipe that was really close to my favorite version.
Fast forward to December 2019. Just a few weeks before Christmas, my husband and I decided to switch to a more plant-based diet. And I’m happy to report that we’re loving every bit of this new plant based diet. The last couple of months have involved a lot of experimentation and researching substitutes to make my favorite recipes vegan-friendly. And I have finally found the ever elusive ‘mushroom oyster sauce’ that always seems to be sold out at my local Asian grocery store. Obviously, the next step was to try a vegan version of my Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice.
It took a little tweaking, but OMG, this fried rice is phenomenal. I think I may like it a little more than the original recipe. So if you like Thai food, whether or not you follow a plant based diet, you must try this recipe out. Its a simple recipe, but is so flavorful and packed with veggies, that I promise you won’t even miss the meat.
So let’s talk about the recipe. There are a few steps involved but they are all really easy to follow. The fried rice is ready in minutes and its best to have all the components prepped and ready to go.
Step 1 – Making the rice
I used some Basmati rice as that’s what I had on hand. Wash the rice out a couple of times and soak it in some water for about 30 minutes. Drain the water, rinse with some fresh water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, add the rice and cook it till is done about 80%. The rice should still have a little bite and shouldn’t be too soft. Let it cool completely.
It’s best to cook the rice atleast a few hours before you need to make the fried rice. You can even make the rice the previous day. Let it cool completely and refrigerate till you need to use it.
Step 2 – The spice paste
This couldn’t be simpler. Its a combination of some Thai birdseye chillies and garlic. We like our food spicy and this recipe is no exception. If you like Thai food but want to cut down on the spice, you can use a combination of birdseye chillies and some cayenne peppers or any other milder chilly. Grind this to a coarse paste.
Step 3 – The sauce
This sauce makes this fried rice what it is. I have had to make a few substitutions to make this recipe vegan friendly but I believe this combination of sauces comes really close.
Simply stir together all the ingredients for the sauce – the miso paste, soy sauce, mushroom sauce, white pepper powder and sugar. Set this aside to use once we start cooking.
Step 4 – Prepping the veggies
Clean and cut all the vegetables and keep them ready. I use onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli.
Pick the Thai basil leaves and keep them in a separate bowl.
Step 5 – Making the fried rice
This is by far the easiest part of the recipe. Now that all our prep work is done, the rest is just a matter of stir frying our ingredients in stages. Make sure you use a large wok or a large enough pan. At this stage, all the cooking is done on a high heat.
Now that you’re familiar with the process, let move on to the recipe.
Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried RiceCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Medium
This Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice is packed with vegetables. It uses all plant-based ingredients but still has all the flavors found in Thai cuisine.
2/3 cup basmati rice
3 Thai birdseye chillies
4 large cloves of garlic
A small handful of Thai basil leaves
A small wedge of lime
2-3 tsp. peanut oil
- For the sauce –
1 tsp red Miso paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Mushroom Oyster Sauce
1/2 tsp White pepper powder
1 scant tbsp raw cane sugar
- Vegetables –
5 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup broccoli florets
- Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with some fresh water and drain again. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt. Add the drained rice and boil till the rice is cooked about 80% of the way. Drain and rice and cool completely.
**See Note 1.
- Prep the spice paste. Grind the chillies and garlic to a coarse paste and set aside.
- Make the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir together till well combined.
- Prep the vegetables. Peel and cut the onion into thick slices and separate the onion layers.
Cut the zucchini and carrot in half lengthwise and cut into thick slices.
Slice the mushrooms. Cut the broccoli into small florets to help it cook faster.
- To make the fried rice –
- Heat a large wok on high heat. Add 1 tsp peanut oil and fry the mushrooms till they develop a little color.
- Add another spoon of oil and add the onion. Stir fry till the edges of the onion slices start caramelizing.
- Add the broccoli and stir fry till it has cooked about half the way.
- Add the carrots and saute.
- Then add the zucchini and saute till the veggies cook through to your liking.
** See note 3.
- When the vegetables are cooked, add the chilli garlic paste and stir through well.
- Stir the sauce and add to the wok. Stir through to distribute well.
- Immediately add the rice and gently stir through to coat the rice with the sauce.
- At this stage, let the rice cook through for about 20-30 seconds or till the sauce has been absorbed by the rice and the rice has heated through well. Gently stir fry the rice while it is heating through.
- Take off the heat and add the Thai basil leaves and stir through.
- Serve hot with some cucumber and a wedge of lime.
- 1. Boil the rice atleast a few hours before you need to make the fried rice. You can boil the rice the previous day. Cool it completely and refrigerate till you need to make the fried rice the next day.
- 2. You can use regular white sugar to replace the raw cane sugar. If using white sugar, reduce the amount of sugar used.
- 3. I prefer my veggies a little on the crunchy side. You can choose to cook the vegetables a little more till they are done to your liking.