Spicy Thai Fried Rice

May 2, 2017
Spicy Thai Fried Rice - Rice seasoned with chilies, fish sauce and lime giving it a bright and spicy, Thai inspired complexity

“And as the years go by

Our friendship will never die

You're gonna see it's our destiny

You've got a friend in me”    ~ Disney's Toy Story

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He called the other night .. as he sometimes does.  “I know it’s 1 am .. did I wake you, Mom?”

(From one nocturnal soul to another .. we both know the night is still young)

A long-standing oath between the two of us.  If you’re down.  If the world feels like it’s too much.  If you’re ready to run screaming into the night .. never to return

Call me

It doesn't matter what time it is .. I doesn't matter what else I have going on.  In that moment I’ll be for you what you need.  Someone to listen (this I can do).  A shoulder to cry on (I wish I could be there in person).  Advice (take it with a grain of salt .. I've made so many mistakes).  A warm mom hug from afar

I won’t judge you .. I won’t think differently of you.  I won’t try to make things better.  I'll simply offer a safe place for your soul to be

We talk about everything .. yet nothing in particular

All the while I wonder where he is.  I can hear the rush of the night's breeze .. the rumbling of a train not far off in the distance.  How many times over the years have I prayed .. Wherever he is God .. please keep him safe”  It’s chilly tonight .. is he wearing a jacket?  Is he sober?  Was there enough food in their refrigerator today to make a meal?

As dawn approaches .. I sense the tension has lifted.  Does he realize how much I understand his anxiety?

“Tell me something completely random that you thought about today” 

“Do you remember a long time ago when I was in treatment and that guy came to do a cooking class?”

Spicy Thai Fried Rice - Rice seasoned with chilies, fish sauce and lime giving it a bright and spicy, Thai inspired complexity

Sometimes .. when you find yourself visiting a residential treatment center on a Sunday .. you take a cooking class.

You saddle up to the countertop with a group of teens who've never cooked .. parents making the effort to put dinner on the table every night .. counselors who cook for therapy .. grandparents who cook for fun

You all dig your spoons into an oversized metal wok and alas .. something is shared

Can you call fried rice exciting?  You can.  You may.  This one most definitely is

Our instructor from the local co-op .. was both delightful and passionate.  A wealth of knowledge when it came to meals that come together quickly .. usually without much fuss .. and with just a handful of ingredients.  Helpful tips and tricks for when the kids would .. one day .. be on their own.

He offered a few commandments when it comes to fried rice

Thou Shalt Always Use Day Old Rice 

Freshly cooked rice is hot .. steamy .. and sticky.  Any of which will leave us with clumpy and soft fried rice.  Day-old rice chilled in the fridge is a friend.  Before cooking .. do your best to separate the rice your fingers so individual grains will be more pronounced once they hit the wok

Thou Shalt Prep Your Ingredients + Crank Up the Heat

The goal is for everything to cook quickly.  So all of the ingredients should be at the ready and the wok (or skillet) needs to be hot

Thou Shalt Not Overcrowd

The wok won't stay hot enough if there are too many ingredients

Thou Shalt Be Flexible

As far as technique goes .. there are as many ways to fry rice as there are cooks

There are a couple of schools of thought:  One can cook each ingredient individually (veggies, meat, egg, and rice) .. returning everything back to the pan at the end for the final mix and seasoning.  Or cook everything together .. being careful not to overcrowd.  In this scenario .. cooking one or two servings at a time is best

Though Shalt Not Drown Fried Rice In Saucy Seasonings

Just a few tablespoons of sauce will go an awfully long way

Patience, Grasshopper

Probably the most important commandment?  Once everything has been cooked .. press the rice mix down with your spatula and simply let it be.  Which will be completely and totally at odds for those who are new to this fried rice rodeo.  Trust me on this one .. it will make all the difference.

After thirty seconds fight the urge to toss or stir.  Let the packed rice sit for a couple of minutes (long enough that the rice in contact with the pan will start to crisp up).  Then flip .. pat and repeat

Spicy Thai Fried Rice - Rice seasoned with chilies, fish sauce and lime giving it a bright and spicy, Thai inspired complexity

The beauty of fried rice is that it isn't a science.  One doesn't need exact ingredients or measurements.  Just about anything goes: leftover roast chicken .., fried tofu .. ham .. frozen veggies

The recipe’s crazy easy to double and perfect for dinner party prep because it will keep for up to an hour in the fridge

Which at our house is just enough time to find a dog bone in the toilet .. take three deep breaths .. and call my husband for his plumbing services before guests arrive

— — —

Sometimes I shy away from sharing recipes like this one here.  Mostly because they don't feel like anything special.  Or they're so simple it's a stretch to assign the word ‘recipe' to the instructions.  Sometimes I simply feel awkward about showing you what I tossed in the skillet.

But on nights when I don't feel like doing much more than chopping an onion .. nights when two pans is one pan too many for me to face .. I make this sort of meal.

Don't feel limited to rice.  Instead swap whatever rice or grain you prefer .. and whatever veggies are in season.  I've used cooked quinoa or millet in the past .. and we're coming up on that time of year where we'll be able to find fresh peas .. asparagus .. or even artichokes



~ Adapted from Dinner by Melissa Clark

5.0 from 20 reviews
Spicy Thai Fried Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6 Servings
  • 3 Tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 1½ cups chorizo or spicy salami, diced ( 6 - 8 oz )
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 cups cooked rice ( white or brown )
  • 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup napa cabbage, chopped
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice from ½ of a lime + lime wedges for serving
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a wok, or heavy 12" skillet over high heat until it's very hot
  2. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan
  3. Add the onion, scallions, and garlic, giving them a quick stir, and cook until they've softened ( ~ 1-2 minutes )
  4. Add the chorizo and jalapeño, sautéing until they start to caramelize ( ~ 2-3 minutes )
  5. Add the raisins and the rice, stirring to combine, and spread the mix out to cover as much of the surface area as possible.
  6. Press down with a spatula
  7. Cook without moving the mix until the rice has had a chance to dry out and has taken on a little color ( ~ 1-3 minutes )
  8. Stir it around a little and toss until it's golden in spots
  9. Add the greens and cabbage, and toss until they're beginning to wilt ( ~ 5 minutes )
  10. Sprinkle in the soy and fish sauces, coating the contents of the pan.
  11. Then push everything away from the center of the pan and pour the eggs into the middle.
  12. Cook until the eggs are custardy ( ~ 1 - 2 minutes )
  13. The mix everything in the pan, breaking up the eggs as you go
  14. Add the lime juice and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  15. Serve garnished with sliced scallions and a couple of lime wedges alongside

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  • Reply Alli Smith May 2, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Thanks for all the tips I need to know when making fried rice. I look forward to trying your recipe and I’ll be sure to press that rice down.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey May 2, 2017 at 5:49 am

    What a great sounding recipe, I am really getting into fried rice dishes so I am going to have to try this one for myself.

  • Reply robin rue May 2, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Oh yum! We eat lots of rice dishes in our house and I think my husband would especially like this spicy fried rice 🙂

  • Reply Jenny | The Baking Skillet May 2, 2017 at 6:08 am

    I think I always overcrowd and I get impatient and move the rice around too much.. thanks for the tips!! Sometimes the simple, regular food is worth writing about coz you end up giving out helpful tips like these. Have a great day

  • Reply kathryn Maher May 2, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Ha Ha! We are also a family of nocturnal creatures especially my children and I. We are a family of creatives and only come out to play after midnight… My son is especially so and also just happens to love special fried rice dishes. He is quite inventive with this kind of dish but I think he will be especially interested in trying this fab chicken fried rice dish. Cheers!

  • Reply Amy May 2, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I’ve always been cautious of pre-cooked rice. If I had any leftover (because we all cook too much rice) I normally chuck it! Thank you for letting me know it’s okay to keep in the fridge for the next day!

  • Reply Talya May 2, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Delicious! I love all Thai food so I’m so pleased you didn’t shy away from sharing this lovely Thai recipe look forward to trying it!

  • Reply Jenn @ EngineerMommy May 2, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I am a big fan of Thai cuisine. I am totally going to try this recipe – I think the whole family will enjoy it.

  • Reply Chelsea Elizabeth May 2, 2017 at 7:54 am

    This looks like such a tasty meal packed with flavours. I always find rice very filling too

  • Reply Toni May 2, 2017 at 8:53 am

    This looks so delish! I am a huge fan of Thai fried rice so I will have to try this recipe at home!

  • Reply Franc Ramon May 2, 2017 at 9:27 am

    The spicy fried rice looks really tasty. It’s nice how you laid out the rules in coming up with a really good mix.

  • Reply Jenni May 2, 2017 at 9:43 am

    This looks delicious and I am now off to read the rest of your blog to understand more about you and your son x

  • Reply Healthy & Psyched May 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’ve never tried to make my own fried rice. Thanks for the tips/commandments! I think you’re recipe sounds really interesting with the raisins in there.

  • Reply August May 2, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Using day old rice-wow, never thought of that and a day way to get rid of leftovers. Great recipe!

  • Reply Jaime Nicole May 2, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I am a HUGE fan of Thai food! I can’t wait to try this recipe – even my girls like spicy food so it’s a go! Fried rice is sooooo yummy too!

  • Reply The London Mum May 2, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I love fried rice, and adore this flavours- the spicier the better!

  • Reply Hayley Warren May 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Fried rice is my favourite quick and easy meal!

  • Reply Emerald May 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I love all types of fried rice but I haven’t ever tried Thai before. Your pictures look amazing and your story is heartfelt and pulled me in immediately. Thank you for sharing, I know what it’s like to deal with anxiety.

  • Reply Brandon Smith May 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I love fried rice! Home made is better in my opinion, as the local restaurants don’t seem to get the rice cooked all the way, and therefore, you get crunchy rice in parts. This is an awesome recipe, for one simple reason: Chorizo sausage! Love love LOVE that kind of sausage!

  • Reply Tamara May 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Pixar has always got a friend in me!
    My husband tries to do fancy fried rice dinners. It’s actually one of our standby favorite meals. I love YOURS! We love sausage, but I’m not sure we’ve ever used chorizo and I can’t understand why not?! Spicy salami would be good too.

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    How nice that you were able to be a shoulder for him to cry on and that you treated other patients to a cooking class. A semblance of normality in an uncertain situation. I love the sound of this spicy Thai rice mmm x

  • Reply Pam May 2, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I love fried rice. I make it at home a lot. The cold, day old rice is definitely the key to making it turn out right.

  • Reply Cheryl May 2, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    OMG you had me at chorizo! It looks so yummy, but first I still need to master the long lost art of cooking rice. I can bake a cake, but I can’t cook rice 🙂

  • Reply Katie Kinsley May 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    That looks really tasty, but how does the added fish sauce change the taste? I’m not really into fish sauce!

  • Reply Diane Hoffmaster May 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    My daughter LOVES fried rice. This looks like an amazing recipe. Wonder if she would like the spicy factor….

  • Reply Emily May 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Yum! I have never had fried rice like this before. It sounds so good! I will have to give it a try.

  • Reply Betty May 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Yum I love Thai food and this looks so delicious! The recipe has a lot of ingredients but easy to follow. Will need to make this for my husband!

  • Reply Our Family World May 2, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    We love fried rice and there are so many ways to cook it. We love the spicy kind, like this Thai Fried Rice. We also love Yang Chow (Chinese Fried Rice) and Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice), or just plain garlic fried rice. I am sorry I am babbling because I just love fried rice!

  • Reply Jessica May 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    I’ve never made my own fried rice before. Love the commandments of fried rice. They make me feel like maybe I could try to do my own. This recipe looks like one I could do.

  • Reply lisalisa May 2, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Geez, every time I visit your blog you make me hungry. Thai is actually one of my favorite dishes but I can’t enjoy it anymore because of the spices. This looks soooo good!

  • Reply Claudia Blanton May 2, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    yes, something spicy! I have been craving spicy stuff, probably because I am trying to make things a little milder for my husband who has a sensitive stomach. Well, I guess I am just going to have to make that recipe for myself then. Why not?

  • Reply Prateek Goel May 2, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    You are seriously a food blogger!! I love your style.
    By the way, my favorite is fried rice! I think daily I cook fried rice. Now it’s time for Thai rice!! This is an awesome recipe!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply valmg @ Mom Knows It All May 3, 2017 at 12:14 am

    We all love rice and fried rice is definitely one of our favorites. This one sounds super flavorful, I’ve never seen or tried one with chorizo or salami in it.

  • Reply Yeu Doi May 3, 2017 at 12:27 am

    This looks filling, healthy, and delicious. Will try the recipe soon! Your photos on this blog are great too!

  • Reply Lauretta Wright May 3, 2017 at 12:45 am

    I love rice so I know I’m going to love this dish. And what a lovely relationship you have with your son – When my son is older I’ll remember your words about calling whenever and tell him the same.

  • Reply Noblandmakeup May 3, 2017 at 1:11 am

    It’s awesome that you guys are that close to be able to call each other like that. Don’t lose that bond.

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc May 3, 2017 at 1:18 am

    We make fried rice at home and we throw in whatever is on hand. Usually we use lots of garlic, and leftover ham and garnish with scallions. Other times we mix scrambled eggs and cooked green peas. Oh the variations are endless! I am going to try your version too. This looks like something we’d also enjoy!

  • Reply danik May 3, 2017 at 2:44 am

    This thai fried rice looks so yummy. 🙂 So want to have this for dinner later today 🙂

  • Reply Zena's Suitcase May 3, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I’m a huge fan of Thai food and I love these commandments. I will be giving this a go so thanks so much for the advice and recipe

  • Reply My Teen Guide May 3, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Looks so yummy and filling. My children have no issues with spicy food, in fact they love it. I’m following your recipe and making this for dinner tomorrow!

  • Reply Love You Wedding May 3, 2017 at 8:37 am

    I would love to have some fried rice right now. My tummy is grumbling to have a taste of that delicious dish. A complete meal in itself – veggies, carbs, and a protein source.

  • Reply Erinn Sluka May 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Thai food is my guilty carb pleasure and I love fried rices. I tend to go to curry or peanut flavors and noodles. I will have to try this recipe

  • Reply Heydave May 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    THAT’S why my fried rice sucks!

  • Reply Sarah - let them be small May 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve never made fried rice before but you’ve made it sound so simple and easy to do x

  • Reply Lindsey May 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I am a big fan of spice, and this dish looks like perfect bowl of goodness.

  • Reply Ashleigh May 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I found a few boxes of rice in the cupboards today, so might give this a go at the weekend! Looks absolutely delicious!

  • Reply Roch May 3, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    It’s only now that I’m beginning to appreciate quinoa better than the regular white rice. I’m curious how the Thai fried rice would end up if quinoa were to be used as an alternative.

  • Reply Jennifer L May 4, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Oh this looks so good, too good to eat. I love the addition of chorizo in this Thai fried rice.

  • Reply Roch May 4, 2017 at 1:19 am

    My mom usually cooks fried rice when we have leftovers from last night. She says the texture is better than freshly cooked rice. I love being creative with choosing ingredients when making fried rice.

  • Reply Rebecca Chun May 4, 2017 at 9:39 am

    That looks so delicious! I love your story in the beginning. It’s amazing how food can bring people together.

  • Reply Elizabeth O. May 4, 2017 at 9:56 am

    I love fried rice, it’s easy and you can simply use one wok/pot. I think it’s a great recipe as well, especially for using all those fresh veggies. I love you relationship with your son, it’s beautiful.

  • Reply Carol Cassara May 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I think it’s amazing how you and your son are each other’s confidant. This recipe is perfect for busy nights when there’s not much time to cook. I love that it’s versatile too and spicy!

  • Reply rika May 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    This fried rice looks so tasty! I love thai foods, can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply Jess May 4, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    This sounds so tasty! I always use leftover rice for fried rice but have never heard to press it down and let it sit before – will definitely have to try that next time, thank you! 🙂

  • Reply Nadine Cathleen May 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Looks amazing! Wish I could cook that well too!!

  • Reply CHARLOTTE EVANS May 5, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    this looks incredible, I love fried rice but I’ve never had spicy thai fried rice before and these pictures are making my mouth water! This is on my recipe list now xx

  • Reply Bohemian Babushka May 6, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Babushka loves your style of writing. Unfortunately she’s not a fan of spicy, pero that dish looks amazing. Gracias for the recipe. BB2U

  • Reply Aileen Adalid May 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Great recipe! I love fried rice, and to be honest I haven’t tried cooking a Thai version of it. I love spicy but not so much; yet I think this looks perfect. I’ll give it a try!

  • Reply hannah May 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Now this does look very good. I like Thai food

  • Reply Fatima A. (@Blogsbyfa) May 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    My husband is really fond of fried rice. Although I make Chinese fried rice mostly, I need to try this Thai recipe.

  • Reply Mr.M May 7, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Thanks a lot for all the tips I need to know when making rice. I look forward to trying your recipe because I really like to cook dishes which include rice.

  • Reply Reena @ The Lifestyle Enthusiast May 7, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Yum! This looks delicious!

  • Reply Reena @ The Lifestyle Enthusiast May 7, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Yum this looks so delicious! A great way to use up leftovers. I always inevitable end up making too much brown rice. Do you think it would work ok with leftover quinoa too?

  • Reply stephanie May 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Oh wow this looks amazing and so tasty! I’ll definitely have to give this a go x

  • Reply Leah Lander-Shafik May 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    I absolutely love the sound of this. I want to try some new tasty rice dishes, I find they really fill me up x

  • Reply Whitney Abigail May 8, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I love Thai food and this dish looks so tasty, I love the fact it will cook quickly!

  • Reply MELANIE EDJOURIAN May 29, 2017 at 7:36 am

    That looks sooooooooo yummy. I’m pleased to see the recipe contains coconut oil as I have loads of this so wanted to start using it more. It sounds like a really healthy meal too which I love.

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