How to Make Thai Fried Rice

  • 01 of 09

    Step 1: Prepare the Rice

    Step 1: Preparing the Rice. D.Schmidt

    Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 to 5 people as a side dish.


    • 1 cup pineapple tidbits (fresh preferred, but canned works too)
    • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably at least 1 day old
    • 4 tablespoons of oil for stir-frying
    • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 red or green chili (de-seeded if milder rice is desired)
    • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews
    • 1/2 cup frozen peas
    • 1 egg, beaten (omit if vegan)
    • 1/4 cup currants (or raisins)
    • 3 tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock
    • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce (or...MORE substitute soy sauce if vegetarian)
    • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
    • 1/3 cup fresh coriander
    • 8 to 12 fresh shrimp/prawns (optional)

    Start by preparing the rice. Add a little oil to the rice (up to 1 tablespoon) and work through with your fingers. You want to separate the grains of rice so that they don't stick together. Set aside.


    (For a vegetarian version of this recipe, see Vegetarian Heavenly Pineapple Fried Rice.)


    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Step 2: Stir Fry the Shallots, Garlic, and Chilli

    Stir frying the shallots, garlic, and chilli. D.Schmidt

    Swirl 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and chili, stir-frying for one minute, or until fragrant. If using shrimp, add them now as well.


    Tip: If wok/pan becomes too dry, add a little stock or a touch of water instead of more oil.


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  • 03 of 09

    Step 3: Add the Egg

    Stir frying the Egg. D.Schmidt

    Push aside the shallots, garlic, and chili to make room for the egg (if using). Add the beaten egg to the wok/pan, and stir fry quickly to cook (like making scrambled eggs).


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  • 04 of 09

    Step 4: Add Spice and Sauces

    Adding Spice + Sauces. D.Schmidt

    Mix together the chicken or vegetable stock, fish sauce (or soy sauce), curry powder, and sugar. Stir well, then add to wok/pan.


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  • 05 of 09

    Step 5: Add the Cashews

    Add Cashews. D.Schmidt

    Add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds.


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  • 06 of 09

    Step 6: Add the Rice

    Add the Rice. D.Schmidt

    Now add the prepared rice to the wok/pan. Stir-fry until all the rice has mixed with the sauce and is a uniform color. Break up any lumps with your utensil or a fork.


    Tip: Don't give in to the temptation to add any more liquid to the rice at this point, or it will end up mushy. You can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the bottom of the pan if rice is sticking. Continually lift/scoop up rice from the bottom of the pan, tossing rather than stirring it.


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  • 07 of 09

    Step 7: Add the Peas, Currents (or Raisins), and Pineapple

    Adding pineapple, currents (or raisins), and pineapple. D.Schmidt

    Add the frozen peas, ​currants (or raisins), and pineapple. Stir-fry to mix in.


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  • 08 of 09

    Step 8: Continue Stir-Frying and Do a Taste Test

    Continue Stir frying and taste test for salt and spice. D.Schmidt

    Continue stir frying until everything is integrated (1 to 2 more minutes). ​


    Tip: You should be able to hear some rice "popping" or crackling in the pan. Finally, do a taste test. If not salty enough, add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon more fish sauce (or salt if vegetarian). If not spicy enough, add more chopped fresh chili. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to offset it.


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  • 09 of 09

    Step 9: Serve and Eat!

    Thai style pineapple fried rice served with prawns in a pineapple boat.
    Thai style pineapple fried rice served with prawns in a pineapple boat. Getty Images/lifeispixels

    To serve, sprinkle with spring onion and coriander. Serve on a platter, or, as they do in Thailand, in a pineapple, as shown. (Learn how to carve your own: Thai-style Pineapple "Boat".) Thai chili sauce can be served on the side for those who like it extra spicy. For a great homemade Thai chili sauce, see Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce Recipe