Recently, I’ve gotten a few requests for a Thai basil fried rice recipe. You guys know that I’m always eager to fill such requests, and this time was no different. The only thing was that I don’t normally make basil fried rice at home… and I can’t remember the last time I ordered it at a Thai restaurant.
You get where I’m going with this, yes? It’s a little difficult to come up with a recipe for a dish when you don’t know exactly what taste you’re trying to recreate!
But, for you guys I’ll do anything… including stuffing my face with delicious basil fried rice dishes from several different local Thai restaurants, just to get a sense of the taste that you’re expecting! I know, I work hard for you guys :)
After sampling a few different offerings, I realized that the rice was flavored with a combination of dark soy sauce and thin soy sauce or fish sauce in most cases. This is similar to holy basil fried rice or khao pad gaprow, a dish that I know and love (and is actually what Thai basil fried rice is mislabeled as in many restaurants).
That’s where the similarities between these two fried rice dishes end, though. Instead of having the distinctive peppery, almost minty flavor of holy basil, Thai basil fried rice showcases the aromatic, licorice-like flavor of Thai basil. The Thai basil fried rice dishes that I sampled also had many more vegetables than holy basil fried rice generally does and were never served with an egg, which is an integral component of holy basil fried rice.
The resulting Thai basil fried rice is very distinct from holy basil fried rice in its taste and appearance, but is nonetheless delicious. Here is my version of Thai basil fried rice — I hope you enjoy!