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Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา

Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา

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!

Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา

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!

Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา


Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา

Makes 2 servings

Thai Basil Fried Rice | Khao Pad Horapa | ข้าวผัดโหระพา


  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 red Thai chili pepper, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup chicken, cut into thin, bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper (or red jalapeno) slices
  • 1/4 cup onion slices
  • 1/4 cup Chinese long beans, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thick dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
  • 2 cups pre-cooked jasmine rice, left out for 1-2 hours


  1. Prepare the ingredients by finely chopping the garlic and red Thai chili. Slice the chicken into thin, bite-sized pieces. Slice the Chinese long beans, red bell pepper, and onion into thin strips.
  2. Heat a wok until very hot and then add 1-2 Tablespoons of canola oil (or any other mild oil of your choice). Add the finely chopped garlic and chilis and stir fry until the garlic is golden brown.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until it is cooked through. This should take 3-5 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken pieces are. Then add the long beans and red bell peppers, quickly followed by all of the sauces.
  4. Once the long beans and peppers are close to done, add the onion slices and stir fry for 30 seconds to a minute until they are translucent, but still slightly firm.
  5. Finally, add the rice and mix together with all of the other ingredients. Once the sauces have been mixed thoroughly with the rice, add the Thai basil and turn off the heat. Give everything one more toss and then serve with a little dish of nam pla prik (fish sauce with sliced Thai chilis and maybe a squeeze of lime).


14 comments… add one
  • Robert Clayman November 22, 2018, 7:53 am

    Where da NAM PLA!!!!???

    • Rachel November 29, 2018, 11:33 pm

      Ha! I served it as nam pla prik on the side, but you’re more than welcome to add some into the dish :)

  • Mark September 15, 2018, 4:27 pm

    Thank you for your hard work and for such a fantastic website. I’ve been cooking from your recipes for some time now but had not said thank you before.

    Tonight my family and I will be enjoying this recipe for the second time this month.

    All the best.

    • Rachel September 18, 2018, 4:07 am

      Thanks, Mark! It’s really nice of you to comment :)

  • Pey-Lih Littler May 7, 2018, 11:33 pm

    The best thai basil fried rice by far….Thank you Rachel!

    • Rachel May 9, 2018, 7:46 pm

      Great, glad to hear it!

  • HelloUrsula October 15, 2014, 6:23 pm

    Hi Rachel! I have been on the hunt to find fresh Thai basil and have been unable to locate it. This morning I stopped by Whole Foods and the gentleman that helped me said Thai Basil is out of season. Do you have any recommendations on where to find it, either online or somewherein the Chicagoland area?

    • Rachel October 16, 2014, 2:33 am

      Fresh Thai produce can be ordered from several online sites, including ImportFood.com. I also have good luck finding Thai basil at local Asian markets like Ranch 99. Best of luck!

    • Alicia sturdy September 29, 2015, 11:38 pm

      There is a great Asian market in Uptown in Chicago – Lawrence at Broadway.

  • Mary C October 3, 2013, 11:25 am

    Hi Rachel,
    I love to visit your blog, have been coming here for a few years now. It gives me hope that as an American, I can cook ethnic food that I love! My favorite dish from my Viet/Thai restaurant is Thai Basil Fried Rice. I’m hoping to get the ingredients to try and make it at home, but I can order it for $10 dollars here in my local restaurant. It has such a blast of heat and wonderful flavors that I may not be able to duplicate it. Holy basil is very hard to come by here. :)
    Cheers ~ Mary

  • Adrian Fleur September 11, 2013, 3:11 pm

    Hi there Rachel =) I’ve been looking at your blog for some time, and finally started following it. I’d just like to point out that your food photography is FANTASTIC! I really enjoy seeing simple and local Thai dishes shown in such a flattering light. I’m not saying local Thai food isn’t delicious or that it looks bad – it’s just never showcased like this. Most of my meals come straight out of a bag into a bowl, and I eat it without any thought on presentation. You have a great eye, and please keep up the excellent work! =)

    • Rachel September 12, 2013, 12:23 am

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Adrian!

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