We are big fans of Thai food, the husband and I. We love how the cuisine uses very simple, earthy ingredients to create dishes that are so very flavourful. We love the way different flavours like sweet, sour and spicy meld together so beautifully in Thai cuisine. Here’s presenting a delicious Thai dish we make often at home and thoroughly enjoy – Khao Phad or Thai Vegetable Fried Rice.
A bit about Khao Phad, my way
The ingredients used in Thai and Indian cuisine are not all that different, and I have been able to replicate many of our favourite dishes at home. The husband and I enjoy knocking back a dish of Thai green curry with rice, a raw papaya salad or peanut noodles for lunch or dinner, a nice change from the usual. Like I was saying earlier, Khao Phad or Thai-style vegetarian fried rice is an all-time house favourite.
Like many other Thai dishes, Khao Phad is a medley of flavours – sweet and sour and spicy come together to create this wholesome dish. It isn’t very tough to make – once you prep up the ingredients, putting together this Thai fried rice is a matter of minutes.
I use ingredients commonly available in India – like Indian ginger in place of Thai galangal, Sona Masoori rice in place of Thai jasmine rice, jaggery powder in place of coconut blossom sugar, as is commonly used in Thailand – and the result is still very close to the original Khao Phad we tasted in Thailand. You have to try this out to understand just how simple yet beautiful this dish is!
How to make Khao Phad or Thai Vegetarian Fried Rice
Here’s how I make it.
Ingredients (4-5 servings):
Vegetables to be prepped:
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- A small piece of cabbage
- 1/4 cup sweet corn
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 small capsicum
- 5-6 beans
- 1 small carrot
Other veggies used:
- 1 lemon or as per taste
- A few stalks of fresh coriander
- 1 cup rice (I used Sona Masoori)
- Salt, to taste
- 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
- 2 tablespoons soya sauce or to taste
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce or to taste
- 2 tablespoons jaggery powder
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- 4-5 strands of lemongrass (optional)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- First, pressure cook the rice with 2-3/4 cups of water for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release entirely. Allow the rice to cool down completely, and then fluff it up gently. Keep aside.
- Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they get crisp. Allow them to cool down completely, and remove the skins. Now, coarsely pulse in a mixer for just about a second. Do not make a fine powder. Keep aside.
- Now, we will prep the veggies that will go into the fried rice. Peel the ginger and chop it very, very finely. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them coarsely, using a mortar and pestle. Chop the onion, and cabbage finely. Peel the carrot and chop into batons. Chop the capsicum and beans into bite-sized pieces. Keep the veggies aside.
- Now, finely chop the coriander. Extract the juice from the lemon. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the lemongrass strands, slit green chillies, kaffir lime leaves, onion, ginger, garlic, capsicum, peas, beans, corn, cabbage, carrot and cucumber. Add a little salt. Stir fry on medium heat till the vegetables are cooked, but not overly so. The veggies should retain a little crunch.
- Turn the flame down to low. Add in the cooked rice, soya sauce, Sriracha sauce, salt to taste, crushed peanuts and jaggery powder. Mix well.
- Let everything cook together on low flame for about 2 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add some red chilli powder if needed.
- When everything is well integrated together, switch off gas. Add in the lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Mix well. Serve piping hot.
Tips & Tricks
- Traditionally, jasmine rice is used to prepare Thai fried rice. I didn’t have any, so I have used Indian Sona Masoori rice instead.
- For plain steamed rice, I use about 3-1/2 cups of water per cup of rice. For fried rice, I have reduced the quantity of water to 2-1/2 cups. You could further reduce the quantity of water you use, if you want grainier rice. We like our rice to be well-cooked but still grainy, and this ratio works out perfectly for us.
- I have used ordinary Indian ginger in place of Thai galangal. If you can get your hands on galangal, you could use that instead.
- Increase or decrease the quantity of lemon juice, sugar, soya sauce and Sriracha sauce as per your personal taste preferences. The quantities suggested above work out well for us.
- I have used jaggery powder here. You could use palm jaggery or coconut blossom sugar instead.
- Other vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and coloured capsicum can be added to the fried rice too. I commonly use the veggies that I have on hand.
- If you have rice left over, preferably a day old, it works very well for this recipe. You could use that in place of freshly cooked and cooled down rice.
- Chunks of fresh, ripe pineapple can also be mixed into the fried rice at the end, while you are adding the lemon juice and chopped coriander. That takes the flavour of the dish to a whole new level – I do that when I have chopped pineapple handy.
- Thai bird’s eye chillies can be used in place of the green chillies I have used here.
- If you are following a vegan (plant-based) or gluten-free diet, do check on the ingredients used in the sauces. Make sure the sauces meet your dietary requirements.
- Adjust the quantity of lemon juice you use, as per personal taste preferences.
- If you don’t have kaffir lime leaves and/or lemongrass, lemon zest can be used instead.
This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is ‘Fusion Fiesta’, and each of the participants was required to post a fusion dish involving Indian and another, uncommon (to us) cuisine.