This Classic Thai Chicken Fried Rice Is Simple Yet Tasty

Classic Thai Chicken Fried Rice

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
478 Calories
14g Fat
67g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 478
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 1804mg 78%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 23mg 117%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 517mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple yet tasty recipe for chicken fried rice will please everyone at your table with its vibrant flavors. It is easy to make at home and rivals the fried rice you would get at your favorite Asian restaurant. If you happen to have leftover rice, making this fried rice recipe is the perfect way to use it up; but even freshly made rice works well when fried up in the right way and with the right sauces.

This recipe will teach you how to do just that, so your fried rice tastes as light and flavorful as it possibly can. The dish also includes mushrooms and peas and is topped off with spring onions, giving it a fresh and bright appearance. Some traditionalist Thai food fans claim that fried rice, including soy sauce, is not authentically Thai but more like a Chinese stir-fry, while other Thai cooks—including cookbook authors—include the ingredient without apology. Whether to use it or not is up to you. Serve with Thai chile sauce on the side for those who like it extra spicy.

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Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, or 2 thighs, chopped into small pieces

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, or black pepper

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 spring onions, sliced, white and green parts separated

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 red or green chile pepper, thinly sliced or a sprinkling of chile flakes

  • 5 to 7 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped into small pieces

  • 1 small stalk celery, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 1 large egg

  • Thai chile sauce, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Thai Chicken Fried Rice ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. If using leftover cold rice, drizzle a teaspoon or two of oil on your fingers and work through the rice, separating clumps back into grains.

    rice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Place the chopped chicken in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Stir well and set aside.

    Chicken and soy sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Combine the chicken stock, fish sauce, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.

    Sauce for Thai chicken fried rice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high or medium-high heat. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl around, then add the white parts of the spring onions plus the garlic and chile.

    Stir-fried spring onion, garlic, and chile

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Stir-fry 1 minute, then add the chicken. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken turns evenly opaque.

    Stir-frying chicken in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Add the mushrooms and celery and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is cooked through (celery should stay a little crunchy). If your wok or pan becomes too dry, add a little more oil.

    Chicken and veggies stir-frying in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Keeping the heat high, add the rice. Stir-fry using a spatula or other flat utensil to gently lift and turn the rice.

    Thai chicken fried rice in the pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Gradually begin adding the stir-fry sauce, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue stir-frying 6 to 10 minutes, or until all the sauce has been added.

    Adding sauce to Thai chicken fried rice in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Add frozen peas and stir to incorporate. Then push everything aside to reveal the center of the pan.

    Peas added to Thai chicken fried rice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Crack in the egg and quickly stir-fry to scramble.

    Scrambling eggs in Thai chicken fried rice

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  12. Continue stir-frying everything together over high heat 2 more minutes or until the rice is light and falls easily into separate grains.

    Classic Thai Chicken Fried Rice cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  13. Remove from heat and taste test, adding a little more fish sauce until the desired flavor is achieved. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice. Top with reserved green onion parts. For those who like it extra spicy, serve with Thai chile sauce on the side.

    Classic Thai Chicken Fried Rice in a pan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Tips

  • Although stir-frying looks simple, there are a few tips to keep in mind so you don't end up with a burnt or unevenly cooked dish. A nonstick pan makes frying easier, as there is more moisture kept in the pan; if you don't have nonstick, it can get too dry, especially after frying the egg. Adding a little oil can help—just push the ingredients aside and drizzle some into the bottom of the pan, then continue stir-frying. Also, this will give your fried rice a restaurant-looking "shine" when served.
  • Avoid adding too much extra stock or other liquids when frying the rice, or your rice will become too heavy and lumpy.

What Is the Difference Between Thai Fried Rice and Chinese Fried Rice?

Thai and Chinese fried rice are very similar since they are both typically made with rice, egg, protein, and/or vegetables. And while the exact recipe can vary greatly in both cuisines, the major difference is that Thai fried rice includes fish sauce and sometimes lime juice, giving it a Southeast Asian flavor.