Thai Food Month
The big news today is that February is Thai food month here on Inquiring Chef! We moved back to the United States from Thailand a full 8 months ago, and at some point I started waking up in the middle of the night craving its food. Things had to change. We had to get some good, authentic Thai food going in our kitchen.
We’re hoping you’d like some in your kitchen too!
So all through the month of February, we’ll share recipes for our Thai food favorites. Some will be totally authentic and some are our takes on the original. If you follow Frank and I on Instagram, you’ve seen us previewing some of the recipes that are coming. It’s going to be a delicious month friends, and we’re so excited to return to Thailand through the magic of the dinner table.
We’d love for you to make and eat some delicious Thai food along with us this month. Share it on social media with #thaifoodmonth and #inquiringchef so we can find you!
Thai Fried Rice
In honor of the first day of this month of delicious Thai food, we are bringing you the lunch we ate countless times in our five years in Bangkok. This is nothing like the fried rice you might associate with sub-par lunch buffets. It is deeply flavorful, usually includes just a small portion of flavorful meat (we use pancetta which packs tons of flavor), and is best served with a sunny-side up egg.
A runny egg yolk perfectly balances the saltiness of the dish.
Tips for Perfect Thai Fried Rice:
- Use rice that has been refrigerated for 2-3 days. It will hold up better and won’t turn mushy in the wok.
- Cook the vegetables separately. Cook the vegetables on their own to get them nice and tender without overcooking the rice. Then fold everything together at the end. See steps in the recipe below!
- Balance the sauce. You don’t need a complicated sauce to make good fried rice but you do need more than one-note soy sauce to season it. A little rice vinegar and a tiny bit of honey balance it out.
- Serve it with an egg. A fried egg with a runny yolk is the perfect topping for fried rice. It’s a big of magic – don’t skip it!
- Adjust at the table. They do it right in Thailand and serve their fried rice with lime wedges, extra soy sauce (or fish sauce), spicy vinegar and even with a bit of sugar, so you can tweak your rice to your liking.
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce, plus extra for serving
- 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
- ¼ tsp Honey
- 4 oz Pancetta or Thick-Cut Bacon (chopped)
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2 Green Onions, chopped (keep white and green parts separate)
- 2 cups chopped Vegetables (any will work - we like broccoli and carrots)
- 2 cups cooked White or Brown Rice (preferably a couple days old)
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Lime, wedges, for serving (opt)
- Whisk together all ingredients for sauce. Prep all remaining ingredients and set them beside the stove.
- Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and white parts of green onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta and seasonings to a large mixing bowl, leaving any oil in the pan.
- To the hot pan, add vegetables and saute until tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Add half the sauce and saute until vegetables are coated, 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to the mixing bowl with the pancetta.
- To the hot pan, add the remaining sauce and then rice and stir to combine. Stop stirring and let rice sit in the hot pan for long enough to brown on the bottom but not burn (this isn't necessary, but if your pan is quite hot, it results in brown crispy bits of rice that we love; don’t do this for more than a minute or the rice will overcook ). Add the pancetta and vegetables back into the pan along with green parts of green onions and stir to combine. Transfer rice to a serving dish.
- Place a new pan (preferably a large skillet or any pan that you like to use for cooking eggs) over medium heat. Add oil and when hot, crack the eggs into the pan. Leave the eggs, without turning them until the whites are cooked through and the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes (you can flip them over to cook the other side or leave them sunny-side-up).
- Place eggs over rice and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side. Season to taste with lime juice, extra fish sauce, or hot sauce like Sriracha.
Did you have nice weather over the weekend? It was sunny and warm enough in Kansas City to ditch our winter coats and head to the Nelson-Atkins Museum for their Chinese New Year Festival. We had a great time…though Molly and Clara were not so amused when we made them stop running around to take a photo….