A while ago Mike had an intern at work whose family owned a Thai restaurant; we’ll call him “Jay”. To this Jay, I would like to say thank you for expanding my husband’s culinary horizons in a way that only hunger and an opportune moment can do (aka, if you’re hungry enough, you’ll try anything).
I’ve been a fan of Thai food for a very long time; Mike, on the other hand, not so much. He suffered through a few meals with me at my favorite Thai places…not suffering because the food was bad, but because he had it in his head that he “didn’t like Thai food”. Enter Jay, and a day when Mike forgot to grab his lunch out of the fridge in the morning before heading off to work.
Four hours and a hungry belly later, Jay offered to share his lunch (yup, some people still do that), which just happened to be Thai fried rice. Thank you, Jay. Now instead of Mike saying he “doesn’t like Thai food,” he says “I only like the fried rice”. But at least he and I can eat at a Thai place without me worrying he won’t enjoy a single bite of his meal.
I’m not claiming that this is fried rice is authentic, but for my Thai-inspired fried rice I like to use well-balanced sauce full of classic Thai flavors. I’ve been working on the perfect sauce for Thai fried rice for a while now, and I think the sauce I came up with is a fantastic balance of sweet, salty, sour, spicy-hot, and umami flavors. I use a teensy shortcut – a store-bought Thai red curry paste – but of course feel free to use homemade if you prefer. And speaking of preferences, feel free to swap out the veggies I used for any you have on hand.
I’m crazy about the sweet and tangy cucumber salad they serve at Thai restaurants, and I always make it at home when I serve my Thai-Inspired Fried Rice…here is my recipe for it!