Enjoy a take out inspired dinner at home with this Thai style green curry fried rice. Made with chicken, shrimp, and packed with veggies it’s a quick and easy hearty meal for the family.
We had a version of this green curry fried rice that was just packed with ingredients at a Thai restaurant in Los Angeles near UCLA and my husband and I loved it. It was a favorite to pick up when we were on that side of town.
After we moved to the Netherlands, it became my mission to recreate it so we could have it whenever the cravings hit. Since it is so good, the cravings came often. It took some time to nail down the right ratios of ingredients but I feel like this is about as close as I can get to that dish of amazingness.
I made this dish with a group of friends we had over while my husband was in school. They were from Colombia, Ghana, India, and Taiwan and they all loved it! Our Indian friend knew right away that it was Thai green curry and not Indian green curry (more on the differences below).
I love this particular version because of the layers of flavor and contrasts between the sweet fruits and veggies and spicy sauce as well as the variety of textures as well. It really is a blissful eating experience no matter whether you choose to have protein in it or not.
This dish is pretty flexible and would be just as good if you choose to make it vegetarian, only seafood, or only chicken. If you wanted to use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken than that would cut down cooking time a little bit.
Note: If you are not used to eating spicy food, I would tone down the green curry paste by a Tablespoon or two. It will be a bit milder and less green looking but will also be less flavorful so figure out what matters more to you.
- Vegetable oil
- Chicken (you can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts)
- Shredded carrots
- Green curry paste (make your own or see where to buy below)
- Cold, day old cooked white rice
- Pineapple tidbits
- Green onions
Where to buy green curry paste?
I’ve often been able to find green curry paste in the Asian section of many grocery stores, but they often come in really small jars and I’m not a huge fan of many of those brands.
My favorite brand is Mae Ploy and you can get that brand here or I’ve always been able to find it at my local Asian market, whether in the US or abroad.
Another option is to order from a place like Yami (either online or via the app) which has lots of options for Asian ingredients.
Differences between Thai and Indian curry?
Now, if you are unfamiliar with curries you might think all curries are the same. They are not! There are many different styles of curry made around the world from across the region of Asia to Africa and the Caribbean.
Although, they may have similar colors but they can vary greatly depending on what ingredients are used to make them. And curry is not always synonymous with heat (although in this case it is)!
The main differences between Thai and Indian curry come down to the base ingredients used to make the curry sauce or paste. The base for many Indian curries is tomatoes and onions then mixed with spices while the base for Thai curries is often a blend of spices with garlic and onions.
This article is a good one for understanding all the nuances of the differences between the two.
Prep everything first
Fried rice cooks pretty quickly so this is one of those recipes where it is best to practice miso en place- a French phrase meaning everything in its place.
I get several bowls out and put in each bowl items that will get cooked together, in this case you can put the raisins, pineapple, green onions, peas, cashews, cilantro and cucumber together as they all go in at the end.
Sometimes that does mean lots of little bowls but it’s worth the extra dishes to not feel harried realizing you forgot to chop something that you need right now.
Cook the eggs at the beginning
Now, I know that most fried rice recipes call for you to add the eggs at the end by clearing a spot in the middle of the pan and then scrambling. For me, this method has always been difficult to master to actually end up with any visible scrambled eggs.
My preferred method is to scramble the eggs first and put them off to the side while I make the rest of the dish and then add them back in at the end. This allows me to easily scramble them in the same pan without them disappearing on me.
I also like to use a soft spatula to cook eggs. It makes it much easier to really scrape the pan and not let the egg mixture stick to the pan and get those gross crusties.
My favorite style of soft spatulas are the solid ones where the head is not removable. They are dishwasher safe and you never have to worry about mold building up under the spatula head.
Use cold rice
Day old rice that has been refrigerated is the best to use for fried rice. This is because you want to be able to separate each grain of rice and that is not really possible to achieve with hot rice. You can gently break up the rice with your hands before adding the rice to the pan.
Another reason to use cold rice is that the rice is drier and won’t get overcooked like fresh rice would. The fact that it is dry allows it to soak up the oil and sauce and still retain a bit of bite to it. No one wants mushy fried rice!
Other recipes you might like
- Thai Style Peanut Sauce Chicken with Rice and Veggie Bowl
- Lime Teriyaki Oven Baked Salmon
- Pressure Cooker Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Peruvian Inspired Chicken and Rice
- ¼ cup vegetable oil divided
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 onion sliced
- ½ pound diced chicken 300 grams
- 1 cup shredded carrots 82 grams
- ⅓ cup green curry paste 70 grams
- ½ pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined (200 grams)
- 5 cups cold cooked white rice 875 grams
- ½ cup raisins 80 grams
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits drained (180 grams)
- ½ cup peas frozen or canned (73 grams)
- ⅔ cup chopped cashews (100 grams)
- ¾ cup diced cucumber (125 grams)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3 green onions sliced, green parts only
- Salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs and season with a ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper (just a few turns of the grinder works).
- In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 Tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the beaten eggs to the pan. Cook, gently scraping the pan, just until the eggs are set but still a little shiny. Remove from the pan and set aside in a clean bowl.
- If needed, wipe the pan out with a paper towel. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmers in the pan, add the sliced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften and become slightly translucent.
- Next, add the diced chicken and the shredded carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, add the shrimp and curry paste and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the shrimp turns a light pink.
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan before adding the rice. Mix as thoroughly as you can to evenly spread the curry paste. This is your chance to really mix it well. Once the rest of the ingredients are added you have to mix it much more gently so you don’t break up the softer ingredients being added.
- Finally, add the raisins, pineapple tidbits, frozen peas, chopped cashews, diced cucumber, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions. Cook, stirring carefully, just until everything is warmed through. Serve warm.