Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice | Omnivore's Cookbook

Thai chicken fried rice is such a fulfilling dish. It is yummy, healthy and colorful. The tender and moist slices of chicken, the slightly charred rice with a tangy flavor of herbs and red curry, and the crispy pepper and cucumber, all coming together on one plate. The dish only takes 30 minutes to cook and you will be surprised that such a vibrant plate could be created from a few leftover ingredients in your fridge.

Fried rice is definitely one of my favorite dishes and it is such a comfort food for me. To tell you the truth, my favorite type of fried rice only requires four ingredients – egg, green onion, salt and rice. I can finish that dish in 10 minutes. It’s simple, yet super tasty. But today, I will share a slightly fancier fried rice with you, with chicken and veggies, cooked with curry and oyster sauce.

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice | Omnivore's Cookbook

When you look at the long ingredient list, it might seem a bit daunting. But the truth is, once you get the general idea of how to cook delicious fried rice, you will find all fried rice recipes easy to follow. It is also very flexible in the way you can replace any ingredient. This recipe is adapted from the Thai Spicy Basil Chicken Fried Rice.

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice | Omnivore's Cookbook

How to cook fried rice that doesn’t suck

  1. Cook the veggies and meat separately (this is crucial!)

No matter what ingredients you decide to use in your fried rice, make sure to cook them thoroughly with light seasoning before adding them to the rice.

The most common proteins to add to fried rice are: ham, shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. The common vegetables are: pepper, peas, carrot and cucumber. In other words, veggies that don’t contain a lot of water.

  1. Do not use too many ingredients in addition to the rice

This is similar to the general rule for pizza toppings, that less is more. If your rice is overwhelmed by crunchy veggies and you can’t even see the rice, let alone taste it, then what’s the point? You should just cook stir fried veggies instead.

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice | Omnivore's Cookbook

  1. You can use leftover OR freshly cooked rice

You might have read this hundreds of times – you should only use leftover rice to cook fried rice. It is NOT true. The only reason to use leftover rice is because the rice is drier and easier to break apart, so you won’t end up with a soggy final product.

However, sometimes you don’t have leftover rice and want to enjoy fried rice the same day. The best solution is to cook the rice with slightly less water than your usual steamed rice, so the cooked rice won’t be especially sticky. Once the rice is cooked, use a spatula to stir the rice a few times to release the steam. Spread the rice across a large plate to cool it off. Cover the rice and let it rest a while in the fridge before cooking.

  1. Use enough oil

It makes the dish less healthy than it might seem, but the rice will be much tastier. You can use this ratio: 1 tablespoon (or more) of vegetable oil for every 2 cups of cooked rice. Although you may need different amounts of oil or cooking process depending on the recipe, you should remember not to be stingy with the oil.

  1. Use eggs

Use this simple and classic method to create better fried rice. Even you’re adding shrimp or chicken into the rice, adding one egg for every two cups of rice will magically make it taste even better.

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice | Omnivore's Cookbook

  1. Use plenty of herbs (green onion, ginger and/or garlic) to add flavor

Because the seasoning of most fried rice is usually very simple, adding plenty of herbs will add a pungent flavor and umami to make the whole dish tastier. The same logic applies with most stir fried dishes.

  1. Cook the rice thoroughly before adding other ingredients back

After heating up the oil, add plenty green onion (or garlic/ginger, depending on your preference) and stir until fragrant, then add in the rice. Chop and separate the rice into small chunks to mix well with oil and heat up evenly. The rice should be fully heated before you add back the cooked veggies and/or meat.

I really hope these tips help you cook better fried rice. If there’s any point I forgot to cover here, drop a message below to let me know!

For more rice recipes, check out the kimchi fried rice, mixed vegetables and pork rice, Hainanese chicken rice, and vegetables and ham fried rice.

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice

Thai chicken fried rice is such a fulfilling dish. It is yummy, healthy and colorful. The tender and moist slices of chicken, the slightly charred rice with a tangy flavor of herbs and red curry, and the crispy pepper and cucumber, all coming together on one plate. The dish only takes 30 minutes to cook and you will be surprised that such a vibrant plate could be created from a few leftover ingredients in your fridge.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 602kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 1/2 piece chicken breast , sliced
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 red pepper , diced
  • 1 cucumber , diced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon massaman curry paste
  • 2 cups rice , cooked
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil + 1 egg, beaten (Optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (Optional)


  • Place chicken breast in a small bowl, and add 1 teaspoon light soy sauce and cornstarch. Mix well with fingers until chicken is coated with a thin layer of starch. Marinate at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce, the oyster sauce, the fish sauce and the sugar. Mix well and set aside.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is warm, spread chicken slices onto skillet. Grill for 2 minutes, until the bottom side turns golden brown. Flip and grill the other side, until the surface turns golden brown. Turn to lowest heat and transfer chicken to a plate. Set aside.
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of oil into the same skillet and turn to medium high heat. Add red pepper and cucumber and stir until the vegetables are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Turn to low heat. Transfer cooked vegetables to the plate with the chicken.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of oil, green onion and garlic into the same skillet. Stir a few times until fragrant. Add curry paste and stir to mix curry with the herbs until fragrant. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and rice. Use spatula to chop rice into small chunks. Chop and stir the rice until mixed well with curry paste.
  • (Optional) Use spatula to move the rice to one side of the skillet. Add oil and egg on the other side. Wait until egg is slightly cooked on the bottom, then mix the egg with rice. Stir a few times until egg is cooked.
  • Add chicken and vegetables back into skillet. Mix the sauce with a spoon and swirl into the skillet. Stir to mix everything well, for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop heat, add lime juice, and mix with spatula again. Carefully taste the rice and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.


Serving: 521g | Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 70.5g | Protein: 31.3g | Fat: 21.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 640mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 6.4g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Vitamin C: 138mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 26mg


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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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19 thoughts on “Thai Curry Chicken Fried Rice

  1. Pingback: Foodies Network » Thai Curry Chicken with Fried Rice

  2. Meggan | Culinary Hill

    I really enjoyed this post, Maggie! I always learn things from you, crazy new ingredients or just new methods for cooking. I am one of those incorrect people touting the benefits of leftover rice, so thanks for setting me straight! I also appreciate your other tips for fried rice in general – cooking protein & veggies separately, focusing on veggies with low water content, adding eggs, using more oil… these are all so great. My favorite tip is definitely the one about not using too many ingredients overall. Like you said, what’s the point of having rice if you’re only going to taste carrots and broccoli? Enjoy the rice! Good call! Pinned. 🙂

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Meggan, Thanks for leaving such a nice comment and I’m so glad you find the tips useful! I got inspired a question I saw on Yahoo Answer, that the guy didn’t how what went wrong with his fried rice. I found there are so many different techniques among different type of cuisine, that one is familiar to me might be a totally new thing to others. So I figured it’s never hurt to be thorough 🙂

  3. Robyn @ simply fresh dinners

    5 stars
    Wow, Maggie. Coming to your blog is such a pleasure and a true learning experience. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and the information you impart is so helpful! I’ve always been reluctant to make fried rice but I won’t be now that you have armed me with all I need to know.
    This dish has me so hungry right now and it`s only 8 am. Time for a protein shake but I`m putting this on the menu for this week. I`ll let you know how I make out.
    Thanks for a great recipe and so many helpful hints.

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Robyn, I’m so glad you like this one and could learn a few things about fried rice 🙂 Fried rice is one of the few things I learnt when I was small, so I think it’s quite easy. But on the other hand, I need to read a cupcake recipe 10 times before preparing, to make everything was right! I could totally understand the feelings that you don’t feel like to make a totally unfamiliar dish. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try out this one! 🙂

  4. Tom Ledbetter

    5 stars
    Maggie, I know its a bit crazy, but your email with stories and recipes is my favorite pastime! I like to cook and love your recipes. I missed you when you secretly traveled to Greece. Keep it up for your loyal following. Tom

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Tom, thanks so much for all the kind words. You just made my day!
      I stopped the automatic newsletter (generated by feed) and started to send e-mails manually since 2 months ago. I’m still getting used to the change and forgot to set up the newsletter while I was travelling… Thanks again for reminding me about the importance of consistency. I’ll set up a schedule for the newsletter and stick to it from now on.
      Anyhow, really glad to hear that someone is actually reading my newsletter and likes it! I’m pretty sure that I’ll feel so energetic at my short run this evening 😉

  5. Stephanie

    Hi Maggie! Would it still be just as tasty if we use curry powder instead of curry paste? I really want to try this yummy recipe but I have a new bottle of curry powder that I haven’t used yet!

    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tried to use curry powder in this recipe, but I think it should work. The finished flavor will taste more Indian than Thai (also depends on the type of curry powder you use), but I think it will be delicious as well. If you’re suing curry powder, you might need to add a bit more oil (1 tablespoon instead of 2 teaspoons) while cooking the curry. Otherwise the dish might turn out dry.
      Hope this is helpful. And let me know how the dish turns out! 🙂

  6. Chaitanya Patil

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie!
    I just wanted to say I like your style of writing, it’s easy to follow and the pictures match the text. 🙂

    Additionally the pointers about how to fried rice that doesn’t suck is so useful! Thank you!


  7. Lettie Bell

    5 stars
    I was having company for dinner and wanted a different side dish to go with my salmon. I asked my hairstylist for an idea and she came up with Thai ( which she is) fried rice. As soon as she said to add curry to it I was excited! I love fried rice and curried dishes.
    Well it was easy to make and my guests loved it. I will definitely continue to make this delicious rice. It was comfort food at it’s best .

  8. Crystal

    LOVED this and so did my kids! I couldn’t find massam curry so I used red curry paste and added peanut butter. I think next time I will add some Thai basil too!

  9. Lauren

    5 stars
    I used this as a base recipe to use some leftover rice and butter chicken curry. Your tips were very useful and everyone thought dinner was super tasty! The order you list cooking everything was perfect.