Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thai Basil Fried Rice

Thai Basil plant comes back after deadly winter. Generally the plant dies but it sows its seeds. As spring arrives, tiny seedlings start sprouting out. I love the sweetish, fennel like flavor of the Thai basil. A nearby Thai restaurant serves delicious Thai Basil Fried Rice. Whenever I experiment with any recipe, I take liberties to make a healthier version that suits our lifestyle. Though we eat seafood, I am not particularly fond of the fish sauce which is a common ingredient in Thai cooking. I also add some turmeric powder to get the beneficial antioxidants. I throw in quite a bit of vegetables. So my experimental recipe almost always results in my own zany version, that differs substantially from the authentic one.

Thai Basil Fried Rice
1 cup Jasmine rice, cooked according to the instructions
2 cups mixed vegetables (I used a frozen packet containing green peas, carrots, green beans, corn etc.)
3/4 cup Tofu - bite sized chunks
salt to taste

1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp oil
A pinch of turmeric powder
A handful of Thai basil leaves

3-4 Fresh Thai Basil leaves

1. Cook Jasmine rice according to the instructions. Spread on a flat plate to cool down completely.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan or wok. Add turmeric powder and Thai basil leaves.
3. Add the vegetables. Sauté for 5 minutes.
4. Add cooled and cooked rice, vinegar mixture and salt. Sauté.
5. Add tofu chunks. Mix well without letting them break.
6. Garnish with Thai Basil leaves.

Note -
1. Use only Thai Basil leaves for this recipe, as they lend their signature aroma/flavor to this dish. Italian basil will surely change the taste.
2. Use only rice vinegar for this recipe.
3. If you prefer a spicier version, use Sriracha sauce in the vinegar mixture or add crushed red pepper flakes.

Thai Basil blooms

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