Rule number one for my kitchen: always make extra rice.
Keeping with summer tradition, I am back at my dad’s house in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, right as the trees are beginning to turn as autumn approaches. It’s one of the highlights of my year to come here, peaceful and quiet and smack in the middle of the forest. I woke up yesterday and was greeted by a blanket of clouds and several deer wandering across the front lawn. Someone asked me how I could leave Canada when this was home. The beautiful thing is that I get to spend far more time here now than I did when I was a practicing lawyer. And when I come here now, I have time to cook. So I wanted to share one of the dishes I made for my parents this week: green curry fried rice.
I used zucchini and bell peppers because they are in season right now, and we were able to find them at the local farmer’s market. I’ve made a variation of this rice dish with broccoli instead, as well as with kale and tomatoes. It really depends on what your market has in stock, and what your tastebuds desire.
Quick and Easy Green Curry Fried Rice Recipe
- About 2 cups of cold, cooked Jasmine rice.
- 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste — I prefer to use Mae Ploy green curry paste
- 1/2 cup of zucchini, chopped into quarters
- 1/4 cup of red bell peppers, chopped into squares
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce — I use Red Boat fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces of chicken, cut into 1-inch squares.*
- 1/4 cup of coconut milk
- 5 fresh Thai basil leaves, torn in half horizontally
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn vertically
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
*Substitute half a brick of firm tofu, also cut into squares, if you are vegetarian. Or, you know, you like tofu.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken and fish sauce, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add the eggs and stir continuously with a spatula until cooked. Remove eggs and set aside.
- Add the rest of the oil (another 1/2 tablespoon) and re-heat the pan. Add the curry paste and cook 1-2 minutes, until curry paste begins to softly bubble.
- Stir in the coconut milk and add the lime leaves. Cook until the curry and coconut concoction has reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken and stir-fry another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and red peppers and stir-fry until vegetables are tender but not soggy, and chicken is cooked through.
- Add the cold rice and stir until ingredients are evenly distributed and the rice is warm.
- Add the cooked egg to the mixture, as well as the basil leaves.
- Cook a few more minutes until the basil has wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with a lime wedge and (optional) some chopped fresh chilli if your tastebuds desire.
And remember: don’t eat the kaffir lime leaves! They are for flavouring only.