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Thai Fried Rice

4 Servings

20 minutes

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Cooked in under five minutes in the open-air kitchen of his home in Thailand, chef Andy Ricker’s fried rice was speedy, simple—and delicious. Pork belly, shallot and garlic added bold flavors. Soy and fish sauces added savory depth. Fresh herbs kept everything bright and light. We returned to Milk Street and got to work deconstructing Thai cooking. Ricker prefers to use a wok because it allows him to move food away from the hot oil at the center to the cooler sides of the pan. In a nod to the Western kitchen, we began with a large nonstick skillet, though you can use a wok if you have one (and a burner powerful enough to heat it). Pork belly can be hard to find in the U.S. Looking for a substitute we found ground pork too greasy and bacon too smoky. Pancetta—if culturally odd—was just right, which makes sense since it’s cured pork belly. In a skillet, we had to reverse-engineer the process and move foods in and out, starting with the eggs, then the pancetta. We liked the aromatic flavor of jasmine rice, but long-grain white or basmati work, too. Thai restaurants offer condiments for fried rice, including sliced green chilies in white vinegar. We came up with our own pickled chilies. Use it with the fried rice or any dish that needs a hit of gentle heat and acid.




Don’t use hot or warm rice. The fried rice will be clumpy and gummy.

20 minutes



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Joanne G.
August 16, 2023
I thought I liked fried rice before… I love this recipe. Easy to put together. Very flavorful
Ethan U.
May 18, 2022
thumbs up
I didnt have time to let the rice cool properly but still everybody loved it. I also forgot to dispose of the extra pancetta grease and I used way more than one tablespoon. so that helped. :-)
Pat B.
February 13, 2023
Very Good & Quick Cook
We enjoyed this dish. I prepped earlier, and my husband did the cook in the wok. Very quick and easy, Next time I will double the sauce I ended up adding additional soy. Also would be great with some additional protein.
Dorcas V.
October 14, 2023
Best fried rice ever!
this is flavorful and delicious
Renee T.

This was a tasty and uncomplicated dish, perfect for the leftover rice from a Chinese carry-in dinner. The ingredients are things I commonly have on hand, and it came together quickly. My husband was stationed in Thailand during the Viet Nam era, and he enjoyed the rice very much. He said it reminded him of the rice he was served while stationed there. I will make again!

Virginia D.

The addition of the pancetta really made this dish. It was a revolution to me.

Beth M.

Fantastic! So easy (Monday night), Pancetta would have been awesome but with our pandemic I had a hard time getting that but had ground pork and sausages. Used the combo and it was devoured. Now I am always saving my leftover rice in the freezer to make this on a moments notice.

Laura B.

Made this combined with a sweet potato & tofu Thai red curry dish, and it was a phenomenal hit. Don't skimp on the pancetta, as it really enhances the flavor of this dish to make it more savory. My husband said this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for creating an excellent fried rice recipe, Milk Street!

Jarrod C.

This didn't come out right. When you sort out the clumps in the rice, is there something else you're supposed to do with the rice? Is it supposed to be boiled or something?

Lynn C.

Hi Jarrod -

The rice should already be cooked and chilled (this is a great use of leftover white rice from takeout) and is then stir-fried with the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes in Step 3. The fish sauce mixture gets added and then the rice is cooked another couple of minutes. Since the rice only needs to be heated through it doesn't need any further cooking.

The Milk Street Team

Natalia S.

Delicious!!! Yum!!! Wow!!! Definitely don’t skip the pickled jalapeños!!! They do not turn out super spicy and add so much flavor!!

Diana L.

I think it was pretty good but it needed more moisture (sauce). It was a bit dry. Next time, I will double the soy/fish sauce mix and add it.

Scott P.

I liked this a lot, more so because it's a lighter version of a lot of restaurant fried rice. It's much less sweet and oily. The home-pickled jalapenos and cucumbers are perfect toppings.

Keith A.

I love this dish, but can I use white rice made with stock or coconut milk/water? Thanks.

Lynn C.

Hi Keith -

As long as the rice has distinct and separate grains (in other words, not sticky rice) and has been cooked and chilled prior to use, we think it should work fine.

The Milk Street Team

Sandra V.

I made this dish last night for my 16 yr old picky eater who loves Asian foods and it was a success! Delish and full of flavor! He said it was a 9 of 10! That is huge for him to say! Will keep this one for future use!

Lorena G.

Very tasty and easy fried rice! Highly recommend!