Kee Mao Fried Rice: Spicing Up Thai Fried Rice with Basil Flavors


Kee Mao Fried Rice, also known as Drunken Fried Rice, is a Thai street food dish that has gained cult-favorite status among food lovers. It is stir-fried rice with holy basil, chilies, and a savory sauce, making it an irresistible dish. This dish is adapted from the popular Thai street food, Pad Kee Mao, or Drunken Noodles. Many enjoy a perfect combination of fresh rice noodles, holy basil, and savory sauce.

Introduction To Kee Mao Fried Rice And Its Origin

Kee Mao Fried Rice has its origin in Thailand. It is believed to have originated from Bangkok’s Chinatown and slowly made its way to other parts of the country, becoming a popular street food. The dish’s name, Drunken Fried Rice, is inspired by holy basil, which is believed to have a drunken effect when consumed in large amounts. It is a spicy dish mostly eaten as a snack or a quick lunch.

Ingredients Needed For Kee Mao Fried Rice

The ingredients needed to make Kee Mao Fried Rice include cooked rice, holy basil, garlic, chilies, vegetables (like onion, carrots, and peas), soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and vegetable oil. The dish can be customized per an individual’s preference by adding protein options such as chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu. It is a simple yet flavourful dish easily made at home.

Other popular noodle dishes in Thailand besides Pad Kee Mao are Pad Thai, which is stir-fried noodles with a sweet and sour sauce, and Tom Yum Noodles, which is a spicy and sour noodle soup served with seafood or chicken.

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a must-try dish for all Thai food lovers. Its savory flavor and spicy kick make it a beloved dish globally.

Kee Mao Fried Rice: Spicing Up Thai Fried Rice with Basil Flavors

How To Make Kee Mao Fried Rice

Preparation Steps Before Cooking

Before cooking Kee Mao Fried Rice, some preparation steps must be followed. Firstly, cook the rice and let it cool down for a while. This is essential as it allows the rice to dry and prevents it from sticking to the wok during frying. Next, chop the garlic, onion, carrots, and vegetables into small pieces and set them aside. Mix soy, oyster, fish, and sugar in a small bowl. Finally, wash the holy basil and chilies and set them aside.

Cooking Steps

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat to start cooking Kee Mao Fried Rice. Add the chopped garlic and chili pepper and stir fry for about a minute until fragrant. Next, add the chopped vegetables and stir fry for about three minutes until they turn tender. Now, increase the heat to high and add the cooked rice, holy basil, and the prepared sauce. Stir fry continuously for about two minutes until all ingredients are evenly coated with sauce.

Make sure to keep stirring the rice to avoid sticking to the wok and to allow it to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Once ready, remove from heat and serve hot with extra chilies. This Fried Rice recipe is perfect for those who love spicy and savory food. Simple preparation and cooking steps can be easily made at home and customized per an individual’s preference.

Holy Basil Ingredient In Kee Mao Fried Rice

What Is Holy Basil And How Does It Differ from Thai Basil

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a popular Thai dish that often uses Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) as one of its crucial ingredients. Holy basil has a unique flavor that is peppery and somewhat anise-like. It is often used in Thai cuisine as it enhances the taste of any dish it is added to. Holy basil differs from Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum), which has a sweet licorice flavor and is a common ingredient in many South Asian cuisines.

Thai and holy basil are distinct plants with different flavors and health benefits. Traditionally, Holy basil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been linked to reducing stress and anxiety levels. Thai basil, on the other hand, is rich in antioxidants and contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Health Benefits Of Holy Basil

Apart from its culinary benefits, Holy basil also offers numerous health benefits. Several studies have shown that Holy basil can help regulate blood sugar levels and may also support the liver and promote healthy digestion. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties may also help in fighting infections. Moreover, holy basil is believed to have adaptogenic properties, which can help the body cope with stress and promote relaxation.

In conclusion, Holy basil is a versatile ingredient with many culinary and medicinal benefits. Using it in Kee Mao Fried Rice can elevate the flavor profile while imparting health benefits. If you cannot find Holy basil, you can always substitute it with Thai basil or use a combination of both to enjoy a unique flavor.

Substitute Ingredients

Which Ingredients Can Be Substituted In Kee Mao Fried Rice

While Holy basil is a key ingredient in Kee Mao Fried Rice, it may not always be readily available. However, fret not! Several ingredient substitutions can be made without compromising the dish’s flavor profile and taste. Some of these substitutions include:

  • Thai Basil: As mentioned earlier, Thai Basil can be used instead of Holy Basil without significantly altering the dish’s taste.
  • Basil: Regular basil can be used as a substitute for Holy or Thai basil. However, it has a slightly sweeter flavor profile than the other two.
  • Mint: Fresh mint leaves can be used in small amounts to add a refreshing flavor to the dish.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro can be used as a substitute to add a fragrant and slightly citrusy flavor to the dish.

While these substitutions may not replicate the exact taste of the traditional Kee Mao Fried Rice, they can still add a delightful twist to the dish.

Impact Of Ingredient Substitution On Taste And Flavor

A different ingredient may slightly alter the dish’s taste and flavor profile. For instance, substituting Holy basil with Thai basil may give the dish a sweeter taste, as Thai basil is milder than Holy basil. Similarly, using cilantro may impart a slightly citrusy and herbal taste to the dish.

However, the impact of substitution may vary depending on the ingredient used and the quantity. It is essential to experiment with different substitutions to find the one that best suits your taste preference.

In conclusion, substituting ingredients in Kee Mao Fried Rice is possible without compromising the dish’s taste and flavor profile. With the right ingredient substitutions, you can still achieve a healthy, aromatic Fried Rice that is healthy and easy to prepare.

Kee Mao Fried Rice: Spicing Up Thai Fried Rice with Basil Flavors

Adding Spice And Heat

Adding Chili Peppers For Heat

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a popular Thai dish known for its spicy and aromatic flavors. One way to add spice and heat to the dish is by incorporating chili peppers. Thai chilies, also known as bird’s eye chilies, are commonly used in this Fried Rice recipe as they have a moderate to high spiciness and offer a unique flavor profile.

However, several other options exist if Thai chilies are unavailable or too spicy for your taste. Spicy peppers like serrano or jalapeno can be used depending on the desired heat level. Red chili flakes can also be an alternative to fresh chili peppers. It is important to adjust the quantity of chili peppers or chili flakes according to your preferred spice level.

Adding Other Spices And Herbs For Unique Flavor

Apart from chili peppers, some other spices and herbs can be added to Kee Mao Fried Rice to enhance its flavor profile. As an alternative to Holy basil, Italian basil can add a different and unique flavor to the dish. Other herbs like cilantro and mint can also be used in small amounts to add a refreshing and fragrant flavor.

To take the dish to the next level, homemade spice mixes like Thai five-spice or curry powder can be used. Additionally, sauces like soy sauce, fish sauce, or oyster sauce can add a salty and savory flavor to the Fried Rice.

In conclusion, adding spice and heat to Kee Mao Fried Rice is essential in upholding its traditional Thai flavors. Chili peppers, the most commonly used option, can be substituted with other peppers or red chili flakes for preference adjustment. Moreover, herbs and spices like basil, cilantro, mint, or homemade spice blends can enhance the dish’s aroma and flavor.

Meat And Vegetables

Choosing The Right Proteins For Kee Mao Fried Rice

Regarding proteins for Kee Mao Fried Rice, chicken, beef, or shrimp are commonly used. Thin chicken or beef slices can be added to the stir-fry and vegetables. Shrimp can be cooked separately and added to the dish towards the end of the cooking process. Tofu is also an excellent vegetarian protein option that can be used in place of meat.

Vegetables That Go Well With Kee Mao Fried Rice

Kee Mao Fried Rice can use carrots, peppers, onions, and Chinese broccoli. Other vegetables like mushrooms, snow peas, and bean sprouts can add a crunchy texture and flavor. It is essential to cut the vegetables into small bite-sized pieces so that they cook quickly and efficiently. The vegetables should be added to the stir-fry in batches, starting with the harder vegetables like carrots and broccoli and finishing with the softer vegetables like bean sprouts.

Adding meat and vegetables to the Fried Rice offers a wholesome and nutritious meal. One can experiment with different combinations and quantities of proteins and vegetables to find their preferred flavor profile. Overall, Kee Mao Fried Rice is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences.

Side Dishes

Side Dishes To Serve With Kee Mao Fried Rice

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be served with various sides to complement its taste. A simple salad with fresh greens, like lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes, can enhance the dish’s freshness. Additionally, Thai papaya salad, commonly known as Som Tam, is a refreshing and spicy side that pairs well with this Fried Rice. Grilled meats or seafood on skewers, also known as satays, can add flavor to the meal.

How To Properly Serve

Once the Fried Rice is cooked, it can be plated and garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, or green onions. Adding a wedge of lime can add a tangy flavor to the dish. It is always recommended to serve the dish hot, as this enhances the overall flavor profile. Additionally, it is ideal to pair the dish with a Thai iced tea or a refreshing glass of cucumber water to compliment its spicy and savory flavors.

In conclusion, Kee Mao Fried Rice is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences. Additionally, it can be paired with various sides and beverages to create a well-rounded meal.

Kee Mao Fried Rice: Spicing Up Thai Fried Rice with Basil Flavors

Health Benefits

Nutritional Value Of Kee Mao Fried Rice Ingredients

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a flavorful and nutritious dish that offers a variety of health benefits. The dish typically incorporates a range of vegetables, including carrots, peppers, onions, and Chinese broccoli. These vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, K, and potassium. The dish’s protein source, whether chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu, provides essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair.

The spices and herbs used in this Fried Rice recipe, such as chili, garlic, holy basil, and cilantro, also offer numerous health benefits. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure, while garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Holy basil has been used in traditional medicine to reduce stress and inflammation, and cilantro is an excellent source of antioxidants.

How It Can Contribute To A Balanced Diet

Kee Mao Fried Rice can be a part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. The dish is typically high in sodium, so it should be eaten in moderation by individuals who need to limit their sodium intake. However, incorporating various vegetables and proteins makes the dish a well-rounded meal. It is also a good energy source and can provide sustained energy throughout the day.

Individuals can choose lower-sodium soy sauce or use less oil in the stir-fry to make this Fried Rice a healthier option. They can also incorporate more vegetables or switch to a vegetable-based protein option such as tofu. Consuming this Fried Rice with fresh fruit or a small salad can also help balance the meal.

In summary, Kee Mao Fried Rice is a tasty and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet with the right modifications. Its incorporating vegetables, proteins, and spices provides numerous health benefits, making it a great addition to any meal plan.


Summary Of Kee Mao Fried Rice And Its Unique Flavor

Kee Mao Fried Rice is a dish that features a unique blend of spicy and savory flavors. The dish typically consists of rice noodles, vegetables, protein, and spices like chili, garlic, and holy basil. The recipe gives options to select the protein that suits your diet. It is a perfect comfort food and ideal for a complete and satisfying meal.

Tips For Perfecting The Dish

Perfecting Kee Mao Fried Rice can be achieved by strictly following the instructions and variations provided in the recipe. Incorporating more vegetables and protein into the dish would make it more nutritious. Adjusting the flavor to preferences or using a different protein source would transform this Fried Rice dish into a personalized recipe.

If you’re a Thai basil fried rice fan, you should try this Fried Rice for a spicier twist on this classic dish. Also known as drunken fried rice, it is made with plenty of Thai chilies and holy basil, which give it a unique flavor and aroma. It’s a perfect dish for those who love spicy food and want to add a bit of heat to their meal. So, if you want to spice up your regular fried rice, try Kee Mao Fried Rice and experience the fiery flavors of Thai cuisine.


Q: What is Kee Mao Fried Rice?
A: Kee Mao Fried Rice, also known as Spicy Basil Fried Rice, is a popular Thai dish that features fried rice cooked with a variety of seasonings, vegetables, and protein.

Q: What makes Kee Mao Fried Rice spicy?
A: Kee Mao Fried Rice gets its spicy flavor from the use of Thai chili peppers and other seasonings like garlic and ginger.

Q: What type of protein is typically used in Kee Mao Fried Rice?
A: Virtually any type of protein can be used in Kee Mao Fried Rice, including chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and tofu.

Q: Can I make Kee Mao Fried Rice with leftover rice?
A: Yes, Kee Mao Fried Rice is a great way to use leftover rice. Just be sure to heat the rice thoroughly before adding it to the stir-fry.

Q: What is Thai sweet basil, and can I substitute it with regular basil?
A: Thai sweet basil has a distinct peppery flavor and is an essential ingredient in authentic Kee Mao Fried Rice. Regular basil can be used as a substitute, but it won’t have the same authentic flavor.

Q: Is fish sauce really necessary in Kee Mao Fried Rice?
A: Yes, fish sauce is an important ingredient in Kee Mao Fried Rice and is what gives the dish its distinct umami flavor. If you don’t have fish sauce, you can substitute it with soy sauce, but the taste will be different.

Q: Is Kee Mao Fried Rice a healthy dish?
A: Kee Mao Fried Rice can be a healthy dish if made with lean protein and lots of vegetables. To make it even healthier, you can use brown rice instead of white rice.

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