It's sweet, spicy and infused with the licorice-flavor that makes Thai Basil Fried Rice so very delicious and our version is made without the fish sauce, gluten or meat of traditional recipes!
This recipe was adapted from the Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice recipe from I Heart Food but its inspired by our many enjoyable Thai fried rice lunches and our deep desire to make it available to people who can’t eat some of the ingredients.
While this recipe is made with soy, there is a soy free alternative in the recipe variations below. With thinly sliced fresh vegetables, a homemade base sauce and without all the allergens this is an exciting treat for those allergy free foodies who miss takeout. This fried recipe isn’t just an alternative to Thai fried rice, in our opinion it’s the improved replacement. We can’t actually tell the difference as far as flavor is concerned. A win for the allergy-conscious folks!
This rice is pretty spicy. We suggest pairing it with sliced tomatoes, avocados and lime and a tall glass of our Thai Spiced Iced Tea Recipe For Coffee Lovers. You can also try pairing your rice with some coconut water and mango for dessert!
For the best results we strongly suggest using a wok to make this recipe. A deep pan (not pot) can work in a pinch but it may significantly slow down the process, since woks can cook food much quicker than other pans.
In order to keep food from sticking to your wok, heat wok on high for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon or so of avocado or coconut oil and roll pan around to coat with oil. Turn off heat and let wok sit for about 2-5 minutes, rolling occasionally to coat with hot oil. Now you can use pan to make your recipe.
Why do we suggest turning off and on the heat during this recipe? This technique helps to more evenly cook the food and prevent it from over-cooking or burning and sticking to the pan.
To keep the cooking process running smoothly within the one hour time period, it's best to prep all of the ingredients before firing up the wok to start cooking; the stir frying goes fast and it's hard to keep up with the cooking and not burn things otherwise.
Thai basil is a specific type of basil, different from African basil, purple basil or Italian basil, to name a few varieties. If you substitute a different basil for the Thai basil in this recipe, the flavor will be different. If you use the more commonly known Italian basil, the flavor profile will be noticeably less sweet and licorice-y, and also slightly blander. If you have a hard time locating Thai basil, holy basil is a similar alternative and African basil has a unique yet slightly milder flavor that does well in a pinch.
Haricot beans are also sometimes called french green beans or thin green beans. You can substitute regular green beans for the haricot beans in this recipe, however they will take a few extra minutes to cook.
Recipe Tips and Variations:
Instead of organic tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce), you can substitute with coconut aminos, a soy free alternative. You’ll need to use about 1 ½ times more coconut aminos to achieve a similar flavor to the tamari.
We do not suggest substituting the sesame oil in this recipe; it has a very unique flavoring that cannot be easily imitated. If you must omit it and use a blander flavored oil the rice will still be good, however the flavor profile will be noticeably different.
Generally, fried rice recipes start with leftover or day-old rice. If you don’t remember to cook and refrigerate your rice the day before making this recipe, you can cook it fresh the same day and freeze it for at least one hour before continuing with the recipe.
We've found basmati rice to work best in this recipe. You can try the same amount of another long grain white or brown rice for similar results. We suggest not substituting the basmati with short-grain sticky rice or wild rice. If you decide to try substituting with cauliflower rice the cooking times and added liquid amounts will likely be reduced (we have not tried this for ourselves yet). We'd be intrigued to know how a quinoa version of this recipe turns out, however we haven't tried that ourselves either.
There are two ways to add your basil leaves - whole with stems (making it easier to remove when eating) or stems removed and leaves chopped up. We've done it both ways. As long as the stems are removed when chopping your basil, everything is fine. The stems are too hard to eat, cooked or not.
This recipe is fairly spicy. We counteract the spiciness by serving the rice with fresh chopped avocado and tomatoes and slices of lime. To reduce the heat, use half of the dried peppers - 1 tsp each of black pepper, crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper.
Recipe: Allergy-Friendly Thai Basil Fried Rice
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8 (1 cup servings)
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
8oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms
1 cup fresh or frozen haricot beans
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
8 cloves garlic
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
½ cup avocado or coconut oil
5 cups day-old cooked white basmati (or 4 cups brown basmati)
1 cup homemade Golden Mountain Sauce
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
½ cup diced fresh chives (optional)
4 green onions (optional)
2 avocados (optional)
2 limes (optional)
Homemade Golden Mountain Sauce:
4 tsp cane or coconut sugar
5 Tbsp organic tamari sauce
5 Tbsp veggie broth
5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
First, prep all vegetables: peel and rinse onion, cut in half and then thinly slice.
Rinse red and green bell peppers, then cut in half and thinly slice.
Remove hard stems from mushrooms, wipe off dirt using a damp cloth, and slice lengthwise into thin slices.
Peel, rinse and dice garlic.
Rinse Thai basil leaves and, if going to chop, remove stems before chopping.
Mix all dry spices - salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, cayenne - in a small bowl.
Mix Homemade Golden Mountain Sauce in a bowl or large measuring cup.
Heat 2 Tbsp of avocado or coconut oil in wok on high until smoking.
Turn off heat, add half of the diced garlic, half of the dried pepper spices and ⅓ cup Thai basil to the hot wok. Mix and turn the heat back on.
Add the thinly sliced onions to the hot wok for 2 minutes.
Add the thinly sliced bell peppers to the hot wok for 3 minutes.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the hot wok for 2 minutes.
Add the frozen haricot beans and broccoli florets for 5 minutes.
Add ⅓ cup of Homemade Golden Mountain Sauce and mix in gently but thoroughly to make sure all vegetables are coated with seasoning. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Add another ⅓ cup of basil, mixing in thoroughly.
Remove vegetables from wok and put into a heat-safe bowl.
Return wok to high heat and heat another 2 Tbsp of avocado or coconut oil to pan until smoking.
Turn off heat, add remaining half of diced garlic, dried pepper spices and another ⅓ cup of Thai basil to the hot wok.
Add a ¼ cup of Homemade Golden Mountain sauce and turn the heat back on and toast for 1 minute.
Add pre-cooked rice to hot wok and mix thoroughly to coat with pre-heated spices.
Add remaining Homemade Golden Mountain Sauce and mix thoroughly with rice, making sure most rice is coated well and large chunks of pre-cooked rice are broken up.
Add a ½ cup of Thai basil to warmed rice and mix thoroughly.
Add sauteed vegetables to fried rice and thoroughly combine.
Mix in remaining basil and fresh chives and green onion.
Cover wok, turn off heat and let rice sit for 5-10 minutes.
While rice is sitting, slice tomatoes and avocados into small chunks and limes into quarters.
Serve rice topped with slices of tomato, avocado and lime and a glass of coconut water or Thai Spiced Iced Tea, with mango for dessert.
Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for a week (keep the avocado and tomato separately) or the freezer for two months. To reheat, just add a little remaining Homemade Golden Mountain Sauce or water and oil in a hot pan with the rice.
Tell us how you liked our recipe in the comments below! Did you do anything differently? What did you eat your spicy rice with?