This is a recipe I picked up after coming from a 3-month Bangkok work assignment several years ago. The photo was taken just before the final stir, aftet I just threw in the scallions, diced tomato and scrambled egg strips.
The street food of Bangkok fascinated me of course. The little soi where our office housed their foreign employees was just behind Bumrungrad Hospital, before it became famously world-class. The street had several little motels, restaurants and several food hawkers selling, fried rice, pork hocks simmering in a sweet brown sauce, grilled seafood, mango salads, fresh fruits with sugar and chili powder…and so much more….which I all tried BTW.
This particular fried rice recipe I call Bangkok Fried Rice because it isn’t your usual Thai Fried Rice with aromatic herbs. It’s rather plain compared to other Thai recipes, but I love the mix of chili paste and shrimp paste coupled with the fresh tomato thrown in at the last minute of this fried rice. Tomato is not your usual fried rice ingredient and it worked wonderfully here.
After about a couple of weeks of landing in Bangkok, I had to refrain from my favorite street foods. A co-woker from Singapore brought me to a restaurant that served clams which I didn’t recognize. He called it blood clams or something and assured me they were good. The following day, I was too sick to even see straight. It was terrible and there’s nothing worse than getting sick in a foreign land all by yourself.
Good thing Bumrungrad Hospital was right across the street so I hauled myself to their emergency room and was told to stay overnight as they stuck needles in my arm. Somehow reassuringly, my doctor was not surprised I had food poisoning and just told me to take it easy on the street food and gave me some pills and a prescription. And so my street food bonanza in Bangkok ended. Errr….well, suspended till further notice anyway.
Before this medical drama unfolded, I was a happy customer of this one lady who stationed herself right by the gate of the condominium where I was staying. For the first couple of weeks, I ordered my fried rice from her. In fact, I got so addicted to her cooking I had fried rice for lunch almost daily. I’d have chicken one day, beef the next then pork…but always from this same lady. I would watch her cooking until it felt like I was making it myself. When I got home to the Philippines, I tried this on my family and they just loved it.
So here’s my recipe, using approximate portions:
4 c. cooked cold jasmine rice, tossed and separated with your moistened fingers
1 tbsp. light olive oil
1 lb. ground or thinly-sliced pork tenderloin
1 small onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, crushed and peeled
2 tbsp. fish sauce
4 tbsps. Thai Chili-Garlic Paste
3 tbsps. shrimp paste (Lee Kum Kee is always reliable)
1 tsp. Chinese wine
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce or Indonesian kecap manis
1 small carrot, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 c. shredded cabbage
salt to taste
1/2 c. frozen peas
2 green onions, sliced fine
1 med. tomato, diced
1 scrambled egg, cut in strips
Heat a large wok over high heat. Add oil and when surface starts rippling after half a minute add the pork and stir fry a minute.
Add the next 8 ingredients and stir fry till pork is cooked, about 2 to 4 minutes. Then add the carrots and cabbage, stir fry another 2 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
Add the rice and stir until it’s evenly coated with the pan juices. Stir fry about 3 minutes, correcting the seasoning as you mix. Now add the tomatoes, scallions and egg strips and give it one last stir. Turn off heat and serve immediately while tomatoes are still firm.