Khao phat is a very typical Thai street food, simple and delicious. It can be tasted in most khao phat restaurants in Thailand. Although you can order khao phat with the meat of your choice, shrimp is the most popular option.
What makes khao phat unique is that it is served with a bit of lime on top to give it a nice sour hue, and always accompanied by prik nam pla (พริกน้ำปลา), the Thai condiment made of chilies and fish sauce. Here is the recipe for khao phat, which you can reproduce at home!
- 1.5 cups of cooked and cooled jasmine rice (or day-old rice works well too) - Or just estimate about 1 normal bowl full
- About 5 to 10 peeled head shrimp
- ¼ of a large white onion (or ½ of a very small white onion)
- 1 Chinese broccoli leaf (or any other crisp leafy green vegetable)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 egg
- ½ tablespoon of soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of oil for frying
Prik Nam Pla (Chillies in fish sauce พริกน้ำปลา)
- 5 Thai chilies
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- ½ lemon
If using fresh whole shrimp, start by pinching off the head, and peel the outer shell of the shrimp, leaving only the tail (this is Thai style). You can also devein them if you wish, but for small shrimp, this is not really necessary.
- Peel 2 cloves of garlic, then finely chop them
- Cut ¼ of a sweet white onion into medium-sized strips
- Finely dice 3 - 4 green onions
- Take just one Chinese broccoli (kai-lan) leaf, cut it in half along the spine first, then cut it into 1 cm strips.
- Turn on your pan to medium heat, heat your wok (or frying pan) and add about 1 tablespoon of oil
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic first, and stir-fry continuously for about 15 seconds, until the oil becomes fragrant.
- Then add your shrimp and fry for about 30 seconds - your shrimp should start to turn pink and feel firmer
- Add a little less than ½ of your rice first. This will absorb all those delicious shrimp juices and oils and keep your rice nice and dry. Stir for about 10 more seconds. This is a little known trick to make good rice, so it stays nice and dry
- Place all your rice on one side of the pan, then break the egg into the empty side
- Stir the egg, let it cook for a few seconds, then start mixing it with the rice and shrimp
- Continue to stir-fry for about 20 seconds until the egg is fully cooked, then add the remaining rice and stir quickly.
- Add ½ tablespoon of soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of oyster sauce, just a pinch of sugar (optional), and continue to stir fry your rice, making sure all the sauce is mixed in
- Then add your chopped broccoli and Chinese onions, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds until the vegetables wilt, but they may still be crisp and not fully cooked
- Finally, add your green onions, stir for a few more seconds, and your khao phat is ready!
Prik Nam Pla (Chillies in fish sauce)
- Add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce in a small bowl
- Slice about 5 Thai chillies (you can add more or less, as you like), and add them to the fish sauce
- Finally, add a few drops of lime, stir and set aside
- Another thing you can do, before you start eating the khao phat, is to sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper. This adds another nice subtle flavor to the dish.