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Chili Fried Rice with Crab and Thai Basil

Chili Fried Rice with Crab and Thai Basil
Thai fried rice, a variation of the basic Chinese fried rice, is made with generous amounts of garlic, shallots, chilies and Thai basil. A sprinkling of fish sauce, the soy sauce of Thai cooking, gives this dish a special twist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups cooked long-grain rice, chilled
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. Thai fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 green onions, including 1-inch tender green portions, chopped
  • 2 red serrano chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves or sweet basil leaves
  • 1/4 lb. fresh-cooked lump crabmeat, flaked

Directions:

Warm a nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbs. of the oil and tilt the wok to coat the entire surface. Add the shallots and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towels to drain.

Return the wok to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, tilting the wok to coat the surface. Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute. Raise the heat to high, break up any clumps of rice, add to the wok and toss and stir until the grains are separated, about 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar, and toss and stir until the grains are evenly seasoned, about 30 seconds.

Push the rice up the sides of the wok to make a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and lightly beat. Cook, without stirring, until set, about 30 seconds. Gently fold the eggs into the rice until specks of cooked egg appear throughout the grains. Add the green onions, chilies, basil and crabmeat and toss to mix thoroughly.

Transfer to a serving dish, top with the reserved shallots and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Asian Flavors, by Joyce Jue (Time-Life Books, 1999).