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Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice, Thai style (Kao Paht Gai)

Thai cuisine remains a favorite for most Americans. It is not necessary to go to a Thai restaurant to have a nice spicy plate of Thai fried rice. This dish can be easily prepared at home with ingredients found in most food stores.

Serves 4

2 limes cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each

4 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thickly

1/3 cup fish sauce (available in Asian markets found in most cities)

5 sliced chili peppers

5 cups cooked cold rice (Jasmine Rice is best)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic

1 cup chopped white or yellow onion

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/4 lb thinly sliced chicken

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 tbsp sugar

Arrange the lime and cucumber around the edge of a large serving platter. Put the fish sauce in a small bowl with the peppers and set it beside the platter.

Crumble the rice with your fingers until the grains are separated and put it aside. Heat a wok or deep skillet on high heat, then coat it with oil. Add the garlic, continuously stirring or tossing until it turns golden, then add the white or yellow onion and continue to stir fry until the onion is tender and somewhat transluscent. Add the chicken and green onion and stri fry until the chicken begins to brown slightly, then add the egg and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fully scrambled. To this mixture, add the rice, fish sauce and sugar and stir over medium heat until the rice is thoroughly heated and the ingredients are completely mixed. Then pour the rice into the center of the garnished serving platter.

Lime juice and the fish sauce with pepper can be added to individual servings to taste. For an added bit of Thai flavor, servings can be garnished with fresh sprigs of coriander.

In addition to chicken, Thai rice can be fried with pork, ham or shrimp. This is a great entree, or a one-dish meal for almost any time of the day. It goes great with lemon or lime drink, or an ice cold Singha Beer.