I’m celebrating #FrozenFoodMonth with Tom Yum Fried Rice. Who knew frozen can be as tasty as this one!
I’ve been on a virtual trip to Thailand recently … since March is known as #FrozenFoodMonth. Remember these Pad Thai Spring Rolls I made the other day? Well I have another amazing Thai recipe today. It started out when my bestie and I had a fun conversation about traveling and endless eating. Then, Thailand popped up!
The hubs and I had a short trip to Bangkok near the end of 2015 (gosh it feels like we just went there yesterday). It was a fun, too short kind of trip. We had some hiccups while we went to Pattaya but overall it was a nice relaxing trip. And the food, oh gosh, I would go back to Thailand just for the food. I remembered we started our culinary journey the minute we landed there and we did not stop until we left Bangkok. In case you missed it, check out my post about Bangkok here. My only regret was not taking my camera with me and relying heavily on my cell phone to take pictures because I knew I would be busy eating … and shopping.
There are 3 things I missed so much about Thailand.
- Pomegranate Pressed-Juice. This is the a must have when you visit Thailand. You can spot them after 5pm in shopping carts along the streets in the Pratunam (shopping) district. The pomegranate juice is so fresh and only cost $1 per bottle.
- Durian. This is the King of fruits and I must say Thailand is so fortunate to have this hmmm…aromatic fruits in a very decent price. In short, I’m jealous and I’m now craving it.
- Tom Yum. I’ve tried Tom Yum in so many different places and of course going to the source is always the best option. They use authentic fresh Thai basil, lime leaves, and tamarind to make Tom Yum extra flavorful.
So to satisfy my craving for some Tom Yum, I made Tom Yum Fried Rice the other day. I love fried rice. It’s the easiest dish ever and it’s perfect because I had a few frozen ingredients to use up. The secret to making good fried rice is using 2 or 3 days old rice, so be sure to keep some leftovers in the fridge. I am used a combination of prawns, chicken, and veggies because a colorful dishes look more appetizing and flavorful. Lucky me, I can get all of these ingredients easily at Smart & Final so I don’t need to travel all over. One thing I love about Smart & Final is you can get fresh ingredients with warehouse price. It’s like hitting a jackpot, friends!
I first start with making a paste for my Tom Yum. You can also use a store-bought one in any Asian grocery store. Once you have your paste ready, you can start adding your ingredients in. I used raw shrimp, but you can also use cooked shrimp. They both taste the same, except cooked shrimp is ready faster. As for vegetables, I used a combination of California blend and mixed veggies to make my fried rice more colorful and flavorful. And you can get all these ingredients from the frozen food section. And that’s a good excuse to pile up on those frozen food from Smart & Final at home.
And there you go … a virtual trip to Thailand, ready in 15 minutes (unless you make your own paste). Until then, let’s play Frozen is Fresh Sweeptakes and you might win a cruise to Alaska. Check out this link for more information.
- Thai Chili Paste
- ¼ cup large dry chili peppers
- 4 shallots
- 4 garlic
- 1 oz. dry shrimp
- 2 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 4 oz. palm sugar
- 8 tbs tamarind juice
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 cups cooked jasmine rice, chilled
- 10-15 large shrimps
- 1-11/2 cups of mix vegetables
- 3 stalks lemongrass (remove the outer leaves, cut out the bulb, and slices up to ⅔ of the stalk)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- ½ cup white onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbs chili paste
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- Juice of half lime (and more lime wedges for garnish)
- 3 tbs cooking oil
- To make Thai chili paste: mix chili peppers, shallot, garlic, shrimp paste, dry shrimp, and 2 tbs oil in a blender. Add the rest of oil to a pot and add the mixture. Stir fry about 2-3 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat until it forms a paste.
- Add 1 tbs oil to a wok over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
- Add 2 tbs cooking oil to a wok over medium-high heat. Add chili paste, lemongrass, onion, and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir in vegetables and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Raise heat to high and stir in the chilled rice. Stir quickly until the paste is blended with the rice.
- Add fish sauce and sugar. Use the back of a spoon to break up any rice sticking together.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in shrimp and lime juice, and adjust the seasonings.
- Remove from heat and garnish with lime wedges.