Basil Fried Rice
Basil leaves are readily available throughout the year at most Asian supermarkets. When shopping, I always pick a bunch, knowing that I am able to use this fragrant herb to make a quick fried rice dish for the family. The fresh basil leaves lend richness with hints of lemon, clove and anise to the rice when added at the last minute. This dish is packed with flavor and nutrition, combining the tender, juicy shrimp with the herbs.
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 small serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, both white and green parts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups Perfect Jasmine Rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh Asian sweet basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Heat a wok or large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat for 40 seconds, and then add the oil around the perimeter of the wok so that it coats the sides and bottom. When the surface shimmers slightly, after about 30 seconds, add the garlic, chiles, scallions and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the shrimp and stir-fry until it turns orange, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, using a spatula to break up any clumps of rice, and mixing the ingredients until well-combined, about 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar, and cook for a few seconds.
Add the basil and cilantro leaves, and cook until the leaves begin to wilt, about 30 seconds. Transfer the rice to a serving plate. Serve immediately.