This quick and easy aromatic, Thai Basil Turkey Fried Rice recipe is a mashup on the traditional Thai Basil Beef combined with Fried Rice! Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner and ready in just 30 minutes!
This Thai Basil Turkey Fried Rice recipe was made possible by the Turkey Farmers of Canada who helped sponsor this post! #ThinkTurkey All opinions expressed, recipes and photos are my own.
This recipe is a mashup of the traditional Thai Basil Beef and a simple fried rice recipe with a minor tweak in protein! I switched up the protein and used turkey which was super easy to do and delicious. The turkey takes on the flavors of the marinade which makes this such a great everyday protein because of how versatile it is and the aromatic basil gives this fried rice an amazing fragrant flavor This dish is perfect on its own as a one-bowl meal or as a side dish paired with another main dish! If you like flavorful fried rice, this is definitely something you should try.
INGREDIENTS FOR THAI BASIL TURKEY FRIED RICE
- Turkey – I switched up my protein and used ground turkey instead of the traditional beef for this recipe!
- Basil – For this recipe, Thai basil is recommended but if you cannot find it, you can use regular Italian basil as well.
- Rice – Any type of rice works for this dish. I like to use medium grain Calrose rice or long grain rice. Try to use day-old rice (leftover rice) if you can.
- Vegetables – I like using simple vegetables like green beans, carrots, and onions in my fried rice. You can definitely switch up your vegetables in this recipe, just make sure you chop them finely.
- Fish Sauce – I like using fish sauce in this recipe because it gives the fried rice a bit more flavor since it is a stronger flavor than soy sauce. It can be substituted with soy sauce but you will lose out on a bit of flavor.
- Soy Sauce – I recommend using light or regular soy sauce for this recipe
- Oyster Sauce – Oyster sauce is a very important ingredient in this recipe and gives this turkey fried rice dish a lot of umami flavors. If you cannot find it and absolutely must substitute it, then use 1 ½ soy sauce mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar mixed into it.
- Chilies – This is a completely optional ingredient and should only be added in if you enjoy spicy foods.
For the best textured fried rice (not mushy), day-old rice (leftover rice) works best because it is a lot drier which makes it less likely for your fried rice to turn mushy. If you are pressed for time or do not have day-old rice, you can use fresh rice but put less water into the pot than you normally do when you cook it so that the cooked rice will have a bit less moisture in it. I like to use ¾ cup of water, for every 1 cup of rice. Make sure the rice has cooled before starting this recipe.
MARINATING AND BROWNING THE TURKEY
It’s important to marinate the turkey for this recipe because it gives the turkey an additional layer of flavor for this fried rice.
Once you start cooking the turkey, depending on how hot your stove is, you might notice liquid coming out of the meat. This usually happens if the pan is not hot enough and is completely normal. To brown the ground turkey, keep cooking it until all the water has evaporated away. Once the liquid has evaporated, the turkey will start to toast and brown nicely. The nice thing about using turkey is that it’s a super versatile protein and incredibly easy to cook since it is great at taking on the flavors of what you are cooking with – in this case, the marinade, ginger, garlic, and aromatic basil.
DID YOU MAKE THIS TURKEY FRIED RICE RECIPE?
If you made this, I want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Thai Basil Turkey Fried Rice
- 450 g ground turkey
- 1 inch ginger (1 ½ tablespoons, grated)
- 4 cloves garlic (2 tablespoons, grated)
- 1 medium onion (½ cup, diced)
- 1 large carrot (1 cup, diced)
- 1 cup green beans (ends removed, chopped into small pieces)
- 3 cups cooked white rice (preferably day old, see notes)
- 1 ¼ cup basil (leaves only, packed)
- 2-3 birdseye chili (add 1-2 more if you like it spicier - Optional)
Marinate the Turkey
- In a small bowl, combine the ground turkey and the marinade ingredients and mix well. Marinate for 15-20 minutes
- Grate the garlic and ginger and place it in a bowl
- (Optional) Finely chop the chilies and add it to the bowl with the garlic and ginger. Set aside for later.
- Wash and cut off the tips of the green beans. Chop them into small pieces and set aside for later
- Wash and dice the carrots into small pieces and place it with the beans and set aside for later.
- Dice the onions and set aside for later.
- Gently rinse the basil with water and then separate the basil leaves from the stems and roughly chop the basil leaves and set it aside. Discard the stems.
- If you are using day-old rice, and it is in big chunks, use your hands to break up the rice into smaller chunks. See Notes if you are not using day-old rice.
Making the Sauce
- Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside for later. If you are using sugar instead of honey make sure to dissolve the sugar in the water first before mixing the rest of the sauce ingredients together.
Putting It Together
- In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and set the heat to medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add in the garlic, ginger, and chilies (optional) and cook it for 2-3 minutes. (If you are using chilies the fumes in the air will be spicy, be careful not to inhale it)
- Add in the ground turkey and mix it with the garlic, ginger, and chilies. If water starts to come out of the turkey, that's okay and completely normal. Keep cooking it and breaking it into small pieces until the water has evaporated. Once the water has evaporated, the turkey will start to toast and brown.
- Once the turkey has browned, add in the onions and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the carrots and beans and mix everything together. Cook it for approximately 5 minutes
- Add in the rice and mix everything well. If there are large rice chunks, when the rice warms up, use your spatula/utensil to press them flat to break it up. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until all the rice has been mixed well with the ingredients and all the chunks have been broken up into individual grains.
- Add the sauce and mix well to coat everything in the frying pan. Cook for another 1-2 minutes
- Turn off the heat and add in the basil. Mix the basil into the fried rice. The residual heat will wilt the basil. You will know it's done when the basil turns dark green. Make sure the basil is spread evenly throughout the rice and not in a big clump before serving.
- If you are pressed for time or do not have day old rice, you can use fresh rice but put less water into the pot than you normally do when you cook it so that the cooked rice will have a bit less moisture in it. I like to use ¾ cup of water, for 1 cup of rice. Make sure the rice has cooled before using it in fried rice.
- For this recipe, Thai basil is recommended but if you cannot find it, you can use regular Italian basil as well.
- I like using fish sauce in this recipe because it gives the fried rice a bit more flavor since it is a stronger flavor than soy sauce. It can be substituted with soy sauce but you will lose out on a bit of flavor.
- Oyster sauce is a very important ingredient in this recipe and gives this turkey fried rice dish a lot of umami flavors. If you cannot find it and absolutely must substitute it, then use 1 ½ soy sauce mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar mixed into it.