Although any long-grain white rice can be used for Thai fried rice, jasmine rice is considered the best. Thais love the scent of a particular variety of jasmine flower called mali. While so-called jasmine rice does not carry the true scent of that bloom or of any fragrant flower, it does release a seductive perfume. It is because of the kernels' heady fragrance that the rice has been awarded the highest compliment by being given the name of the much-admired flower.Crab paste in soybean sauce, which is sold in jars in Thai or Southeast Asian markets, adds a rich, savory essence to the dish.To make fried shallots, slice cloves into very thin, uniform slices, then separate the slices. In a small fry pan over medium heat, pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 325deg.F on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the slices and fry until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper bag.
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