American Fried Rice

Khaaw Pad American (or Khao Pad American) literally translates to ‘American Fried Rice’. At first I thought that this was a dish Thai people thought was popular in the US. But recently I heard that this dish was made up by Thai cooks during the Vietnam war era, to give US service men something the Thais thought they’d want to eat while over here in Thailand during breaks. This explanation makes more sense to me. It’s almost like the Thai cooks put all the things they thought of when they thought of American food, and fried them up with rice. And while this isn’t so much ‘Authentic Thai Food’, it’s become a popular dish 40 years later with kids — it’s one of the most popular lunch items at the university where I studied Thai. This recipe was requested by Diane in Brooklyn, NY. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked jasmine rice, a bit dried out
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 tablespoon golden mountain brand soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil for egg & hot dogs, 1/2 teaspoon oil for frying rice
  • 1 teaspoons butter (yes, really)
  • 1/2 tablespoon raisins, soaked in hot water for 2 min and drained

Directions

  1. Cook the rice, and dry out a bit, best is mostly covered overnight in the fridge. If you’re going to make it right away, cook with a bit less water than normal, and let air out for 10 minutes or so before cooking
  2. Fry the egg in a good amount of oil (about 4 tablespoons) on high heat. The egg should bubble up and sizzle like crazy if the pan is hot enough. The edges should brown and get crunchy too. When browned, remove and set aside.
  3. Cut the ends of the hot dogs in an X pattern, up about 1/3 of the way. This will create extra surface area to get crispy when you fry it. (See picture).
  4. Fry the hot dogs in the oil, until crispy, set aside with the egg. Dump the remaining oil.
  5. Fry the onions in 1 teaspoon of fresh oil on medium high until translucent, then add the butter. When the butter is melted, throw in the rice.
  6. Stir well to mix, and fry for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the ketchup, golden mountain soy sauce and raisins. Stir well and cook for another minute or two.
  8. Put on a plate and top with the fried egg and hot dogs.

Note:

While this dish almost always has a fried egg as a side, the meat 'side' can vary. Usually you see fried hot dogs, fried sausage, fried ham or a fried chicken leg.

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5 thoughts on “American Fried Rice

  1. This looks awesome! I have to say, that I’ve been cooking along these lines for awhile now myself……..I truly love the idea of “fused” food. I definitely would go with ham for the meat option, but understand the hotDog choice considering the dish’s history.
    Are there any Thai recipes that involve noodleType dishes for breakfast? I love spicy noodles in the morning!!
    Mike

  2. Thanks for posting this. My dad used to fry hotdogs for breakfast and they turn out great! Don’t be put off by the rice it is fantastic. The Thai’s were not wrong in pinning down an American palate 🙂

  3. Thanks for posting this. I have American boyfriend and he always make fun of me when I talk about how Thai people use ketchup esp in this menu. Now I can show him this recipe is real! And this is just exactly how we cook it! And you can have it with fried chicken too.

  4. I was in Thailand 4 years during the late 60’s as a contractor and eat a lot of fried rice, and never saw it with fried hot dog. Usually it had pork,chicken or shrimp and egg incorporated and yes ketchup. My Thai wife of 42 years still makes it regularly to the delight of the grand children and neighbors and myself.
    I just ran onto this sight and love it.

  5. The restaurant at one of the hotels in Sisaket used to make this with the fried chicken drumstick as well. They would add green peas when they had them, or substitute the tiny green eggplants when they didn’t (to get the same look…definitely not the same flavor). It was saep ilee (once you got used to the eggplants).

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