This Massaman curry fried rice recipe makes a fantastic, filling, fragrant fried rice with crispy onions, crunchy fried potatoes, pan-roasted peanuts, and the perfume of dried spices. I created this Massaman curry fried rice to use up leftover Massaman chicken curry, but you could also make it from scratch. Garnish with fresh coriander to lighten things up.
Savoury rice with crunchy fried potatoes, crispy fried onions, pan-roasted peanuts, and the perfume of dried spices such as cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg, my Massaman curry fried rice recipe makes the perfect bowl of comfort food. Full of flavour, filling, and energy-giving – with rice and potatoes, it’s loaded with carbs – it would also fix a hangover or be perfect for fuelling up before exercise.
I created this Massaman curry fried rice recipe to use up leftover steamed rice and Thai Massaman curry leftovers we had in the fridge from the previous night. As regular readers, who would be aware of my rice project, Make Rice Not War (A Celebration of Rice Diversity to Inspire Curiosity and Connection), would know, I’m obsessed with rice, and Terence and I love to invent new fried rice dishes.
There are few things I hate more than food wastage than throwing out perfectly good leftover food when there are so many hungry people in the world. Fried rice is not only a fantastic solution for leftover rice, but also for leftover curries and stir-fry leftovers. Fried rice was invented to use up leftover rice, after all.
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Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe for Fried Rice with Crispy Onions, Crunchy Fried Potatoes and Pan-Roasted Peanuts
Like traditional fried rice, which was invented to use up leftover steamed rice, I created this Massaman curry fried rice recipe to use up our leftover steamed rice and Thai Massaman chicken curry leftovers we had in the fridge from the previous night. If we’d had Massaman beef curry leftovers, I would have used beef.
But while most people’s first inclination is to make the classic Chinese fried rice called Yangzhou fried rice, due to its origin in the city of Yangzhou in China’s Jiangsu province, why not see what else you have in the fridge and get creative?
Consider the elements of the classic Chinese restaurant fried rice – which typically includes cooked rice, char siu pork, shrimps, peas, carrots, scrambled eggs, and scallions – then consider substitutes.
See our best fried rice recipes for inspiration, particularly Terence’s chicken fried rice recipe made with chef Morgan McGlone’s Nashville-style Southern fried chicken from Belles Hot Chicken and Nguan Soon curry powder.
Also see Terence’s tonkatsu fried rice made with onsen eggs and this tonkatsu recipe, which makes the succulent Japanese pork cutlet breaded in panko crumbs and deep-fried. That’s in the same compilation of best fried rice recipes. Or, see our post on How to Cook Rice Around the World: 66 Rice Dishes by 65 Rice Lovers.
Or simply let your stir-fry or curry leftovers dictate what you do with your fried rice as I did with my Massaman curry fried rice recipe. Don’t simply throw the leftover curry in with the rice, however. Instead consider how to treat each ingredient.
Tossing the Massaman curry in with the steamed rice would not have worked as the soft potato pieces would have turned to mashed potato and in turn made the rice mushy. Instead I took inspiration from the classic Chinese rice, which features small chopped vegetables.
I diced the potatoes, which I then shallow-fried, so you have essentially have twice-cooked potato pieces that are crunchy on the outside and soft within. I also used finely chopped onions and diced the chicken pieces.
When it came to seasoning the rice, I tossed the leftover curry sauce in, but I also added a little salt and the same dried spices that are used to make a Massaman curry paste. This created a fried rice with loads of flavour. This rice didn’t need a curry to accompany it but was a meal in itself.
But if you prefer more restrained styles of fried rice, like the classic Chinese fried rice, then leave out the dried spices, which is why I’ve indicated they’re optional in the ingredients list. Just a few more tips to making this Massaman curry fried rice below.
Tips to Making this Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe
I only a few more tips to making this Massaman curry fried rice. Firstly, if you have leftover steamed rice in the fridge, take it out well before you start cooking so that it’s at room temperature.
If you don’t have leftover rice in the fridge and need to make some, make it earlier in the day, as you risk the rice clumping together or going mushy if you steam it immediately before stir-frying it.
If you cook rice regularly, and don’t have a rice cooker for steaming rice, I strongly recommend buying one. You’ll also need a good work for making fried rice. We like this carbon steel wok for fried rice.
If the rice has clumped together, wet your hands and pull it apart before stir-frying it. Don’t over-fry it, because again you risk it going mushy. You only want to fry it for long enough to ensure all the ingredients and seasoning is combined.
Don’t even think about not wok-frying the peanuts. The crunchy hot peanuts add so much to this fried rice. As does the additional seasoning with dried spices, even though our Massaman curry had loads of flavour.
I blended the dried spices first in a bowl and transferred them to a salt shaker and sprinkled the spices into the wok, which ensured they were more evenly distributed, which meant less stir-fry time.
Serve immediately and garnish with lots of fresh coriander, as this Massaman curry fried rice is rich. If you’re one of those people for whom coriander tastes of soap, then try sliced scallions or spring onions instead.
Lastly, despite having fried onions throughout the fried rice, I love sprinkling some crispy fried shallots on top. If you don’t have any in the pantry, I strongly recommend keeping some to jazz up fried rice, rice porridge and instant ramen noodles.
With so much flavour in this Massaman curry fried rice recipe, you’re hardly likely to need to douse it with any sauces or condiments, however, I added a sprinkle of chilli flakes which give a nice little kick of heat to the dish.
Massaman Curry Fried Rice Recipe
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp raw peanuts
- 1 large white onions finely chopped
- 250 g Massaman curry
- 2 cups steamed jasmine rice room temperature
- ½ tsp salt optional
- ½ tsp ground cumin optional
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon optional
- ¼ ground cardamom optional
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg optional
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves only
- 1 tbsp crispy shallots
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok until hot and stir-fry the raw peanuts for a few minutes until dark brown, then transfer to a dish.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and stir-fry the onion for five minutes or so until dark brown and crispy, then transfer to a dish.
- Pluck the cooked potatoes from Massaman curry, chop into small cubes of around 1.5cm in diameter, add two tablespoons of oil to the wok, heat until very hot then shallow fry the potatoes until golden-brown and crunchy, then drain the oil off and transfer to a plate.
- Pull the pieces of meat from the Massaman, chop into 1.5cm cubes, and transfer to the wok along with any leftover Massaman curry sauce and quickly stir-fry until warm.
- Add the steamed jasmine rice, combine well, ensuring the rice is separated by carefully breaking apart any clumps of rice with a wooden spoon, then stir-fry until all of the rice is coated in the Massaman curry.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the fried onion and half the peanuts, and stir-fry to well-combine.
- Taste the rice and season if needed with salt and dried spices as per the ingredients list. For a full-flavoured fried rice, use all the dried spices recommended; for lighter flavour, use half. If you’re unsure, combine the dried spices in a spice/salt shaker and sprinkle on a little at a time. Stir-fry one last time to combine, then taste and adjust the seasoning again if necessary.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, spread the crunchy potatoes on top, sprinkle on the rest of the peanuts, crunchy shallots, and fresh coriander, and serve immediately.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our Massaman curry fried rice recipe, as we’d love to know how it turned out for you.