Thai-Style Crab Fried Rice Recipe

Fragrant jasmine rice with plenty of crabmeat. J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Starting with freshly cooked or well-chilled rice guarantees it won't clump up as you stir-fry it.
  • Frying in batches compensates for the low heat output of Western stovetops.
  • Keeping the seasoning very light allows the flavor of the rice and crab to come through.

Southeast Asia is a great place for crab lovers, and there aren't many better ways to eat it than in Thai khao phat buu—fried rice with crab, made with fragrant jasmine rice that's gently seasoned with garlic and chiles, then tossed with scrambled egg, picked crabmeat, and scallions, finished with a little fish sauce, and served with cilantro and cucumbers.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice (12 ounces; 350g) (see note)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) vegetable or canola oil, divided

  • 1 to 3 Thai bird chiles (according to your heat tolerance), finely sliced, plus more for serving

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons; 5g)

  • 1 large egg

  • Kosher salt

  • 4 ounces (115g) picked cooked crabmeat

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (1 ounce; 30g)

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Asian fish sauce, plus more for serving

  • Ground white pepper

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) minced fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1 Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced, for serving

  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges, for serving


  1. If using day-old rice, transfer to a medium bowl and break rice up with your hands into individual grains before proceeding. Heat 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat until lightly smoking. Add chiles and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Immediately add half of rice and cook, stirring and tossing, until rice is pale brown, toasted, and has a lightly chewy texture, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Heat another 1/2 tablespoon oil until smoking, add remaining rice, and cook, stirring, until it has the same texture as the first batch. Return first batch of rice to wok and toss to combine.

  2. Push rice to side of wok and add another 1/2 tablespoon oil. Break egg into oil and season with a little salt. Use a spatula to scramble egg, breaking it up into small bits. Toss egg and rice together.

  3. Add crabmeat, scallions, and fish sauce. Toss to combine and cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until crab is heated through and scallions are lightly softened, about 1 minute. Season to taste with white pepper and salt. Stir in cilantro.

  4. Serve immediately with sliced cucumber, lime wedges, additional fish sauce, and sliced Thai chiles at the table.

Special Equipment



For best results, use jasmine rice. Chinese medium-grain rice or Japanese sushi rice can also be used. Rice should either be cooked fresh, spread on a tray, and allowed to cool for 5 minutes, or, alternatively, transferred to a loosely covered container and refrigerated for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
301 Calories
9g Fat
42g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 301
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 600mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 20mg 100%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 352mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)