Recipe courtesy of Jim Leiken

Basil Fried Rice with Quail Eggs, Green Papaya Slaw and Thai Sausage

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 day 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 1 day
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1 3/4 cups (12-ounces) Thai jasmine rice

1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and cut in large pieces

1 shallot, peeled

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

4 Thai basil leaves, torn

3 fresh mint leaves, torn

3 sprigs fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Green Papaya Slaw, recipe follows

To serve

Olive oil, for frying

12 links Thai sausage

6 quail eggs

Harissa sauce, for garnish

1/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped

Green Papaya Slaw

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 clove garlic, finely minced

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 green papaya, peeled and julienned

3 fresh scallions, thinly sliced

5 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves picked and sliced

1/2 tablespoon minced mild red or green chile


  1. Cook the rice in a 4-quart saucepan of boiling salted water with the lemongrass, shallot, kaffir lime leaf, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the rice and discard the lemongrass, shallot, lime leaf, and garlic. 
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ginger and shallot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is translucent. Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, Thai basil, mint leaves, and cilantro and toss until well combined. Add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. In a large skillet or on a plancha (griddle) on high heat, sear the sausage in olive oil on all sides until cooked through. 
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat and add enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the quail eggs sunny side up. 
  5. For each serving, spoon basil fried rice onto the bottom of 6 warm plates and slide a quail egg on top. Place a spoonful of green papaya slaw on the side and arrange two sausages on top. Garnish the plate with a few drops of harissa sauce and a sprinkle of peanuts, and serve hot.

Green Papaya Slaw

  1. In a small pot, combine the sugar, garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture cool completely. 
  2. In a nonreactive bowl, combine the papaya, scallion, cilantro, chile, and lime juice mixture. Toss to combine the ingredients and refrigerate, covered, for at least one day before serving.