3 Years in Bangkok and Ginger Fried Rice

by Jess on November 21, 2013

in Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, Weeknight Meals

Ginger Fried Rice

There are so many wonderful things about this way of life we’ve chosen.

Frank and I moved to Bangkok three years ago, just a few months after we got married.  We saw it as an adventure.  And an adventure, it truly has been.

Ginger Fried Rice_Ingredients

There are challenges to this way of life.

Even now, after all this time, there is still some part of every day during which I’m confused about something.  It could be a conversation with a taxi driver, an item at the grocery store, or an exchange at work.  I’ll never totally feel on the inside of what is happening in this Thai life around me.

Lunch in the Shade

Living in Bangkok has its magical moments, to be sure.  Just when the city seems to be throwing you its worst, you wake up to a perfect blue sky, smell the incense wafting out of a temple, take a big gulp of a perfect broth from a batch of Tom Yam Goong soup.  Magic.

Coffee Sunday

The other night I was sitting in our quiet apartment, while rain fell against the windows and the lizards in our courtyard barked at each other (they really do sound like they’re barking), and I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Spirit House

In this moment, at this time, this is where I am meant to be.

Frank and I are lucky.  We both felt that way at just the same time.  Earlier this year, when the opportunity presented itself for Frank to extend his contract and work in Bangkok for a bit longer, we questioned it.  We stayed up late into the night, weighing the pros and cons.

But at the end of the day, it seems that it always comes down to a feeling.

This week marks the end of our third year in Bangkok.  And we’re staying for a while longer.  We miss home deeply, and some days it feels like too much, but most days we feel sublimely lucky.  Lucky to be living this life.  Lucky to be living this adventure together.

We’re in for a bit more of this expat living.  Bangkok, we’re not leaving just yet.
Ginger Fried Rice


Ginger Fried Rice
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fried rice has become a favorite quick meal in our house. With very few ingredients, this simple fried rice is full of flavor and makes a great lunch or dinner (or breakfast, if you're so inclined!).
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • Salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and dried
  • 4 cups day-old cooked rice, preferably jasmine, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  1. In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
  2. Reduce heat under skillet to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons oil and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well, until heated through. Season to taste with salt.
  4. In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, sunny-side-up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
  5. Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with ½ teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve.
Recipe published in the New York Times.



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Ann November 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

I don’t know if I’ll try the ginger fried rice, but I love hearing about your expat life.
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2 Ashley November 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

I love reading your posts : ) I’m glad you both feel like you are exactly where you should be – that’s such a good feeling. This fried rice sounds pretty awesome – I love that you get the garlic and ginger all crispy!
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3 Claire @ Claire K Creations November 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

Jess that’s so funny. Last night I was lying in bed and suddenly you popped into my head. I realised I hadn’t read a post for a while and set a reminder on my phone to check on you today.
When I woke up this post was in my inbox and it sounds like you are doing wonderfully! x
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4 Monica November 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

What a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading that. I’m always amazed when I watch shows like ‘house hunter international’ that people are brave and adventurous enough to move all across the world to a whole new everything. I’m glad you are enjoying it enough to stay a bit longer. And this fried rice! Seriously – that egg hooks me in but I know there’s some serious flavor hidden in there. I put a ton of minced ginger and garlic in my fried rice and that’s my favorite part. Take care!
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5 Liz November 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

What a wonderful adventure, Jessie. I admire you both! Thanks for the nice recipe and wishing you continued happiness and success.


6 Debra November 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

This does look like a great quick meal. Three tears, huh? I have enjoyed part of that time with you keeping up with your blog and writings. Thanks for taking us along on the adventure,
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7 Erin @ The Emerging Foodie November 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

Wow, I didn’t realize you had been there so long… that’s awesome! What an incredible adventure you’re having and I’m sure it will be one of the most cherished times of your life! :) Also this rice looks absolutely delectable! Can’t go wrong with ginger!
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8 Alyssa D. {Suitcases & Sweets} November 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Happy 3-year Bangkok-iversary! Thank you for sharing your adventure and allowing me to be a part of it virtually and in-person. Can’t wait to see what year 4 brings you and Frank! :) xoxo
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9 Lokness @ The Missing Lokness November 26, 2013 at 4:00 am

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Can’t wait to hear more about it. The fried rice looks incredible. With the ginger, leek and garlic, I am sure I won’t miss the meat. And nothing will go wrong with a fried egg.
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10 Erika November 26, 2013 at 5:13 am

Aww beautiful post! And gorgeous photos, as always. I want to hear more about your life in Bangkok! That sounds like such a fun adventure. My boyfriend is hoping to get a job as a Finance professor once he gets his PhD and we like to daydream about traveling the world with his theoretical ability to get a job anywhere. One can dream, right? Haha.
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11 Karista November 27, 2013 at 4:09 am

Oh this looks so delicious! My favorite kind of meal, and with an egg on top! Perfect. Happy Thanksgiving Jess!
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12 Katie (The Muffin Myth) December 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I know exactly what you mean, Jess! We’re about to renew our residency permits for Sweden again which means we’ve been here for 4 years now (and also moved when we’d been married only a few months)! There are definitely challenges and homesick moments, but last night I was riding my bike home from work in the dark and cold, past the sparkly Christmas lights on the royal palace, and just felt so happy to be where I am. I’m sure Thailand has raised way more challenges for you, it being so different, but I think it’s super cool you guys have decided to stick it out for a bit longer. Being an expat changes you, and I don’t think you can ever really go back to the life you had before.
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13 Sonja December 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

Congrats on three years, and on deciding to stay more! I can understand the bittersweet feeling of staying in a place you love, but also missing loved ones at home :) Also, this fried rice looks so good! It inspired me to make some with leftover wild rice.


14 Jess December 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Thanks so much Sonja. It realy is bittersweet, but knowing it’s the right choice for us does make it a bit easier. I feel like it will fly by, and we’ll be headed home before we know it though!


15 PolaM December 17, 2013 at 3:12 am

Expat life can be hard: even in a country where you understand language and culture you never feel truly on the inside. But then you go home and is not really home anymore. It is a very enriching life, but bittersweet.
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