Shrimp Fried Rice is the perfect one pot meal when you’re craving Asian flavors. Chock full of succulent shrimp, veggies, and eggs, it’s hearty and delicious. Plus helpful tips on how to make it perfectly anytime, every time!
G and I sat down together at the beginning of January and went over our typical monthly expenses with a fine-tooth comb. Our goal for the new year is to live more frugally and to seriously save money so we went a good hour or so figuring out where and how we could streamline our household costs. After going through our numbers, we were both shocked to realize the main bulk of our food expenses was from eating out and ordering in! Considering how much I love to cook, our overdependence on fast food is a wallet breaking habit we definitely need to break.
I like to excuse myself in the lines of “I am too tired from work” or “I don’t have time to cook” but if we’re going to be truthful here, I could easily whip up our favorite Chinese takeout in fewer minutes than it would take to drive to the restaurant and pick it up!
Old habits die hard but I am proud to say, other than Vday which rightfully warranted a fancy dinner at a sit-down restaurant, G and I have been pretty resolute on our decision to enjoy more homecooked meals. In fact, I made this shrimp fried rice on the one day last week when I came home from work exhausted and later than usual. It took but twenty minutes to make and came out far better than Panda’s! Generously studded with plump shrimps, fluffy scrambled eggs, and sweet peas, it was an economical yet a truly satisfying dinner-in-itself.
Shrimp fried rice is indeed one of the easiest and delicious one-pot meal you can spin together in a jiffy. It’s super customizable and the perfect use for whatever leftover odds and ends you have in the fridge. But however simple, there are a few tricks/tips to take fried rice from good to great.
- Use cold, leftover cooked rice. Leaving the rice in the refrigerator for at least a day rids of excess moisture and allows the grains to firm up, making them easier to separate and prevents your fried rice from turning into mush. If you must use freshly-cooked rice, spread it out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and stick in the fridge for a few hours to dry out and completely cool.
- Cooking fried rice is a very quick process. Make sure all your ingredients are prepared and ready to go for the brief stir-frying.
- Wok is best but a wide pan with high sides will work as well. Set burners on high heat and heat your wok until blazing hot. This will prevent the rice from sticking to the surface and gives the whole dish a nice toasty flavor.
- Marinating the shrimps in a mixture of cornstarch, salt and pepper keep them juicy and flavorful. Please do NOT skip this step!
- If adding eggs, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until just set and still slightly wet as they will continue to cook when returned to the pan with the rest of the ingredients.
- Do not skimp on the oil. You don’t want the fried rice to be overly greasy but aim for the rice grains to have a slight sheen when stir-fried. Use high smoke point oils such as peanut or corn oil.
- Do not overcrowd pan and cook in batches, as necessary, to prevent temperature of the wok from plummeting and to provide room for the rice grains to toast and caramelize.
- Add liquid seasonings such as soy sauce or fish sauce sparingly. You want to limit the amount of liquid or moisture to keep the fried rice from getting mushy.
Give this shrimp fried rice for dinner tonight. By following the tips above, you’ll make it perfectly anytime, every time. Enjoy!
- 4 cups cold, day-old cooked rice
- ½ pound large shrimps, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup green peas (or peas and carrots), thawed
- 1 tablepoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- With wet hands, break clumps and separate rice grains. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine shrimp, cornstarch and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
- In a wok over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl across the bottom of the wok. Add eggs and cook, stirring to scramble and break up, until just set and still slightly wet. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Wipe down wok as needed. Increase heat to high. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl across the bottom of the pan. Heat until very hot. Add shrimps in a single layer and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn and cook for another 20 to 30 seconds or just until color changes to pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the wok, add onions and garlic and cook until limp. Add green peas and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the wok, add another 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat insides of the wok. Heat until very hot. Add rice and spread over the surface of the wok. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until grains begins to sizzle and then turn. Spread again over surface of wok and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over rice. Return shrimps, green peas and eggs to wok. Toss rice to evenly distribute ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until completely heated through. Transfer onto serving platter and serve hot.