Super quick and easy shrimp fried rice recipe. This recipe calls for simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Did I mention it tastes way better than take-out fried rice?
Okay. You might think i’m completely off with that one. But my husband and I both come from families who use to consume rice at least twice a week.
Growing up, nights when we had fried rice for dinner were the best. My moms version of fried rice is something that I love even till this day. Simply because it was always more flavorful than any Chinese restaurants take on it. She would always make fresh, chewy, yet not greasy fried rice that were speckled with tons of peas and carrots with just a hint of chopped green chilis for a little added flavor. It never took more than 15 minutes to make but… Mmm. No one makes it like mom.
I think fried rice may have been one of the first things I ever learned how to cook. Because it’s simple and so delish. And it’s sort of healthy too, right? No, no, don’t shake your head ‘no’. It’s got lots of veggies! Hello, peas and carrots 🙂 And tons of protein from the eggs. Okay, it’s what a college student calls healthy. But still!
Shrimp fried rice is one of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant. It’s also a way to gauge how good the restaurant really is. It’s such a let down when you have such high hopes for a place and then the fried rice comes out and you’re totally underwhelmed. I can’t handle a relationship with a Chinese food joint that can’t make decent fried rice. It’s not me, it’s your fried rice, we’re just not meant to be.
So if i’m going to sit hear and knock on the fried rice for all the Chinese restaurants out there. I better know how to make a mean bowl for myself. So here are some things that i’ve learned along the way:
- Use the biggest pan you’ve got. There’s a lot of goodness that goes into shrimp fried rice. You don’t want to use an itty bitty pan when you’re cooking. You need lots of space for when all the ingredients come together. And, contrary to popular belief, flying peas and carrots are not part of the process!
- Make it HOT. Get the pan super hot. Preheat your wok or pan, it’s ready when you spray it with a bit of water and it sizzles off immediately. Keep in mind that this means you need to use an oil with a high smoke point.
- Medium or long grain rice is best. Short grain rice is mushy and sticks together. You want to use something that will stand up to the the cooking and not become a big glutinous mess when you fry it. I LOVE and use jasmine rice but any medium or long grain rice will do.
- COLD and leftover rice is IDEAL. <– that’s music to my ears! Every time I have leftover rice, I dream of turning it into shrimp fried rice. Firm, cold rice makes it so much easier to fry and it prevents it from becoming mushy. If you want to make this and don’t have leftover rice, but cook your rice and allow it to sit in a single layer on a baking sheet (or 2). This will allow most of the moisture to evaporate quickly. If you’ve got time, allow it to refrigerate as long as you can!
- KISS – That’s, Keep It Simply Seasoned. Meaning, don’t be heavy handed with the soy sauce. Often, when you add too much, your fried rice looks more like muddy brown rice that’s WAY over seasoned. A lighter color is definitely more appeitizing and extra soy sauce can always be added on when serving.
- Make it VEG-ful. As in, add it all! Use whatever veggies you like, and as much as you like. You can also omit the shrimp from this fried rice recipe and use additional veggies like, broccoli, and zucchini and make it completely vegetarian!
Also, when I make shrimp fried rice, I like to have a little bit of shrimpy in every single bite. Every bite must be equal. So I used medium to large shrimp and just give them a rough chop before cooking. I find using teeny tiny shrimp babies to be kind of boring and I don’t get that same flavor. But either will do the trick! Use what you like!
- 1 lb. shrimp ( roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided (use an oil with high smoke point)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups peas and carrots, frozen
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 1/2 – 6 cups cooked cold rice
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp, cornstarch, salt and pepper together. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat and let the pan get HOT. You’re ready to start cooking when you drop a few drops of water in the skillet and it sizzles. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and add the shrimp and allow them to cook for about 1 minute or until they become opaque. Remove the shrimp to a plate.
- Add the beaten eggs and scramble them in the skillet, cook until they start becoming firm, remove to the same plate as the shrimp. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the scallions, peas and carrots and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the rice and continue to cook until the rice starts to sizzle and heats through, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, red pepper flakes and the sesame oil. Add the shrimp and the eggs back into the skillet and mix well. Check for seasonings and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce if you feel it needs a bit more. Serve warm.