Shrimp fried rice with colorful vegetables, various aromatics, and scrambled eggs. The succulent pieces of seafood add extra flavor and protein to this classic Asian dish.
Table of Contents
I’ve adapted my classic fried rice recipe to now incorporate flavorful bites of shrimp. It only takes a few extra minutes to prepare and cook. I season the briny crustaceans with savory ingredients to transforms this popular Chinese restaurant dish into a heartier meal.
I’ll show you how to make steamed rice from scratch, with quick cooling tips to prevent it from sticking in the pan. However, leftover rice is ideal if you have some handy. The seafood, chopped vegetables, and tender eggs rapidly cook using the stir fry method.
Using leftover rice
Fried rice is a great way to repurpose any leftovers you have sitting in the refrigerator. Most recipes call for day-old rice because the cool conditions firm up the starchy grains, making it easier to stir-fry in a hot wok. If you have some, use it. You need about 3 cups.
Making freshly steamed rice
Long grain rice is the best choice as the elongated grain cooks into less sticky pieces and stays separated compared to short and medium rice types that clump together. Jasmine is my go-to choice because it has a fragrant floral aroma, and the grains are drier, perfect for moving in the pan.
Brown rice also works well because the bran on the outside prevents sticky grains. Make sure to rinse first, drain well, then let it chill in the refrigerator after cooking. This process adds about an extra 30 minutes to steam and cool.
Use small shrimp, about 51 to 60 count. The count size represents the number of pieces per pound. This size yields one-bite pieces. You want the protein to complement the rice, not overwhelm it.
I use raw shrimp that I peel and devein, which makes it easier to eat. The seafood flavor also has a pleasantly sweet and salty taste. Tossing the shrimp with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper is all the extra seasoning you need.
Cook the shrimp
Shrimp cooks very quickly and only requires a few minutes of stir-frying. Look for the appearance to change from translucent to opaque and a loosely shaped C. Afterwards, transfer them to a bowl so you can cook the remaining ingredients.
Stir-fry the rice
To add more flavor and texture to the rice’s surface, we’re going to stir fry it in hot oil. I recommend tossing the rice in fat to coat the grains, which will reduce sticking. Then spread it in an even layer and let the pan heat the grains for about 30 seconds.
This sitting and stirring process is repeated for about 5 minutes until the rice slightly browns. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan in between to prevent excess sticking.
Add vegetables and aromatics
After you fry the rice, make a large well in the center to cook the remaining ingredients. I use minced ginger, garlic, chopped white onions, and diced carrots. Cook them in hot oil to flavor the dish. I also use defrosted frozen peas but add them towards the end of cooking with the shrimp as they are a delicate ingredient.
Scramble the egg
Fluffy scrambled eggs add richness to the rice. Make another big well in the pan’s center and fry it in vegetable and sesame oil. I let it briefly sit so that the egg proteins start to curdle and create clumps when stirred. Break them into smaller pieces, then mix with the rice. Add a little bit of soy sauce to enhance the savory and umami taste of the dish.
Add the shrimp and garnish
At the very end of cooking, stir in the shrimp. Cook just to rewarm the seafood, but don’t overcook. Otherwise, the texture will turn rubbery. Garnish the rice with sliced green onions. It adds a lovely freshness and delicate onion aroma to the dish that gets more intense as it warms in the hot rice.
What to serve this with
Rinse the rice to prevent sticking
It’s easier to stir-fry rice the less clumpy it is. Uncooked rice contains lots of starches, both inside the grain and some particles that coat the surface. To reduce the number of grains that stick together after cooking, rinse off the starches with cool water. You’ll see the water go from cloudy to clear in about a minute. If those starches were left on, they would swell and promote sticking.
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Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 cup jasmine rice, or long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, 51 to 60 count
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- ¼ cup minced white onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ cup diced carrots, ¼-inch dice
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- ½ cup peas frozen, defrosted
- 2 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced
- Add rice to a fine-meshed strainer. Rinse and wash under cool running water until it's clear, scrubbing the rice with your fingers several times, about 1 minute. Shake and press with your hand to thoroughly drain. Alternatively, add rice to the saucepan, cover with cool water and scrub with hands, drain and repeat 2 to 3 times until the water runs clear. Drain off excess water very well.
- In a 3-quart sized saucepan, add washed rice and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn down to a simmer over low heat, cover with a lid. Simmer until all of the water is absorbs and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered, off the heat, for 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, then evenly spread it on a baking sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator until completely cooled, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp.
- In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, once hot, add the shrimp. Stir fry until fully cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl. Carefully wipe the wok with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, once hot, add the rice. Stir fry until evenly coated with oil, then spread and lightly press around the pan. Allow to cook for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat the spreading and stirring every 30 seconds for 5 minutes total. You want some light browning on the rice.
- Push the rice to the wok's sides to make a large well, and add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and carrots, stir fry in the pan's center for 1 minute, then mix with rice to combine.
- Make another large well in the center, add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Pour in whisked eggs, allow it to sit for about 30 seconds, then gradually stir to scramble the egg pieces, stir to combine with the rice.
- Add in soy sauce, stir to combine. Add peas and shrimp, stir to combine, then cook until warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more soy sauce as desired. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.
- Recipe Yield: 5 cups
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Using Leftover Rice: Substitute 3 cups of cold cooked rice for 1 cup of uncooked long-grain rice. If clumpy, break rice into individual pieces with your fingers before adding to the pot.
- For Larger Egg Pieces: Cook before the shrimp in 1 tablespoon of oil, breaking into the desired size, transfer to a plate and reserve, then add back at the end of cooking right before serving.
- MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
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