Shrimp Fried Rice

4.96 from 23 votes
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Shrimp fried rice with colorful vegetables, various aromatics, and scrambled eggs. The succulent seafood adds extra flavor and protein to this classic Asian dish.

Shrimp fried rice with peas and carrots in a white bowl.

I’ve adapted my classic fried rice recipe to 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 transform 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

This homemade shrimp fried rice recipe is a great way to repurpose any leftover cooked rice 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 skillet or 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.

Shrimp selection

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

Pieces of shrimp cooking in a large wok.

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

Stir frying steamed white rice to lightly brown the surface.

To add more flavor and texture to the dish, add the rice to the wok and stir-fry it in hot oil. I recommend tossing the rice in fat to coat the grains, reducing 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

Sliced onions and diced carrots added to the wok with rice.

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.

Scramble the egg

Fluffy scrambled eggs add richness to the rice. Make another big well in the pan’s center and fry the beaten eggs in vegetable oil and sesame oil. I let it sit briefly so that the egg proteins start to curdle and create clumps when stirred.

Break them into smaller pieces, then mix them 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

Shrimp and peas added to a wok with rice.

At the end of cooking, stir in the shrimp to rewarm, but don’t overcook them. Otherwise, the texture will turn rubbery. I also add defrosted frozen peas, as they are a delicate ingredient. Garnish with freshly sliced green onions to add an onion aroma to the dish that gets more intense as it warms in the hot rice.

What to serve this with

Shrimp fried rice garnished with sliced green onions.

Recipe Science

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 particles that coat the surface. To reduce the number of grains that stick together after cooking rice, 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.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp fried rice with colorful veggies, various aromatics, and scrambled eggs. The seafood adds extra flavor and protein to a classic dish.
4.96 from 23 votes
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 5 servings
Course Side
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients 
 

  • 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" dice
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • ½ cup peas frozen, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • Wash the Rice – Add rice to a fine-meshed strainer. Rinse and wash under cool running water until it's clear, scrubbing them with your fingers, about 1 minute. Shake and press with your hand to drain thoroughly.
    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.
  • Cook the Rice – 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 absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered, off the heat, for 10 minutes.
  • Cool the Rice – 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.
  • Season the Shrimp – In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Cook the Shrimp – 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.
  • Brown the Rice – Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the rice. Stir fry until evenly coated with oil, then spread and lightly press it around the pan. Cook for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat the spreading and stirring every 30 seconds for 5 minutes total. You want light browning on the rice.
  • Saute the Vegetables – 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.
  • Scramble the Eggs – Make another large well in the center and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Pour in whisked eggs, and allow it to sit for 30 seconds, then gradually stir to scramble. Stir to combine with the rice.
  • Combine the Peas and Shrimp – Add soy sauce, and stir to combine. Add the peas and shrimp and stir to combine, then cook until warm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more soy sauce as desired. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.

Notes

  • 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 pieces with your fingers before adding it to the pot.
  • For Larger Egg Pieces: Cook before adding the shrimp in 1 tablespoon of oil. Break into the desired size, transfer to a plate, and reserve, then add to the pan at the end of cooking right before serving.
  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 5 servings
Calories 355kcal (18%)Carbohydrates 35g (12%)Protein 24g (48%)Fat 13g (20%)Saturated Fat 8g (40%)Trans Fat 1gCholesterol 266mg (89%)Sodium 1254mg (52%)Potassium 247mg (7%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 2328IU (47%)Vitamin C 12mg (15%)Calcium 166mg (17%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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11 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Maria T. says

    Made this last night for dinner because I knew my husband would love it. The shrimp I had on hand was 13/15 so I decided to cut them into thirds rather than buy more. It worked. Served with crispy vegetable egg rolls. My husband has been missing a similar dish he ordered at a restaurant he frequented that closed several years ago. He was absolutely delighted when I placed the serving dish on the table. It was delicious and easy to prepare. Every time I use my carbon steel wok I’m even happier I bought it. I’m getting better at using it because of your step by step instruction. I’m no longer afraid.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so proud of you, Maria! And you dod a great job improvising with the large pieces of shrimp. Sounds like you had and amazing lunar new year feast!

  2. Frank Rabusin says

    Jessica, I’ll make this tonight. I have everything except fresh ginger…however I do have some ground/powder ginger…how much should I use as a substitute?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can substitute egg whites for whole eggs. I would add 3 egg whites for the loss of volume for the egg yolks.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Dollye- It’s typically a combination of Chinese cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, and cloves. I hope that helps!

  3. mcdak says

    Every time I see a recipe with sesame oil I wonder whether it calls for toasted sesame oil which to me has a pretty strong flavor. Or, is that untoasted sesame oil which has almost no flavor for me.

    In your fried rice recipe, I think I w ould like just a little of the toasted oil and neutral oil for the rest of the frying.

    Please straighten me out!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question! I use sesame oil that isn’t toasted. However, if you like a stronger nutty, sesame taste, you could definitely add toasted. I use 2 teaspoons in the recipe, so I would use 1 teaspoon toasted and 1 teaspoon untoasted if you have both so it’s not overpowering.