Today is the third posting for my Asian Series. Shrimp fried rice! This is such a versatile dish. I did this one with shrimp, but I have made it with chicken instead. It also makes a great vegetarian dish by adding more vegetables and an extra egg to give it more protein and body. Fried Rice can be served as the main meal, adding some kind of protein, or a side dish to another Chinese stir fry.
The key to making perfect fried rice is in the rice. It needs to be COLD. If the rice is made fresh and is still hot, it creates a sticky mess. We like to make the rice ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator to cool. In planning for this dish, I prepared an extra 3 cups of cooked rice when I was making some for dinner the other night. Then I put the extra 3 cups in the refrigerator and a day or two later, I fixed this fried rice. I have used Jasmine, Basmati and regular long grain white rice and while the more expensive rice has a nice flavor, I tend to use the plain ole’ long grain white rice more times than not. That way the other flavors that I’m adding to the dish is popping and not overpowered by the rice.
This is how I make it.
Shrimp Fried Rice
In a wok or large skillet, saute’ the yellow onions in peanut or vegetable oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the onions are tender.
Throw in the peas and carrots. Much of the time, I keep a bag of frozen peas and carrots in the freezer. Here I only had a bag of peas in the freezer, but I had some fresh carrots in the fridge, so I used those.
Then throw in the raw uncooked peeled and de-veined shrimp. Any size shrimp works, I had the medium size and that’s what I used. Stir fry the shrimp on medium-high heat until they just start to turn pink but not cooked through yet.
Pour in the beaten egg and continue to stir fry this mixture until the shrimp and eggs are cooked, just a minute or two.
Watch the shrimp closely because you don’t want to over cook them. As soon as they are pink through, they’re done. If you over cook them they will become rubbery and have a strong ‘fishy’ taste.
Throw in the cold rice. This is key to good fried rice. The rice needs to be cold. Stir it to incorporate the vegetables and shrimp, still over medium-high heat.
When I make a dish that includes rice, I make extra and put it in the refrigerator. Then over the next few days, I’ll make this fried rice. It’s great for a weeknight meal in our house because you’re just stir frying it all together in one pan and you need to do it fast so not to over cook it. Another thing to help this go quickly and smoothly is to have all of the ingredients prepared and sitting there on the counter ready to go into the pan.
Then add the soy or tamari sauce. Honestly you can just eyeball this. If you like a little more, then by all means add more.
So, what is the difference between soy sauce and tamari sauce? Here’s the short answer. Soy sauce is made from soy beans, some kind of wheat, water and salt. Tamari is made from soy beans, water and salt which makes it gluten free. If you’re on a gluten free diet, you should always use tamari sauce.
Add the sesame oil. Stir fry all of these ingredients just until it’s good and hot.
I have noticed that good quality sesame oil tends to be more potent, same with soy sauce. Start with a little, stir, taste and add more as needed.
I wish you could smell this. It’s super Chinesey. (a new word)
And super mouth watering.
And super delicious!
For the shrimp, I have substituted it with chicken cut up into small pieces and that works fabulously. I can see adding all kinds of things to this fried rice to make it to a whole new meal. How about sugar snap peas? Or zucchini, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, broccoli or even chopped cabbage. OK, I’m gonna get back in the kitchen and make some more! Ideas are flowing!
What other vegetables do you like in your fried rice? The sky is the limit!
Look for these other Asian dishes! As I add these recipes to the blog, I will come back and add the link for easy access. Asian Salad with Marinated Beef Flank Steak, Asian Salad Dressing, Sesame Chicken, Beef with Broccoli and Snow Peas, Cashew Chicken, Lettuce Wraps and Thai Basil Chicken.
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.