Highly Adaptable Shrimp Fried Rice
This simple but tasty shrimp fried rice lies somewhere between cooking from scratch and dialing for Chinese takeout. It’s a terrific way to use up leftover rice, whether home cooked or from that take-out order delivered 2 days ago. If you’ll be cooking the rice yourself, use long-grain Chinese rice or a slightly aromatic Thai jasmine variety. Both have superior flavor and produce grains that remain separate after cooking. The important thing is to make sure that the rice used has been thoroughly chilled before stir-frying; otherwise it will stick to the pan. Although the recipe calls for shrimp, this can be omitted, or you could add an equal amount of diced roast pork, cooked chicken, or Chinese sausage. For vegetarian fried rice, skip the shrimp and use Chinese cabbage, bok choy, and mushrooms.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Recipe Coursemain course, side dish
Dietary Considerationmain course, side dish
Taste and Texturesavory, spiced, umami
- 3 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil, as needed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and split lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups chilled cooked rice
- ½ cup peas, thawed if frozen
- 2 tablespoons good-quality soy sauce, such as Kikkoman
- Coarse (kosher) salt, to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat, swirling it to cover as much of the surface as possible. When it’s just about smoking, add the beaten egg and stir-fry rapidly, breaking up the egg as it sets. Transfer the egg to a large bowl and keep it in a warm spot.
Add the shrimp to the wok, stir-frying until just pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the egg.
Add the onion to the wok along with another tablespoon of the oil, if needed. Stir-fry the onion until browned but still a bit crunchy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the onion into the bowl.
Add another tablespoon of the oil to the pan and add the ginger and garlic. When they sizzle and turn opaque, immediately add the rice. Stir-fry, making sure the rice doesn’t stick to the wok. When it’s beginning to brown a bit, add the peas and soy sauce. Continue stir-frying until everything is heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in the reserved shrimp mixture and stir-fry until heated through and thoroughly mixed, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Remove the wok from the heat and season the fried rice with salt. Transfer it to a serving bowl or platter and serve immediately.
2000 David Waltuck and Melicia Phillips