This fried rice recipe is lighter than many and has an appealing simplicity to it. We don’t really want to know how much oil is in the some of the stir-fried rice we’ve all enjoyed at some Chinese restaurants (not all!). Let’s just say that sometimes the rice is glistening for a reason, and that this version tastes terrific with not a lot of fat.
In these photos I left the shrimp whole, just for a little bit of a splashier presentation, but you can easily use smaller shrimp, cut the shrimp into chunks, or even chop up the shrimp more finely. I was just messing around, showing off with my big shrimp bad self.
Stir Fried Rice Variations:
You can also use chicken or pork cut into ½-inch dice. You can add a couple of tablespoons of hoisin or oyster sauce or a couple of teaspoons of sesame oil along with the soy sauce for a more flavorful stir fried rice dish.
Eggs in Fried Rice
To me, it’s the scrambled eggs that make stir-fried rice stir-fried rice. I know not all stir-fried rice recipes have eggs in them – and if you’re going to something vegan (well, first off, skip the shrimp), but also leave out the eggs. For the rest of us – eggs! Just the best part of stir fried rice in my opinion, those toothsome fluffy yet compact little nuggets of egg, like a the winning morsel in a forkful. It’s like the marshmallow in a spoonful of Lucky Charms. You don’t want all eggs or marshmallows (except for the times you do), but you want a little bit with each bite. I have a lot of qualifiers in this headnote, don’t I?
You can also add some other veggies along with the carrots, and even make this into a purely vegetarian fried rice by skipping the shrimp and adding about 4 cups of chopped vegetables to the carrots. You can add more carrots, but also consider chopped broccoli, slivered cabbage, sliced sugar snap peas or asparagus, and/or more edamame and peas at the end.
Day Old Cold Cooked Rice
Day old cooked and cold rice is best for this and any stir-fried rice dish, which means seriously awesome things are afoot when you have leftover cooked rice that may look and feel somewhat hopefully dry and dense.
Or if you are cooking rice specifically for this dish use a tiny bit less water than usual and let it cook until it is quite dry, so that it stays separate. If you have both time and forethought (understood, it’s unlikely that it’s asking a lot to have both time AND forethought at the same moment), you can also spread out freshly cooked rice on a baking sheet and leave it uncovered for couple of hours so that it dries out nicely.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes:
- 15-Minute Hoisin Shrimp
- Blistered Green Beans with Miso Butter
- Mongolian Beef
- Pork and Bok Choy Stir Fry
- Watermelon Kimchi
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp whole or halved crosswise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 3 large eggs beaten
- 3 cups cold cooked white or brown rice
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or 3 tablespoons regular soy sauce and 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame or peas defrosted
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallions white and light green parts
- Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a wok or a large skillet or saucepan over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, and when it is hot, add the shrimp and quickly stir fry them until they are pink, only about 2 minutes. Remove them to a plate and set aside.
- Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the same wok or saucepan over high heat. Add the beaten eggs and scramble quickly, sliding them out onto the plate with the shrimp when they are just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
- Return the wok to the burner over high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then add the cooked rice and stir fry, stirring occasionally until it is lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots ginger and the garlic and stir until you can smell the seasonings, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, edamame, and scallions and stir until everything is hot and the carrots are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cooked shrimp and eggs and stir until everything is well mixed and hot, 1 more minute. Serve right away.
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