Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe features:
- Learn about the best kind of rice to use for fried rice
- The right amount of heat that is essential for the perfect fried rice
- Why it’s important to fry all the ingredients separately
- The right way to fry rice and why constantly poking, prodding, turning and flipping at every second isn’t ideal
The first time I attempted to cook fried rice on my own, I was a teenager and my parents and little brother were on vacation. I stayed home to attend summer school and to enjoy a little freedom living on my own for a couple of weeks.
Since my Mom was the queen in the kitchen, I didn’t really cook too much back then. My job was just to eat and enjoy her wonderful home cooked meals. But that week, after 3 days of instant ramen, I was longing for something a little more substantial. Too lazy to bike to the market, I decided on fried rice. I steamed a batch of rice and found enough bits of vegetables to make the dish.
It was a total disaster. Mushy, soggy and goopy. Back to Top Ramen for another 10 days.
When the family returned, I told Mom about my fried rice misfortune and she laughed, “You better start learning from me before you go off to college or you’ll starve!” And a crash course in fried rice followed the next day.
So here I am to teach you what I learned from my Mom and share with you an authentic Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe. These are her secrets to light, fluffy and flavorful fried rice, no matter what ingredients you use.
Rules for Best Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe
Use previously chilled leftover rice
Here’s rule #1. You have to use yesterday’s (or earlier) cooked rice as it’s had a chance to dry out a bit in the refrigerator. The heat of the pan and the soy sauce will re-steam and hydrate the leftover rice. If you try to use freshly cooked, hot rice (like I did years ago,) you’ll end up with too much moisture in the rice and will make a heavy mess in the pan.
High heat is essential in cooking fried rice
But high heat doesn’t mean that you need super high BTU’s or a gas stove. All it takes is a bit of patience to let your pan or wok heat up. The high heat ensures that whatever ingredients that you put into the pan gets fried quickly and that each grain of rice gets hot to the core.
Fry ingredients separately
Fried rice has many different ingredients, and in my home it’s usually just a mixture of whatever vegetables, meats or seafood I can scrounge up from the refrigerator or freezer. But whatever the ingredients, you want to make sure that you can taste each individual one. To do this, you’ve got to fry your meat or seafood first, remove from the wok or pan when 80% cooked through and then toss it back in towards the end of the stir fry to finish cooking. Because if you try to fry all of the ingredients at the same time in the same pan, they’ll all compete for “wok time” and everything will end up tasting exactly the same!
No no touching!
A common mistake of stir frying is to constantly poke, prod, turn and flip every second. In a restaurant kitchen where flames are so powerful they can singe your brows, chefs have to keep things moving. But in home kitchens, our stovetops need a little more time to do their work to heat up and cook our food. If you keep poking at the rice, the grains will break, release more starch and turn the entire thing goopy. It will never have a chance to fry correctly…not enough “wok time” as my Mom likes to say. The best thing is to do is to spread out the rice, use the entire cooking surface of the pan and just leave it alone. Put your spatula down and back away from the stove for a minute. Give the rice a chance to heat up. Then flip, toss and redistribute the rice, again spreading it out and leaving it alone to cook another side.
Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe
- 8 ounces small uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil (divided)
- 3 eggs, beaten in a small bowl
- 2 stalks scallion or green onion, minced
- 4 cups previously cooked leftover rice, grains separated well
- 3/4 cup frozen carrots and peas, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if you are making a gluten-free version)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. Heat a wok or large sauté pan on high heat. When the pan is hot enough for a bead of water to instantly sizzle and evaporate, add only 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil and swirl to coat pan.
- Now add the shrimp, quickly spreading out around the pan so that they are not overlapping. Let the shrimp fry, untouched for 30 seconds. Flip over and let the other side fry for 30 seconds, or until about 80% cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan onto a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
- Turn the heat to medium and let the pan heat up again. Pour in the eggs, stirring in a quick motion to break up and scramble the eggs. When the eggs are almost cooked through (they should still be slightly runny in the middle), dish out of the frying pan onto the same plate as the cooked shrimp.
- Use a paper towel to wipe the same wok or sauté pan clean (no need to wash) and return to high heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, swirling to coat. When the oil is very hot, add the green onions and stir fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add in the rice and stir well to mix in the green onions throughout. Spread the rice all around the wok surface area and let the rice heat up, untouched until you hear the bottoms of the grains sizzle, about 1-2 minutes. Use the spatula to toss the rice, again spreading the rice out over the surface of wok or pan
- Drizzle the soy sauce all around the rice and toss. Add the peas and carrots, the cooked eggs, shrimp and sesame oil, tossing to mix the rice evenly with all of the ingredients. Let everything heat back up again, until the rice grains are so hot they practically dance! Taste and add an additional 1 teaspoon of soy sauce if needed.
More recipes to explore:
Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon (Steamy Kitchen)
Chinese Sausage and Rice Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)
Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)
Chinese Fried Rice (Food.com)
Korean Beef Rice Bowl (Steamy Kitchen)
Now I know why my ‘fried rice’ usually turns out to be a soggy, goopy mess! I usually decide to make it when I don’t have any leftover rice, so I make it fresh! Thank you for the instructions!
Use leftover rice and freshly cooked White rice.
Mmmmmm, so good. Thank you!
It was so good! Thank you!
where is the recipe???? used to make this all the time, and now can’t 🙁
Just press on number 4, Shrimp fried rice and it opens up
I made this tonight for dinner. Followed recipe exactly as written. It was delicious! Before when I made fried rice I just put everything in the wok and stirred. It really makes a difference in taste to cook the ingredients separately. Thank you for sharing this great recipe. It’s definitely a keeper!
Very easy and great just made it .It was delicious
I haven’t made it yet but looking forward to it I grew up on Chinese steamed white rice then turn into chicken or shrimp fried rice thank you for the recipe looking forward to making it I’ve been craving the Chinese fried rice made this way for years
I have been cooking fried rice for years. I always check the recipes just to remind me. This recipe was the best ever. And the direction was perfect also. The little insights helped.
This recipe makes the BEST fried rice. Thank you for the tips because it really does make a difference.
Just finished making this. I followed your directions exactly…just added more spring onions. It was totally awesome. The best Shrimp Fried Rice I have ever eaten.. Thanks for the tips. Mom taught you well.
Good recipe. Only suggestions I have are:
1) Corn starch not needed.
2) For a bit of zing, try adding freshly fine chopped (slivers if you can manage it) ginger.
3) Add pepper when it is ready to serve (i.e. at the end.)
Wow! I want to cook singaporean fried rice! Yummy…
We need to embrace technology to help us fight the public health
problem, to encourage the viewer to come to Tibet, to investigate the Keylogger activities of the hospital.
Keyloggers are computer programs or hardware that is able to escape the hole radius.
You probably know already what keylogger cameras are most often hidden in everyday household items or you can
select specific type log or all logs on that day.
Just made this with quinoa and no shrimp (didn’t have any) based on jumping over from your other entry–oh. My. God. That was DE-licious!! I hadn’t really fallen for quinoa yet but now I seriously have! Thank you for taking the mystery out of frying grains.
thanks so much for the fried rice instructions! I’ve been trying to make it for years by emulating the teppan chefs and mine always came out a mushy mess. I used your tips last night to make shrimp fried rice and it was PERFECT! thanks again!! Lori
You make your fried rice a lot like I make mine. That combo of sesame oil and soy with the green onion—heaven. You can get around the day old rice rule though.
Just make sure, when you cook your rice to use less liquid than the directions call for (say for 2 cups water called for, maybe use 1&1/2 to 1&2/3 cups instead), and let it cook over a low heat uncovered for an extra few minutes at the end to evaporate any excess moisture. I learned the less liquid trick watching Rachael Ray and it makes a fluffier, drier rice–works with mashed potatoes too.
I add a little ham base to the rice while it’s cooking, and I usually use fat free low sodium chicken broth in place of at least some of the water. I also use a little ham or pork or bacon in the dish–surprisingly, really brings out the taste of the shrimp. And I just cook in the white parts of the green onions, and then save the green part as a final garnish–a Taiwanese chef I used to work with taught me that the white part is an aromatic, but the green is like an herb. Really does make a big difference in the texture of the dish.
Been making (and tweaking) it for years, and I can honestly say it’s as good as anything I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant. Always have to make a big batch when I make it, but my husband and I still have it gone within two days. 😉
Yum. My mouth waters as I read the ingredients. I messed up fried rice the first time to, Mine was soggy, and to soy sauced. But I’m pretty good at it now and interested in trying shrimp fried rice next, thanks for sharing.
Hi Jaden, I just made this following every single step! i had to refrain from mixing the rice over and over!! I’m so used to constantly moving everything around in the pan! But I let my rice cook and I’m currently enjoying this wonderful bowl of shrimp fried rice! Thank you for this recipe! Simply Delicious!
Mouth watering delicious looking food. The recipe looks so vibrant and colorful and i am sure it will taste too good. Sure to try soon!!
Jaden, I’ve been using your technique ever since you posted this recipe on Simply Recipes. After the first time, hubby said I should open a restaurant! A Japanese friend originally showed me how to make her family’s version, but over the years, I began to do everything you cautioned against. Although it was always good, it wasn’t great. Since I never seem to remember to make my rice days in advance, I just cook it in the morning, and lay it out on a sheet pan for the rest of the day. I’m making it tonight, and realized that I’d never thanked you for making me look like a star, so thank you!!
Here is the link to the post on Hartlyn Kids that I included this recipe in the Eating is Believing section. Thank you! http://hartlynkids.blogspot.com/2012/05/guest-blog-celebrating-asian-pacific.html
Hi Jaden, I am linking this recipe in my Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with Children blog post. I will provide your the link when the post is live. Many thanks!
I just wanted to send a simple note so as to express gratitude to you for some of the great items you are showing on this site. My extensive internet lookup has at the end of the day been honored with useful know-how to exchange with my family and friends. I would suppose that we visitors actually are quite fortunate to exist in a really good website with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful tactics. I feel very much happy to have encountered your entire website and look forward to so many more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.
Just made this recipe on Saturday, one of my husband’s favorites. Quick and easy recipe.
I followed your recipe and the flavors were perfect. However, I have a Hitachi rice cooker and it must make rice perfect for fried rice. If I let mine sit like you recommend, it is hard, dry and undesirable. Your tip about the rice works for folks who maybe make rice that is too moist. Just thought I should let you know.
Another post that makes my mouth water. I’ll be using these tips next time I make fried rice. Do you have a recommended type of rice to get a nice, “sticky” fried rice? I typically use Jasmine.
I have yet to master the Chinese style cold rice method. I need to work on my skills, and this post is a nice reminder for me to do so. Dark Soy have you ever used that? I hear that is the ingredient the take out joints use.
Thank you so much! I was looking for a recipe, but this is much better – great tips! I’ll be trying your recipe for dinner tonight.
First of all, I can tell you..i had worked with alot asian peoples in
my time course of my life and other ethic group of people. This is the
simple little “Shrimp Fired Rices” i had came across to in decade.
it’s simple read the recipes and add other ingriedents to it and bring
out the amazing aroma flavoring and starch lover in the rices. Plus,
once again it is not over power contrast flavor and starchy rices. In,
most chineses or other asian influences does have strong enhance to
produce cooking content blend the shrimp fried rices. Mainly, I had
read this articles..i had found out that some of my family members have high blood pressure and diabetic problem in recently years. I was wonder i can prevent future dieases to develop in me in long run in life.
JADEN, I Had made it couple of time..it turn out to be wonderful and
flavoring dishes..i had ever taste in my life.
Thank you..for open my eyes and my family members can be
healthly in their lives and enjoying making at home for them.
Chef Joe in Las Vegas, NV…THANK YOU SO MUCH !
Made this last night and it was awesome!
Half-ed it for 2 of us and am wishing I hadn’t so I had some for lunch. It is such a flexible reciepe I mixed up my vegtables doing a 1/4 cup each of diced carrots, edemame, bell pepper, and frozen corn.
Jaden you rock, going to pick up your cook book this weekend.
Hello 75 year old diabetic send name of any cook books for me plenty of
seafood and all shrimp and fried rice recipes
A great cookbook to get is Martin Yan’s China cookbook and Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking book.
I’ve just made your Shrimp Fried Rice, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am.
Apparently, I’ve been making the same mistakes you did as a teenager. My rice was always mushy, and frankly, awful!
This time I’m happy to say, it was fantastic! I used chicken instead of shrimp, as I didn’t have any. But, who cares?! The method is the thing! Thanks so much.
Love your blog:)
What kind of rice do you use for fired rice?
I like Jasmine rice. It’s light, fluffy.
Short grained rice is too sticky for me!
Yeah, I should have asked though what can I use instead of Jasmine rice, we don’t have it in Jordan. Would you think a mix of basmati and short grian would work?
Either, try with basmati first!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for sharing the secret to making fried rice. I have been trying unsuccessfully for years to make the elusive perfect fried rice. I stumbled across your posting on Simply Recipes on Tuesday and decided to take the plunge once again. (Thankfully my poor, dear husband never complains…at least not to my face.) I was so excited and astonished when I turned out the best fried rice I’ve ever made that I texted everyone I knew about my success. I had finally reached the pinnacle of cooking and mastered the art of fried rice. I’m having my mom and sister over tonight because they don’t believe me.
just made this tonight and it was delicious, appreciate the time honoured techniques too! Thanks again and congrats on the upcoming book, can’t wait to snag a copy.
I know this comes, oh, 8 months after the original post, but I stumbled across it the other day while flipping through your Gluten Free adaptable section.
So I made it. And now I’m wondering. Would be wrong to eat this fried rice every night?
Yes! This is the absolutely correct way to do it! Unfortunately, it was by trial and error that I learned the right way to make fried rice. Try this recipe! You’ll LOVE it!
Made this tonight with your sweet ‘n sour chicken. Perfect! Thanks for what you do!
Wow! This is treat is great. To bad I have allergy issues with shrimps. Anyways, great post.
This is one of my favorite dishes. I can’t wait to try it.
I doubled the recipe as I knew my family would love this–they did and no leftovers. In fact, I made this dish twice in one week. I was in a tight schedule the second time so purchased a bag of already cooked shrimp, took off the tails, threw them in the mixture and no one knew the difference. Only thing I changed was I used chicken broth to cook the rice rather than water. This is an excellent recipe for most any kind of veggies too.
I tried this recipe out the other night and it turned out great (and it all disappeared so I know my guys liked it), it’s the best way to get my son to eat his veggies! Now I keep hoping we’ll have left over rice so I can try it again…
I’ve been really pleased with the recipes on your site,
Hi Jaden! I was so excited to try this recipe, but I might have messed up! I used day old uncle ben’s BROWN rice. And it was too mushy. sigh. Was I wrong in using brown rice? I almost used basmati or jasmine, but I wasn’t sure about that. So I went with brown…maybe I should have just stuck with plain ole white rice? HELP!! 🙂
I was looking for a good shrimp fried rice recipe two days ago. I’m so glad I found your blog. It’s amazing what you have created here. Your talents are very inspiring. I will bookmark this for sure. Wonderful and delish!
This is sooo cool, I had just discovered Elise’s Blog like, say 3 or 4 months ago and fell in love with it… and I found yours yesterday… how cool that you too are sharing blog space! Right on, you both rock… and btw… you’re hot Jaden!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I pretty much did everything wrong in my fried rice until I’ve read your post. I was definitely a rice stirrer and I never had the patience to wait for the oil to heat up. 😛 Your blog is wonderful and the pictures are fantastic!! I love it!
CHINESE SHRIMP FRIED RICE
It looks very delicious, as the way i made, but i also put a little (a half thee spoon or one) curry to get the ultimate taste , it is personally
Any way fried rice is also the only one chinese which all peoples like it very
much, i already check in New York, San Franscisco, i mean in the USA , Singapore, Jakarta, Honkong, I mean in Asia, In Amsterdam, Paris, London, Rome, , Geneva, Barcelona, i mean in europe and and even in Dubai I believe all over the world. Do everybody realize it????????????????
Fried Rice greetings from Gandamora Pascal D. Siregar
Any kind of fried rice I love and Elsie’s blog is fantastic.
This looks way better than any Shrimp Fried Rice I have ever seen. Now I want Chinese food for dinner tomorrow night.
Hi Jaden, We’re passing on the Brilliant Blog Award to you! We love your photos – so brilliant! Come to our site and follow the instructions and pass it on and nominate your some of your favorite sites too! =)
Continue the great recipes Jaden! We loved your las vegas trip report!
oh looks so good. kinda like how my gramma does her fried rice!
That’s why Chinese families love to ‘cook too much’ rice. There’s this, just in case someone’s still hungry insecurity. But it’s not wasted. The next day we have oh.. so yummy fried rice 🙂
It looks great and congrats on the guest gig at Elise’s blog
Yes the leftover rice is the key!! You can just add any ingredients you want to a lovely fried rice!
Simple steps and great tips! I am so hungry now. Must try it out soon! 😉
Lovely looking bowl of fried rice. Now I’m ready for lunch!
I can attest to the need to use chilled day-old rice. My mother and grandmother always used cold day-old rice, didn’t stir too much and the rice was always perfect.
Beautiful site. I’m looking forward to becoming a regular visitor.
typing in simplyrecipes gets you there!
yummy!!! I can almost taste it.
Fried Rice is something I can eat everday! :o) Hope you fix your links soon.
It looks delicious, but the two links below just point to the image! The link in the image itself seems to work, though.