Do you ever have leftover rice in the fridge? A great way to use it up is to make fried rice! Fried rice works best with chilled leftover rice actually. Fresh rice can fry up a bit mushy. But leftover rice that had a chance to dry out a bit? Perfect for frying.
Pretty much anything can go into fried rice—usually a combination of veggies, beaten egg, and a protein such as the shrimp we are using in this recipe, or chicken, fish, or tofu.
This recipe for Shrimp Fried Rice comes from my dear friend Jaden of SteamyKitchen.com. She learned how to make the best fried rice from her mother (after a rather funny failed attempt when she was a teen). It’s super easy, and comes together in less than half an hour.
Tricks to Perfect Fried Rice
1. As mentioned, use chilled leftover rice! The dry refrigerator air helps dry the rice a bit, which is why cold leftover rice never tastes as good the next day if you eat it straight, but it’s perfect for frying.
2. Use high heat. You don’t need a blazing hot restaurant kitchen stove, just patience to let your pan get hot. A hot pan will help everything fry quickly and help keep ingredients from sticking.
3. Fry ingredients separately. To keep the ingredients and their flavors from mushing together, cook them separately, yet in the same pan. Start with the protein (in this case the shrimp), cook it until it’s almost done, then remove from the pan, and start cooking the other ingredients—the eggs next, then the rice. Add the protein and eggs back to the rice at the end.
4. Minimize stirring. If you want browning, don’t stir. Just spread the rice out in the pan and let the pan do the work.
- 8 ounces small raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil, canola oil, or rice bran oil
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 stalks green onion, minced
- 4 cups leftover rice, grains separated well
- 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if you are making a gluten-free version), plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dark toasted sesame oil