shrimp fried rice



One of my favorite things about many dishes in Asian cultures is that so many of them originate from the desire to not waste food — and fried rice is the perfect example!

Fried rice typically involves leftover rice and any other ingredients you can gather: bits of meat, whatever vegetables you have on hand, eggs, and some aromatics like garlic, onion, or shallots for extra flavor. In my family, we’d have it the morning following a big meal. I often looked forward to the fried rice more than the meal itself!

I chose to share this recipe for shrimp fried rice specifically, because I think there’s something so good about the contrast of textures between fresh, juicy shrimp, savory grains of rice, and a hint of sweetness from peas. You can switch out the ingredients for whatever you have on hand or whatever is your favorite combination — this recipe is an easy foundation to start with.

Notes / FAQs:

  • Do I have to use leftover rice for fried rice?

    • Nope! I actually used fresh rice when I was testing this recipe. If you’re craving fried rice but don’t have leftover rice on hand, follow these steps:

      • Cook your rice with 20-25% less water than you normally would

      • Once cooked, take the rice out of the rice cooker and spread it on a sheet pan to allow it to cool quickly. Let sit for at least 30-45 minutes. You can also stick it in the fridge to speed up the process, but it’s not necessary.

    • The combination of less water during the cooking process + giving it time to dry out will get you pretty close to the texture of day-old rice. I actually found that I preferred fresh rice for my fried rice — it turned out fluffier.

Like most Chinese dishes, this comes together quickly, so have everything ready and on hand when you start cooking!

Please note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.


shrimp fried rice
PREP:   10-30 minutes
     COOK:   15 minutes
     TOTAL:   25-45 minutes

for 2 servings
  • 2 cups day old rice or chilled fresh rice

  • 8-10 medium (I used 41/50) peeled & deveined shrimp

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup frozen peas

  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic

  • 2 teaspoon light soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoon oyster sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon msg (optional)

  • green onion for garnish

Preparing the rice
  1. If you have day old rice, you can skip this step! If you're cooking fresh rice for this recipe, make sure you follow the instructions in this section.
  2. Cook your rice with 20-25% less water than you normally would. Once cooked, spread out the rice on a sheet pan or big plate for 30-45 minutes to let it cool down and dry out quickly. You can stick this in the fridge to cool it down faster, but it's not necessary.
Preparing all other ingredients
  1. Peel and devein your shrimp, if necessary. If they are frozen, let it thaw by putting them in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes first.
  2. Chop your onion into small dices. Mince your garlic.
  3. Once your shrimp is thawed, peeled, and deveined, you're ready to cook! First, use a paper towel to dry off each shrimp -- this makes sure you can get a nice sear on them.
Making the fried rice
  1. Heat up a pan to medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil.
  2. Once hot, add your shrimp in 1 layer without overlapping, and cook on one side for 1 minute, then flip and cook the other side for another minute. The shrimp should not be fully cooked, this step is just making sure it gets a nice sear -- it will finish cooking later with the rice. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. With your pan still hot, add the chopped onions, and saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Once fragrant, add the minced garlic, and saute for another minute.
  4. Next, add your cooked rice, and lightly use your spatula to break up big chunks, spread it evenly across the pan, and incorporate the onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Keep the rice moving in the pan, you want to make sure that the rice is warmed up evenly. If the rice is browning too fast, lower the heat.
  5. Time to add your seasonings! Add 2 teaspoon light or regular soy sauce, 2 teaspoon oyster sauce, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and optionally ⅛ teaspoon of msg. Mix so that the sauce coats the rice evenly. Cook for another 2 minutes. At this point, most of the grains should be separated, but still fluffy. If you like your fried rice grains to be more crispy, feel free to cook for an extra minute or two here.
  6. We're almost done -- it's time to cook the eggs! Push the rice to the side of the pan so there's room in the pan for 2 eggs. Crack the eggs in the pan, and stir quickly in a small clockwise motion with your spatula to scramble them and create small curds.
  7. Cook for about a minute, until the eggs are almost all cooked (they're soft, and might have a bit of liquid left). Once it reaches that point, start mixing it into your rice and breaking up the egg into smaller pieces.
  8. Add the (mostly) cooked shrimp and frozen peas to the pan, mix well, and cook for 1 minute. Add a drizzle of sesame oil, mix again, then taste to make sure it's well seasoned. Once you're satisfied, turn off the heat, garnish with some green onions, and you're ready to serve! Enjoy immediately 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *