Who needs take-out when you can make this quick & tasty wok charred shrimp fried rice at home!
What do you cook when it’s close to dinner time but nothing is ready? One of the dishes I often turn to is this quick and easy Shrimp Fried Rice.
With just a few basic ingredients from the pantry, I can cook up an amazingly delicious dinner that my whole family loves. All done under 20 minutes! Plus, who could resist wok charred fried rice with sweet succulent shrimp and fluffy egg?
Watch How to Make Shrimp Fried Rice
Delectable wok charred fried rice tossed with shrimp, egg, and green onion!
Better Than Take-Out Shrimp Fried Rice
Whether it’s at a Chinese restaurant or Asian take-out eateries, there is no question that shrimp fried rice is a favorite. A simple concoction can feel extra indulgent with the addition of juicy shrimp. But if you were to eat fried rice, it is so much easier and better to make it at home!
I often have frozen shrimp and leftover rice in the freezer. It’s one of the kitchen hacks for any home cook. Since they defrost quickly, these items are seriously handy when comes to emergency meals. Throw them together in a hot wok, crack in an egg, your dinner is done faster than driving to a restaurant and waiting in line for a $9 per plate fried rice.
Can you make the fried rice as tasty as the restaurant? Of course, you can! Read on for tips & tricks on how to make the perfect fried rice at home.
Tricks and Tips to Make the Perfect Fried Rice at Home
You need a large wok or frying pan that has enough space for the rice to move around. The key is to make sure each rice grain comes in contact with the oil and heat. Give the rice and all the ingredients some good tossing. To prevent big clumps, do not overcrowd the ingredients. And cook 1-2 servings at a time.
Fried rice at the restaurant tastes good because it has that smoky flavor from the high temperature and the seasoned wok. Cooking over high heat is required and a layer of oil on a hot surface will form a non-stick coating on the wok. If the wok is not hot enough, rice will start sticking everywhere. Since you will be cooking on high heat, make sure all the ingredients are prepped and ready to throw in. If you decide to use a non-stick frying pan, don’t use high heat as you will ruin your pan.
You will need a decent amount of oil to cook the fluffy egg. I know you might prefer to use as little oil as possible. But you don’t want your fried rice to stick on your pan and ruin your dinner right? Don’t worry about oily egg because you would be adding the egg back into the wok later on. The oil on the egg will coat the rice and help rice separate from each other.
You can’t make fried rice with freshly cooked rice. Use day-old cold rice because it is more firm and has no excess moisture. Again, we want the rice to separate and not get mushy. If you don’t have leftover rice in hand and still wish to make fried rice. Then cook the rice ahead and let cool in the refrigerator for at least a few hours to reduce the moisture content.
5. Ingredients & Seasonings
Use ingredients that do not contain too much moisture. Extra moisture or too much saucy seasonings will turn the fried rice mushy. Other than that, be creative and use any leftover meats and veggies you find in the fridge (but keep it simple)!
Fresh Cooked Fried Rice for Family Weeknight Meals
When making this shrimp fried rice at home for the family, you get to use better quality oil, ingredients, and less salt. Bookmark the recipe so you won’t be tempted for take-out next time!
Looking for more easy family weeknight meals? Browse these Under 30 Minutes Recipes.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 4 oz shrimps (6 shrimp; shelled and deveined)
- 1 leaf iceberg lettuce (1 oz, 30 g)
- 1 green onion/scallion
- 2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc)
- 1 large egg (50 g w/o shell)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil (roasted)
- 1 tsp sake
- ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 2 cups cooked Japanese short-grain rice (preferably day-old cold rice)
- ⅛ tsp white pepper powder
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Gather all the ingredients.
- If your shrimp is not shelled and deveined, please see How To Devein and Clean Shrimp. Cut shrimp into ½ inch (1.3 cm) pieces.
- Cut iceberg lettuce and scallion into small pieces.
- Gently whisk the egg in a small bowl.
- Heat wok until surface almost smoking, add the oil and spread it around till it coats the surface evenly. Add the egg and cook over high heat. The egg will not stick to the pan as long as you put enough oil. Quickly mix it with a spatula and when it’s 80% cooked, take it out and put on a plate.
- In the same wok, add shrimp and then sake and salt. Cook until shrimp change color outside. The inside doesn’t have to be cooked through at this time. Take shrimp out onto the plate.
- Add sesame oil and cook scallion, stir until nicely coated with oil.
- Add the rice and break up the chunks of rice. Toss the wok and mix well together.
- When rice is coated with oil, put the egg and shrimp back in the wok again and toss all together. Add lettuce, white pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and soy sauce. Toss the wok frequently and mix it all together. Serve immediately.
More Quick & Easy Fried Rice Recipes You’ll Love:
- Classic Fried Rice (Gluten-Free)
- Salmon Fried Rice
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Japanese Garlic Fried Rice
- Japanese Fried Rice with Edamame, Tofu & Hijiki Seaweed (Trader’s Joe copycat recipe)
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 14, 2014. The content has been updated in January 2020.