Shrimp Fried Rice
I wanted to share with you my favorite recipe for shrimp fried rice. I searched and searched the web a while back for a site with good Asian recipes and I luckily found Jaden Hair's blog called Steamy Kitchen. After only a few minutes of looking through her beautiful site, I could already tell that I would be checking it first whenever I needed a good Asian recipe and wanted to learn the technique behind it. One day I was really craving fried rice and I don't know about you, but I am rarely impressed with takeout Chinese fried rice. I wanted to learn the technique behind one of my favorite dishes, so I checked Jaden's website and found her recipe for shrimp fried rice. The thing I immediately noticed about the recipe is that it was really very simple. However, it's amazing how if you follow this recipe to the letter, it comes out tasting so fresh and delicious. I absolutely love this recipe and I suggest the next time you find yourself reaching for the phone to order in some Chinese food, you take the time you'd be waiting for your food to arrive to make this recipe instead.
Now let's talk about how this recipe is prepared...
You want to start by cleaning your shrimp. Remove the shell and tail from each shrimp. Next, remove the dark colored vein that runs along the outside of the shrimp. This vein is the shrimp's digestive tract and can contain a lot of grit. Here's a great short video that shows you how to peel and devein shrimp if you've never really done it before:
After the shrimp has been cleaned, in a bowl, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Let the shrimp marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Now this recipe calls for "previously cooked leftover rice" but you may not have that available if you didn't plan ahead. So, what I have done in the past is make some rice, spread it out evenly on a plate, and put the plate uncovered into the refrigerator while I'm getting the rest of the ingredients ready. By the time I'm ready to use the rice, it has had a chance to cool down completely and it takes on a sticky and firm consistency, which works almost as well as day old cooked rice.
Here's another tip: make sure you prep all your ingredients and have them ready to throw into the wok ahead of time. Cooking with a wok moves very quickly, so the ingredients need to be ready to go as soon as you need them.
Ok, so the next step to making this dish is to heat a wok or large sauté pan on high heat. When the wok 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 the 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 the wok or pan.
Drizzle the soy sauce all around the rice and toss. Now this is where I change the technique a little bit... remove the rice to a plate and wipe the wok out again with a paper towel.
Add a little more oil to the pan and add your peas, carrots, (and in my case mushrooms). Allow the veggies to cook for a few minutes until the carrots are tender.
Now add the rice back to the wok, as well as 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.
I love this version of fried rice and I make it at least every other month. Yum!
Below is the original recipe. You can either follow the technique in the original recipe, or my technique above - it's completely up to you. Enjoy!