Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe


In this day and age, who doesn’t love fried rice? It’s a go-to for many individuals as it’s very quick and easy to make, and can fill you up in a flash. While the regular fried rice recipe is already scrumptious, you can certainly level it up and turn it into something even more delicious just by adding a couple of ingredients. 

Try out this easy Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe that’s better than takeout from any Chinese restaurant!

What Are the Components of Shrimp Fried Rice?

The best shrimp fried rice is composed of the following ingredients: day-old chilled rice, tender shrimp, eggs, vegetables, sesame oil, neutral oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, and seasonings. Day-old rice is the best for shrimp fried rice, and any fried rice dish for that matter, as the dry grains cook better and turn crispy when stir-fried. Next is shrimp, which is the star of this dish. The shrimp is coated in cornstarch to make them slightly crispy when stir-fried.

For vegetables, this easy recipe uses green onions and peas. Eggs are also scrambled into this shrimp fried rice dish to give it a pump of protein. A neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil is the perfect one to use for stir-frying. A dash of sesame oil is added to enhance the overall flavor of shrimp fried rice.

Is Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice Healthy?

Shrimp fried rice can be healthy as it is packed with protein from the shrimp and eggs! Add frozen mixed vegetables or fresh veggies to the rice and you have a perfectly well-rounded meal in your hands. You can even lower the calories in shrimp fried rice by reducing the amount of sesame oil in it.

Can I Make Fried Rice with Freshly Cooked Rice?

The best fried rice recipes always specify the use of already cooked rice as the grains are dryer and more easily separated. Fresh rice is almost always avoided as it can become mushy and clumpy when stirred with other ingredients. You can still use just cooked rice though; just be sure to dry it out first. 

To do that, simply lay out cooked rice on a large baking sheet in a thin layer or single layer. Place it in the freezer exposed for 45 minutes or until the rice dries out. Then, break up the cold rice with clean hands and moisten it with neutral cooking oil to prevent the rice from sticking. You can now use this to make fried rice.

Homemade Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients

This easy shrimp fried rice recipe doesn’t require a ton of ingredients! In fact, you probably have most of these in your fridge or pantry. If not, you can swing by your neighborhood grocery store. If you can’t find sesame oil in a regular store, your nearest Asian grocery store will most likely have it.

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable oil or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pound uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp (fresh shrimp or frozen shrimp)
  • 4 cups leftover cooked rice (long-grain white rice or brown rice)
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

How to Make Shrimp Fried Rice That’s Better Than Takeout

  1. Marinate shrimp first. In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once the oil is heated, add the shrimp. Spread the shrimp in a single layer. 
  3. Cook shrimp in the pan without moving them for 30 seconds. Flip the shrimp over and let them fry on the other side for another 30 seconds or until they are mostly cooked through.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the cooked shrimp out of the pan and into a bowl.
  5. Return the pan to the burner and lower it to medium heat. Add a little more oil if needed. 
  6. Add the beaten eggs and stir them quickly to scramble. Cook the beaten eggs until slightly runny, then transfer them from the pan to the bowl with the cooked shrimp.
  7. Wipe down the skillet with a paper towel and return to medium-high heat.
  8. Add a tablespoon of oil, green onions, and minced ginger. Cook the green onions and ginger for 30 seconds or until they are fragrant.
  9. Add the leftover rice or chilled rice to the pan. Stir with the green onions to mix well.
  10. Spread the rice and green onion mixture over the surface of the pan and let it fry without moving it. You should hear the rice sizzle. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  11. Use a spatula to turn over the rice and spread it over the pan again, letting it cook for a minute longer.
  12. Add the soy sauce, frozen peas, shrimp, eggs, and sesame oil. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed through.
  13. Add more soy sauce to taste, if desired.
  14. Serve.

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe Tips

  • Leftover rice is the best kind of rice to use in any fried rice recipe.
  • Jasmine rice is great to use in this recipe, but any kind of medium or long-grain rice will work.
  • To make this dish healthier, you can use brown rice instead. You can even make this shrimp fried rice dish with cauliflower rice.
  • This fried rice recipe used 4 1/2 cups of uncooked rice made the night before and refrigerated to dry out.
  • To add more flavor to this fried rice recipe, you can add a dash of oyster sauce.
  • Oil that has a high smoke point is the key to making this shrimp fried rice. Vegetable oil and canola oil work well. It’s best to avoid olive oil or any heavy-scented oils as they can affect the flavor. Moreover, olive oil is not a high smoke point oil and it won’t withstand the heat of the pan.
  • Always monitor the heat level of your pan when cooking shrimp fried rice. Keeping the pan hot is critical, otherwise, you may end up steaming the ingredients instead of frying them.
  • The best kind of shrimp to use in this recipe is fresh shrimp as precooked shrimp can turn rubbery when warmed up. 
  • If you must use frozen cooked shrimp, be sure to thaw it the night before in the fridge or submerge a sealed bag in a bowl of cold water for 20 to 30 minutes until defrosted.
  • Feel free to switch out the frozen peas for other veggies such as green beans, bean sprouts, snap peas, diced bell peppers, and the like. Using a pack of frozen mixed vegetables works well too.
  • You can skip the green onions and substitute them with chives instead.
  • This homemade shrimp fried rice is very adaptable and you can use what you have on hand. For example, if you don’t have garlic but have garlic powder, you can use that. You can even switch out the shrimp for other proteins such as chicken to make chicken fried rice, or tofu to turn it into vegetarian fried rice.
  • You can add more soy sauce as you desire to increase the flavor. 
  • While this shrimp fried rice dish specifies using low-sodium soy sauce, you can use regular soy sauce or a mix of light and dark soy sauce if you wish.
  • Using a slotted spoon when cooking shrimp fried rice allows the oils and cooking juices to remain in the skillet.
  • For any leftover shrimp fried rice, let it cool to room temperature first and then store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
  • To reheat the shrimp fried rice, rewarm it in a large skillet over medium-low heat. You can also place your leftover shrimp fried rice in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 1 minute or until warmed through.
  • You can freeze shrimp fried rice for make-ahead meals as well. Place the shrimp fried rice in an airtight, freezer-safe storage or zip-top bag, and remove air as much as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. To eat, thaw the shrimp fried rice overnight in the fridge and then reheat as directed.

Final Note

Is this shrimp fried rice dish better than takeout? Absolutely! You don’t have to drag yourself to a restaurant or dent a hole in your wallet just to have a good plate of shrimp fried rice. Moreover, making this dish at home will let you improve your kitchen skills too! Soon, you may be even cooking other dishes to pair up with this delicious shrimp fried rice.

Looking for another delicious recipe to make for your family? Maybe you’ll find the star of your dinner in our recipe collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret ingredient in Chinese fried rice?

The secret ingredient to the best fried rice recipe is using day-old leftover rice. Compared to using freshly-made rice, leftover rice from the day before has grains that are dry and separate easily. They end up crispy when you stir-fry them, making them perfect for shrimp fried rice and any other fried rice recipes. 

What gives Chinese fried rice its taste?

There are a number of things that give fried rice from Chinese restaurants its distinct flavor. One is the use of a wok, which is a deep, bowl-shaped frying pan with sloping sides that distributes heat evenly. When the hot oil hits the wok, smoke appears above it. This is referred to as “wok hei” or “breath of wok.” This smoke is the secret ingredient to making fried rice taste “smoky.” Most restaurants use vegetable oil or canola oil, never olive oil. 

Most, if not all, Chinese restaurants also use two kinds of soy sauce to season the fried rice. Premium light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is used to add color and intensity, while light soy sauce is used for flavor. 

Restaurants also add a dash of sesame oil to fried rice. Sesame oil is not a cooking oil but rather a finishing oil. Sesame oil adds warmth and complexity to the dish, enhancing the flavor of the soy sauce mixture as well. 

What is the secret to restaurant fried rice?

Getting fried rice from a restaurant can be easy, sure, but nothing beats making it at home. The number one tip for making the best fried rice at home is to use leftover rice. Never use warm, freshly-made rice as it will clump up and turn mushy once you stir-fry it. If you don’t have precooked rice, you can cook the rice the same day but cool it down and place it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes to dry it out.

What kind of veggies can I put in fried rice?

You can put any vegetables that you want in fried rice! Green onions, bean sprouts, green peas, corn, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, and more. You can buy them fresh, or use frozen veggies if that’s what you have.