Shrimp fried rice recipe made with leftover rice and ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or freezer. This fried rice with shrimp serves two.
As we journey further into homemade takeout, we’re going to pause and reflect on the marvels of our freezer. On its best day, it’s packed with bread waiting to be defrosted, assorted vegetables and fruit, and peeled and de-veined shrimp.
Oh, the things I can do with a bag of frozen shrimp in my possession!
As you know, my toddler is not actually a child, she’s a Princess who has renamed herself Princess Elsa Rainbow Unicorn (I wish I was making this stuff up). As such, I've been told that Princesses don’t eat brown food.
My toddler won’t get anywhere near steak, ground meat or potatoes with the skin on. However, she deems pink proteins acceptable—pink shrimp, pink salmon, and lobster with a bit of the red showing. What I did to deserve a toddler with such expensive taste, I may never know, but I can tell you that we’ll be staying far away from the American Girl doll store for as long as possible, for fear of total bankruptcy.
So, on a good day, my freezer contains both frozen shrimp and lobster tails, just waiting for the Princess.
How to choose frozen shrimp:
When I’m buying frozen shrimp, I always look for wild shrimp, specifically wild Gulf shrimp because I live in Texas. I am so lucky to be so close to our beautiful Gulf. Beyond that, I chose cleaned, deveined, tail-on shrimp most of the time. If there’s a better deal on tailless shrimp, I’ll take those, too. I do think the tail of the shrimp imparts some delicious sea, briny flabor, but it’s most likely neglibile—buy whatever has a great price that day. And then, toss it in your freezer, and get ready to enjoy this quickly defrosting protein!
When you get home from work, pull out as many shrimp as you want to eat, and add them to a medium bowl. Cover them with cool water, and let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Change the water after 10 minutes. At 20 minutes, you’ll have mostly defrosted shrimp that are totally ready to use! You can’t defrost chicken or beef in 20 minutes, I promise you!
When I look at a bag of shrimp, I see possibilities. But mainly, I see this fried rice with shrimp.
Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe how to make
The best fried rice starts with cold, leftover rice. It can be brown or white rice, but it must be cold. In an absolute pinch, you can cook fresh rice, spread it on a plate and freeze it for 30 minutes, if you’re desperate. Leftover takeout rice is prime here, but rice from your meal prep session is great, too!
- We’re first going to saute the shrimp, and then remove them from the pan. Place them in a small bowl and set aside.
- Next, we need to scramble two eggs. There’s no need to wipe the pan clean; just keep the heat on and scramble two eggs in the pan. Remove the eggs and set aside.
- Next, add the defrosted veggies, soy sauce, and rice to the pan. Break up the rice as it cooks with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Finally, add everything back to the pan, heat through and serve. I like mine with extra sesame oil and cilantro on top!
Fried Rice with Shrimp
This meal deserves a place on your permanent rotation, both for its use of pantry and freezer staples and because it’s meal-prep friendly. I even think fried rice with shrimp leftovers are great for 3 days; not that you’ll have many leftovers since this serves two, but just in case you double or triple the recipe, which I frequently do.
I often make a double batch of this recipe, because Camille will even eat it cold in her lunch the next day. If your toddler is unsure about fried rice with shrimp, use less soy sauce when you’re cooking and then give them a small container of soy for dipping. Sometimes the freedom that comes with dipping your own food is enough to convince them to try new foods!
When all else fails, I do this thing where I separate Camille’s food. If I make little piles of peas, carrots, scrambled egg, rice and shrimp, she’s more willing to try something. Sometimes, food has to be ‘recognizable’ for kids to eat it. This is just how my kid approaches food, your kid may love food mixed together! It’s worth a shot, because I don’t think anyone should make two separate dinners for their kids.
If you make this shrimp fried rice recipe, I would love to know how your family likes it! If your kids like it, too, I would love to hear it! Feel free to adapt the recipe and use any protein your family likes. Chicken, diced ham, and Canadian bacon are all great protein options here.
- 6 ounces frozen shrimp
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2 cups cold leftover rice (white or brown), stirred very well
- ½ cup frozen peas and carrots
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
- cilantro (optional)
- Place the shrimp in a shallow bowl of cool water and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Drain the water and replace it with fresh cool water, and allow the shrimp to defrost another 10 minutes.
- Drain the shrimp, and pat then dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the shrimp, and toss to coat.
- Add one tablespoon of the oil to a 10” nonstick skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is shimmering, add the shrimp in a single layer.
- Cook the shrimp on the first side for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. The shrimp are done when they’re pink and curled close, no more than 7-8 minutes of cooking time. Don’t overcook them, or they become tough.
- Remove the shrimp from the pan, place them in a small dish and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and let it heat though. Beat the eggs in a small dish. Add the eggs to the hot pan, and scramble. Constantly stir the eggs until they’re done cooking (about 4 minutes), and then remove them from the pan. Place in a small dish and set aside.
- Next, add the green onions, rice, vegetables, and soy sauce to the hot pan. Use a spatula to break up the rice and make sure each grain is coated in the soy sauce.
- When the rice is hot throughout, add the shrimp and scrambled eggs back to the pan. Finally, drizzle over the sesame oil (if using) and sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 602Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 365mgSodium: 1785mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 33g