This shrimp fried rice is easy to make and tastes even better than takeout! This fried rice recipe takes only 15 minutes to make, which makes it perfect for a quick lunch, dinner, or an additional side to your homemade Chinese takeout dinner!
What is your favorite dish to order at your favorite Chinese restaurant?
Believe it or not, shrimp fried rice is one of the top requested order at my parents' Chinese takeout restaurant! I get why. The fried rice is super fragrant with that beautiful golden brown color, and the shrimps are well seasoned and succulent.
So, today, we're sharing how you can make easy restaurant quality shrimp fried rice at home that taste just like or even better than takeout!
What to eat with shrimp fried rice
Shrimp fried rice is practically a staple in Chinese restaurants and a lot of us eat it as the main dish. Our favorite condiment for fried rice is none other than our homemade Chinese chili oil! It adds so much flavor and just the right amount of spice.
We also love eating shrimp fried rice with other Chinese takeout dishes like beef with broccoli and General Tso's tofu. If you're looking for a side dish, we recommend cucumber kimchi. It's really easy to make and quite refreshing.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Shrimps - You can make shrimp fried rice without shrimps! We recommend large shrimps for this recipe, but if you prefer small shrimps, you can use those too. Do peel and devein the shrimps!
- Cornstarch - For velveting and marinating the shrimps.
- Cooked day old rice - Long grain rice has the best texture for fried rice, but you can use medium grain rice a well. Also, we recommend using day old rice because it tends to be drier, which reduces the change of the fried rice from becoming mushy.
- Eggs - Adding eggs to fried rice makes the rice extra fragrant!
- Yellow onion - Another addition that we highly recommend. Onion adds natural sweetness and flavor the fried rice.
- Peas and carrots - These are classic vegetables in fried rice, but you can do without them if you prefer.
- Shaoxing rice wine - This is a Chinese pantry classic and is added to dishes to make them extra fragrant and flavorful. It's also for marinating the shrimps to get rid of any undesired seafood flavors. We highly recommend using some shaoxing cooking wine in your fried rice. You can usually find it in your local Asian market near the same aisle as the soy sauce.
- Soy sauce - The make coloring and flavoring of fried rice. You can use either regular or light sodium. We always use Kikkoman's low sodium soy sauce. Some soy sauce is also used to marinate the shrimps.
- Oyster sauce - The secondary flavoring added to fried rice to round out the flavor. We highly recommend it. If you don't have oyster sauce, you could use more soy sauce, but the flavor will not be as complete.
- Oil - As need for cooking and for velveting the shrimps.
- Toasted sesame oil and green onions (optional) - Both of these are optional but adds a lot of flavor. The green onion also adds color to the fried rice.
Best rice for fried rice
Although you can use any rice for making fried rice, we highly recommend using long grain white rice, even better if it's day old rice. Long grain rice has the least amount of starch compared to the other rice, which allows them to stay as loose, singular grains after they're cooked.
A lot of people ask, why day old rice? Well, day old rice loses moisture as it cools down and becomes drier. This is ideal, as when we make fried rice, liquid seasonings like soy sauce is added. If using freshly made rice, there's a higher chance that the rice will turn mushy.
How to make shrimp fried rice at home
Marinate the shrimps:
1. In a bowl, combine the peeled and deveined shrimps, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, and oil. Give everything a mix, then add the cornstarch. Mix until the shrimps are well evenly coated. Set aside to marinate as you prepare the other ingredients.
🌟 Pro tip: Although marinating the shrimps is not necessary, it would give the shrimps a bit more flavor. So we recommend that you get complete this step first so that the shrimps get to marinate, while you prepare the other ingredients like dicing the onions and getting all the ingredients together. If you wish, you can have the shrimps marinating ahead of time.
Break up the rice:
2. Break up the cooked white rice so that they're separate, singular grains. This will ensure the rice gets evenly seasoned and not clumpy. You can rub the rice between your hands to loosen them up. You can also break up the rice in a resealable bag.
Make the shrimp fried rice:
3. In a wok or large sauté pan, add enough oil to generously grease the bottom, about 3 tablespoons. Heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Add the shrimps and sear each side until the shrimps are golden and about 90 percent cooked, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. In the same wok/pan on medium high heat, add the onions, peas, and carrots. Sauté until the onions just turn translucent, then push the vegetables to one side of the wok/pan.
5. If needed, add a little more oil to the empty side of the wok or pan and heat until hot. Once hot, add the beaten egg. Stir and cook the eggs until just cooked and then toss with the vegetables.
🌟 Pro tip: If possible, slide the wok or pan half way off the heat so that only the empty side of the pan stays heated. This way, your vegetables will not get burnt or overcooked while cooking the eggs.
6. Add the prepared white rice and stir fry for a few seconds to evenly combine everything. Then, pour the shaoxing rice wine around the pan and stir fry for 15 to 30 seconds, or until the rice smells fragrant and the alcohol is cooked off.
7. Add the shrimps and stir fry and toss for a few seconds to combine. Drizzle the soy sauce around the rice and add the oyster sauce. Stir fry for a couple of minutes until everything is evenly mixed and the rice is even in color.
8. Drizzle the sesame oil over the rice and add the sliced green onions. Stir fry and toss the fried rice for a few more seconds and transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy while hot!
- Marinate the shrimps while you prepare the other ingredients, like dicing the onions. This way, you can take enjoy well seasoned shrimps while multitasking!
- Break up the cooked white rice before using. This will ensure the rice gets heated and seasoned evenly. You can break up the rice by rubbing it between your hands.
- Sear the shrimps to about 90 percent cooked. This is so that the shrimps aren't overcooked, as you have to toss the shrimps back into the fried rice and stir fry for a couple more minutes.
- Don't be shy with the oil! Although fried rice isn't technically fried, it still needs a bit of oil to taste its best. So use enough oil to stir fry the veggies and eggs. Then the leftover oil will coat the rice well. This is one of the secrets to making amazing fried rice!
If you have leftover shrimp fried rice, let it cool completely before covering and refrigerating. It'll stay good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
You can reheat your refrigerated shrimp fried rice on the stove top of in the microwave.
If reheating in the microwave, sprinkle some water over the fried rice and microwave until hot, with a cover on.
If you're heating it on the stovetop, add a small amount of oil to a wok or pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the leftover shrimp fried rice along with a small amount of water. Stir fry the rice until everything is heated through and the rice is tender again.
If you don't have oyster sauce, you could just use more soy sauce instead. Do note that the flavor won't be as completely though.
Fried rice from Chinese restaurants are usually seasoned with just soy sauce and Shaoxing rice wine. Sometimes, dark soy sauce is added for additional color and mild sweetness. Most importantly, Chinese fried rice gets its flavor from cooking in a wok over hight temperature, also known as "wok-hei."
The best kind of rice to use for making fried rice is day old long grain white rice.
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Easy Better-Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice
For the shrimps:
For the rest of the fried rice:
- 2 cups cooked white rice preferably long grain and a day old
- 2 large egg beaten
- ½ small yellow onion diced
- 3 tablespoons frozen peas and carrots thawed (You can use fresh peas and diced carrots carrots too)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce regular or light sodium
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 1 stalk green onion thinly sliced (optional)
- Oil as needed for cooking (any neutral)
- Prepare the shrimps:In a small bowl, add the shrimps, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, and oil. Give everything a mix, then add the cornstarch. Mix until the shrimps are evenly coated. If you have time, let the shrimps marinated for at least 5 minutes.*Please drain any excess liquid from the shrimps before starting the marinating process!*
- Prepare the rice:While waiting on the shrimps, break apart the rice by gently rubbing it between your hands. You can do this with gloves on or in a resealable bag. Set aside once done.
- Cook the shrimps:In a wok or large sauté pan, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 3 tablespoons. Heat the oil over medium high heat, and once the oil is hot, add the prepared shrimps to the oil. Sear the shrimps on both sides until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the shrimps from the oil and set aside.
- Make the fried rice:In the same wok or pan over medium high heat, add the onions and carrots. Sauté until the onions just turned translucent, then push the vegetables to one side of the pan.
- If necessary, add a bit more oil to the empty side of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the beaten eggs. Stir and cook the eggs until just done and mix with the vegetables.
- Add the prepared white rice and stir fry for a few seconds so that everything is evenly tossed. Pour the Shaoxing rice wine around the pan, and stir fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until it smells fragrant and the alcohol is cooked off.
- Next, add the cooked shrimps, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir fry and toss everything until evenly combined and the fried rice is even in color.
- Add the sesame oil and green onions, and finish the fried rice by stir frying and tossing for a more few seconds.
- Transfer the shrimp fried rice to a serving plate and enjoy while hot! If you wish, you can garnish the fried rice with more sliced green onions and some sesame seeds.
- Use long grain, day old rice - Long grain rice is the best rice for making fried rice, and it'll be even better if you use day old rice because it's drier.
- Oyster sauce - If you don't have oyster sauce, you could use more soy sauce instead, however, the flavor won't be as complete. So if possible, use some oyster sauce!
- Marinating the shrimps - Marinating is not a must, however, it really helps to season the shrimps. We recommend you prepare and marinate the shrimps first, then going to prepare the other ingredients like dicing the onions. You can also prepare the shrimps ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until needed, up to 2 days max.