Our Easy Shrimp Fried Rice is our favorite way to use up leftover steamed white rice. We stir-fry cold rice with plenty of carrot, onion, and garlic, and then toss it with egg, frozen peas, green onion, and of course lots of soy sauce and sesame oil. Swap out your favorite protein for the shrimp or add a variety for a hearty meal.
Shrimp Fried Rice
There’s a reason fried rice has nearly half a million searches a month in google – it’s DELICIOUS, uses mostly pantry ingredients, and even the most novice of cooks can whip it up pretty easily.
I make fried rice no less than twice a month (hi takeout leftovers!), and we even have quite the impressive lineup of classic to healthy fried recipes in the Asian archives of this website. Our Quinoa Fried Rice, Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice, and Broccoli Fried Rice are some of my favorite variations on traditional fried rice, but if you’re looking for something a little bit more classic, today’s Shrimp Fried Rice is for you!
Let’s make Shrimp Fried Rice!
Cook the rice. I’d recommend using leftover steamed white rice, but if you don’t have it lying around in the fridge or freezer, just cook it yourself. Even though most people don’t need another appliance in their house, I actually really do recommend picking up a rice maker (I think an instant pot also works as a rice cooker if I’m not mistaken.), because it makes PERFECT rice every single time and it really doesn’t take up much room.
If you have a rice maker, throw the rice in with some water, set it and forget it. No worries, if you don’t, just follow the instructions on the package of rice you got. If you can, make it the morning of or the day before you’re going to make the fried rice, because you want it to be cold.
If you don’t have time to make it the day before or the morning of, you can make it and spread it on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer until it cools off.
You can also buy pre-cooked frozen rice from Trader Joe’s and use that.
Stir-fry the shrimp and veggies. While a wok isn’t necessary to make fried rice, I do love the results I get with mine. It’s a relatively inexpensive tool, but beware, because it’s quite large. If you don’t have a wok, just use a really large non-stick skillet.
Add a little bit of sesame oil to a super hot wok and stir-fry the shrimp. Make sure to constantly use a spatula to move the veggies around so they don’t burn. Remove from the pan and repeat with the veggies. Add rice, stir-fry again.
Add seasoning. Sprinkle in a little bit of salt and garlic powder. Stir-fry. Drizzle in soy sauce. Continue to cook until the soy sauce has coated the rice.
Scramble the eggs. It’s my personal preference to have a good amount of scrambled eggs in my fried rice, so I use two large eggs. If you like more, add more, if you like less, of course, add less.
Finish it off! Add in frozen peas, green onions, the shrimp and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Be sure to use COLD rice. You can use white or brown rice, but the key to good fried rice is making sure each piece is cold. This helps the rice to fry up and prevents it from becoming mushy.
- Feel free to use brown rice, jasmine rice, or basmati rice in place of white rice.
- Make sure your skillet is VERY hot. The key to stir-frying is cooking each item at a very high temperature, quickly. Make sure your spatula is always moving the veggies and rice so they don’t burn.
- If you like a little bit of heat, add in your favorite hot sauce or Asian chili sauce.
- Swap out the shrimp for seared chicken or steak.
- Bump up your veggie intake by adding in edamame, peppers, baby corn, zucchini, or mushrooms.
What to serve with Shrimp Fried Rice
- This Spicy Hunan Shrimp is another great shrimp dish to serve with our shrimp fried rice.
- If you want another protein option, our Crispy Honey Beef with Snow Peas is perfect.
- A fun appetizer to serve alongside our Shrimp Fried Rice are these Easy Blistered Shishito Peppers with Soy Glaze – totally addictive.
- 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 3 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 4 cups cooked and chilled white rice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 large eggs, whisked in a bowl
- 1/2 cup peas
- 3 green onions
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat a large wok or non-stick skillet to a high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Swirl the pan to coat with oil. Add shrimp. Stir-fry shrimp until curled and pink, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Add another 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the wok. Add the onion and carrot. Stir fry until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue to stir-fry until garlic is fragrant, another 1-2 minutes.
- Add another tablespoon of sesame oil around the pan. Add the rice. Stir fry the rice until completely coated in the oil. Add garlic powder and another 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Pour soy sauce over the rice. Continue to stir-fry until the soy sauce has coated the rice, another 1-2 minutes. Push the rice to the side and add remining sesame oil to the other side of the pan. Pour eggs over the oil. Let the eggs cook for 30 seconds and then use your spatula to scramble them. Once they are scrambled, toss with the rice and veggies.
- Add peas and green onions. Toss to combine. Add shrimp back to the rice. Toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onion.