Shrimp, veggies, eggs, and rice, Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice is one of my go-to menu items when I order Chinese food. Highly adaptable for various add on ingredients and or sauces, a good Chinese, Thai or Korean fried rice is hard to beat. Brilliant straight out of the pan and even better the next day as leftovers. I like my fried rice a little spicy and add a kick of Sriracha and red pepper flakes to wake it up!
What Sauce to use in Fried Rice?
Fried rice is so versatile you can use several different sauces, it depends on what protein you are adding to the recipe. The sauces can be used alone or in combination with one another. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Soy Sauce: Salty and pungent, this is the most common sauce you will find in fried rice recipes. It will compliment pretty much every ingredient.
- Teriyaki Sauce: I love Teriyaki sauce with shrimp and chicken. It is my favorite for Shrimp Fried Rice.
- Oyster Sauce: Salty and sweet, imagine the sauce in Broccoli Beef stir-fries in Chinese cooking. It has a lower amount of sodium than soy sauce, but beware, the cheap oyster sauce can have a strong oyster flavor.
- Hoisin Sauce: Less salty than soy or fish sauces, it has a sweet flavor that is perfect with pork fried rice.
- Fish Sauce: Thai fried rice uses fish sauce and it helps enhance the beautiful combination of salty, sweet, spicy and acidic flavors found in Thai food.
Best Rice for Fried Rice
This is a tough one for me because I love brown rice for the health benefits of the fiber and extra nutrients found in the germ and bran. But it is not ideal for ‘perfect’ fried rice. I still use brown rice, I know it is not ideal, but if I have leftover brown rice I won’t let it go to waste! If you are wanting the rice to have that light and fluffy texture, plain white rice, Jasmine or long-grain rice is the best choice.
Avoid short-grain rice, they contain a higher starch content and are sticky when cooked, think sushi rice or Arborio rice. Short grain rice is usually best for puddings, sushi, and risotto, not good for fried rice.
One or two days old, cold, long-grain rice is the best, and if I’m making rice specifically for fried rice, I use less water than the instructions call for. Less water produces rice that is less sticky and it will be able to absorb the sauce as you prepare the fried rice. If you have rice cooked with the normal amount of water, you can spread it out on a sheet tray for an hour to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
How to Cook Rice for Fried Rice
If too much liquid is used in the initial cooking process of the rice, once you add sauces, and oils to fried rice it will tend to be sticky, mushy, and clump together. There are two things you need to do for a lighter, fluffier fried rice: use 25% less water and cook for 25% less time, but leave covered and let steam. My recommendation is to not follow the instructions on the package, do this instead:
This example is for brown rice
- The manufacturer’s instructions are typically 2:1 water to rice. It is better to use a ratio of 1.5:1, (1 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice) this will result in a lighter, fluffier brown rice.
- Less time on the heat. Bring the water to a boil, add the rice, reduce heat to low and cover tightly. The manufacturer suggests 50 minutes, we only want to cook for 30 minutes, remove from the heat and let steam tightly covered for an additional 10 minutes.
Here is my recipe for Shrimp Fried Rice
Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 Cup Rice Jasmine or White Rice
- 2 Cups Shrimp Raw
- 4 Eggs Scrambled
- 1 Cup Carrots 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 Cup Celery 1/4-inch dice
- 1 1/2 Cups Green Peas
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 1/3 Cup Teriyaki Sauce or Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Sriracha Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 5 Scallions Sliced on the bias
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Unsalted Butter for frying
- Jasmine rice: 1 1/4 cups water to 1 cup rice
- Bring water to a boil, add rice, carrots, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sriracha. Reduce heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. Leave covered and remove from the heat and let steam for 10 minutes. Refrigerate overnight for the best fried rice results.
- Place a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat
- Scramble the eggs in a little oil or butter, remove from the heat and set aside
- Add the remaining oil, shrimp and white parts of the scallions, toss for 1-minute. Add the chilled rice and sauce, stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes, add eggs and green parts of the scallions. remove from the heat and serve