This shrimp fried rice is loaded with succulent stir-fried shrimp tossed with fragrant basmati rice and vegetables, and it only takes 20 minutes to make!
This super easy-to-make Shrimp Fried Rice is one of our favorites! It’s a very quick dinner packed with juicy shrimp and loads of tender veggies, cooked together with fragrant rice, eggs, and soy sauce. It’s a million times better than takeout and perfect for customizing. Whether you’re a cooking newbie or a seasoned chef, this dish is a win-win – it’s simple to whip up and a total crowd-pleaser!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One-pan. You’ll fry the shrimp, eggs, and rice all in the same skillet.
- Flavor-packed. Pan-frying pre-cooked rice leads to tender rice grains with crispy edges.
- Better than takeout. If you like Chinese food, you’ll love making this homemade fried rice!
- Versatile. You can adapt this recipe in so many ways, from the protein you use to the seasoning and veggies you add.
Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients
- Shrimp can be medium or large-sized shrimp. Shell and devein the shrimp before using.
- Salt and Pepper for the shrimp.
- Cornstarch helps the shrimp crisp up when stir-frying.
- Cooking Oil for frying. I use canola oil, but you can use any other vegetable oil.
- Rice needs to be precooked and cooled.
- Green Onions, sliced, add the white parts to the rice and save the green ends for garnish.
- Frozen Vegetables like frozen peas and carrots. You can chop up fresh veggies if you’d like.
- Eggs are a signature of fried rice! You’ll scramble 3 eggs to add to the rice.
- Soy Sauce, but you can also use tamari or coconut aminos instead.
Why Use Cold Rice for Fried Rice?
Fried rice calls for chilled, cooked rice that’s at least a few hours old because warm rice won’t fry properly in a hot pan, leading to sticky, soggy clumps. The best rice for fried rice is refrigerated leftover basmati or jasmine rice. I don’t recommend using short-grain rice, as it tends to be too starchy and sticky. Save your starchy rice for risotto instead.
How to Make Shrimp Fried Rice
- Prepare the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then toss it in the cornstarch.
- Cook the shrimp. Sauté the shrimp in a skillet or a wok with hot oil. Work in batches if needed. Each batch will take only about a minute to cook.
- Scramble the eggs. Remove the shrimp and add your eggs, stirring to create a scramble. Afterward, transfer the cooked eggs to the plate with the shrimp.
- Fry the rice. Sprinkle the green onions into the pan, then add the cooked rice. Continue to cook the rice until you hear it start to sizzle.
- Combine. Stir in the peas, carrots, shrimp, and scrambled eggs. Stir in soy sauce and cook for a few more minutes until hot. Remove from the heat, garnish it with green onions, and serve with a squeeze of lime.
Tips for the Best Fried Rice
- Prep your ingredients in advance because shrimp fried rice comes together fairly quickly.
- High heat is key for sizzling rice. Also, avoid stirring frequently to let the rice crisp up.
- To avoid soggy fried rice, use cold, precooked rice for a crunchy texture and cook the shrimp, eggs, and rice separately in the pan.
- Fresh shrimp has the best flavor; however, frozen shrimp works, too, as long as it’s thawed.
- If using frozen shrimp, remember that pink frozen shrimp is already cooked and will only need to be thawed and added to the rice at the very end. You don’t need to sear it in the pan first.
- Use a large pan because the rice needs room to breathe to fry and not steam in the pan.
Fried Rice Variations
- Swap the shrimp for chicken to make easy chicken fried rice instead.
- Make it vegetarian with add-ins like pineapple, tofu, or more vegetables.
- Add more veggies like bean sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, or shredded cabbage.
- Use cauliflower rice and try this shrimp fried cauliflower rice for a lighter variation.
- Use leftover brown rice for a more wholesome, nutritious version.
- Add more flavor with a drizzle of rice vinegar or sesame oil for a more authentic taste.
- Make it spicy and add chili sauce, like sriracha, or sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
- Stir kimchi into this recipe to make a tasty shrimp-filled variation of kimchi fried rice.
What to Serve With Shrimp Fried Rice
- Noodles. Japanese-style teriyaki noodles take less than 30 minutes to make.
- Stir Fry. Serve the rice with a pepper steak stir fry, this hibachi chicken, or orange chicken bites.
- Grilling. Pair homemade fried rice with Asian beef skewers for a delicious meal.
- Salad. Freshen things up with a spicy Asian cucumber salad or this Japanese kani salad.
- Appetizers. Serve with chicken lettuce wraps and air fryer vegetable spring rolls.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Store the rice airtight and keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days, or freeze it for up to 1 month.
- To reheat fried rice in the microwave or in a skillet, add a splash of water or broth to the pan while the rice reheats to help it fluff up again.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
- Shrimp Toast
- Shrimp Lo Mein
- Creamy Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp Fettuccine Pasta
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- Baked Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 12 ounces medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 to 4 cups cooked rice, preferably a few hours old or up to a day.
- 3 green onions, sliced into small rounds, white parts only, reserve the greens for garnish
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten to break up the egg yolks
- 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and season them with salt and pepper; toss with the cornstarch and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or a wok set over medium-high heat.
- Add the shrimp to the hot oil and cook for a minute; turn over and continue to cook for 30 seconds or until pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan and over medium heat cook the eggs and stir to scramble them while they cook. Once scrambled and no longer runny, remove the eggs from the pan and place them on the plate with the shrimp. Set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat, increase the heat to medium-high, and add in the green onions; cook for a few seconds or until fragrant. Add the cooked rice to the pan and spread it out in a single layer over the pan; continue to cook for 2 minutes, stir, and continue to cook it, undisturbed, for 2 more minutes or until the rice begins to sizzle. Cook for 1 minute longer to get a crunchier texture.
- Add the carrots, peas, shrimp, eggs, and soy sauce; stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.
- Remove from heat, garnish with the sliced green onions, and serve.
- For the perfect fried rice, use precooked rice that was chilled for a few hours, as warm rice can lead to a sticky, clumpy texture when fried.
- Shrimp fried rice is a speedy dish, so get everything chopped and ready before you start.
- The secret to perfect, crispy rice is high heat. And remember, let the rice sizzle without too much stirring.
- Cook those shrimp, eggs, and rice individually to keep that pan hot and the textures perfect.
- Fresh shrimp are best, but frozen (thawed) shrimp will also work.
- Use a spacious pan to ensure your rice gets that golden, fried perfection without turning into a steamed version.
- Swap out the shrimp for chicken, or go vegetarian and use a mix of pineapple, tofu, or an extra dose of assorted veggies.
- Consider tossing in more veggies like bean sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli, shredded cabbage, etc.
- For a different flavor, add a little rice vinegar or a hint of sesame oil. Turn up the spicy kick and drizzle some sriracha sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.