Thai Fried Rice with Shrimp

Pile of shrimp on a wooden countertop
Ha Huynh / Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 as a main course
Ratings (12)

This shrimp fried rice is super-tasty owing to a simple Thai concoction of key ingredients that make for a flavor-popping experience. Shrimp are yummy in this dish, but can be easily substituted with other protein sources for equally delicious results (e.g. fried tofu or chicken). Fried rice is truly a one-pot meal since it contains everything needed for a well-rounded dinner or lunch all in one dish. It's also one of Asia's favorite comfort foods, something North Americans are beginning to pick up on. If you've enjoyed the fried rice you've had at Thai restaurants, be sure to give this one a try - I think you'll find it just as good, and maybe even a little bit better.

What You'll Need

  • 4-5 cups rice (cooked can be made with fresh or 'old' leftover rice)
  • 2 cups shrimp (raw medium peeled)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 chili (red fresh minced, or 1/4 tsp. dried crushed chili, to taste)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 carrot (grated or 1/4 cup frozen peas)
  • 1/4 cup coriander (fresh chopped or cilantro)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (white ground)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the Stir-fry for Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh-squeezed)
  • 2+1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar ​(or brown sugar)

How to Make It

  1. Stir all 'stir fry sauce' ingredients together in a cup until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons oil, then add garlic and chili. Stir-fry 30 seconds to release the fragrance, then add shrimp. Stir-fry until shrimp turn pink and plump (2-3 minutes). If needed, add a little more oil or 1 teaspoon water to keep ingredients moist and sizzling.
  1. Add carrot and fresh coriander and continue stir-frying 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Add rice and drizzle the stir-fry sauce over. Use a large flat utensil or spoon, use a scooping motion to fry rice 2-3 minutes, or until sauce is well distributed.
  3. Push rice aside to clear a space in the middle of your pan. Add 1-2 teaspoons more oil, then crack in the egg. Quickly scramble egg, gradually combining it with surrounding rice.
  4. Remove from heat. Sprinkle over white pepper and stir in the green onion. Taste-test the dish for salt balance. At this point, I usually add 2-4 teaspoons more fish sauce, as I like mine on the flavorful/salty side, but this also depends on how much rice you're making. If you happen to find it too salty, squeeze over some lime or lemon juice. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Optional Garnish: Add cucumber slices to each plate of Thai fried rice, plus a little chili sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

If Your Rice is Older Than 1 Day... and has formed into clumps in the refrigerator, pour a little vegetable oil onto your fingers and work through to separate the clumps back into grains. This trick works great for fried rice!