Thai Fried Rice With Shrimp (Khao Phad Kung)

Thai Fried Rice With Shrimp (Khao Phad Kung)

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Yield: 5 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
396 Calories
12g Fat
55g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 396
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 1448mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 277mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy shrimp fried rice is restaurant quality (or better). Fresh or frozen shrimp are quickly stir-fried with garlic and onions. Add the cooked rice, a couple of eggs, frozen peas, plus a flavorful chili sauce, and you have a fried rice recipe that is sure to please everyone, even your kids. A great way to use leftover rice—and leftover roasted chicken can also be added if you have some taking up space in the refrigerator. Add a chile pepper into the dish, if you like it spicy.

"This excellent fried rice was easy and flavorful. The only prep is a little chopping, combining the sauce ingredients, and briefly stir-frying. When done, I measured around 5 cups, so it could be two generous main dish servings or 4 servings with another main dish." —Diana Rattray

Thai shrimp fried rice tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Stir-Fry Chili Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste, or 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce, such as nam prik pao, more for serving

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

For the Fried Rice:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup minced onion

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons white cooking wine

  • 8 to 12 medium shrimp, shelled

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably one to three days old, refrigerated

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen peas, or mixed vegetables

  • 1/2 cup cashews, optional

  • Fresh lime or lemon juice, to taste, optional

  • 1 medium scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish

  • Sliced fresh chiles, optional, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Fried Rice With Shrimp (Khao Phad Kung) ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Combine the stir-fry sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

    sauce ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil plus the garlic and onion. Stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.

    garlic and onions in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Add cooking wine and continue stir-frying another 2 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften.

    cooking wine with onions and garlic in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Add the shrimp. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp have turned pink and plump.

    shrimp cooking in wok with onion mixture

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Push shrimp to the side of the pan. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil, then crack eggs into the pan. Quickly fry to scramble, about 1 minute.

    eggs and shrimp cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Keep the wok or frying pan hot for these last few steps (high heat). Add the rice, frozen peas and/or mixed vegetables, and cashews (if using). Drizzle the stir-fry sauce over that.

    shrimp fried rice cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Quickly begin "tossing" the rice in the wok/pan, using 2 utensils and a tossing-like motion (lifting from the bottom of the pan). Continue "stir-frying" in this way 3 to 7 minutes, or until rice and peas/vegetables are hot.

    shrimp fried rice cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Remove from heat and taste-test. For greater flavor, add a little more fish sauce until desired taste is achieved. If it tastes too salty, add a few squeezes of fresh lime or lemon juice.

    shrimp fried rice cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Top with sliced scallion and serve hot straight from the wok/pan. For those who like it extra spicy, add freshly cut chile pepper or serve with more nam prik pao on the side.

    Thai Fried Rice With Shrimp (Khao Phad Kung) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Tips

  • If you are using day-old rice (which makes for a much better fried rice), it will be lumpy and sticking together. To separate it, place the rice in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Now, using your fingers, mix the oil into the rice and separate the clumps, until the rice has returned into more or less individual grains.
  • While day-old rice is preferable, if you are using freshly cooked rice, there's no need to break it up or add oil to it, as it should fall apart easily.

Recipe Variations

  • If shrimp isn't your thing, there are plenty of other proteins that could work in its place or in addition. Try some cubed-up chicken, ground pork, or crispy tofu.
  • There are also plenty of other veggies to throw in if you are looking to clean out your fridge. Finely diced carrots, frozen corn, greens, and finely chopped peppers are all great options that will make a tasty addition to the fried rice. Simply add them in at the same time as the frozen peas.

How to Store Leftover Shrimp Fried Rice

  • Refrigerate leftover shrimp fried rice in a shallow container within two hours and eat within four days.
  • To freeze, transfer the fried rice to a zip-close freezer bag or freezer container and freeze for four to six months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat, put the shrimp fried rice in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp folded paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave for another 20 to 60 seconds, until it registers 165 F.

How is Thai fried rice different from Chinese fried rice?

Thai fried rice and Chinese fried rice are both made with many of the same ingredients. The main flavoring in Chinese fried rice is soy sauce, while Thai fried rice uses fish sauce.

What is nam prik pao?

Nam prik pao is a Thai chili sauce/paste that contains chili, shrimp paste, fish sauce, tamarind, and garlic, among other ingredients. While you can use Sriracha or sambal oelek for the heat, they won't provide the unique flavor of nam prik pao. You may also make homemade nam prik pao or try sambal terasi, which includes many of the same ingredients.