Thai Yellow Fried Rice With Shrimp

Thai yellow fried rice

Pinghung Chen/Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
405 Calories
14g Fat
55g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 405
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 121mg 40%
Sodium 651mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 76mg 6%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 254mg 5%
*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 Thai yellow fried rice is colorful, easy to make, and tastes amazing. Made with fresh or frozen shrimp, this fried rice recipe also features greens, such as spring onion, cilantro (fresh coriander), and peas.

Turmeric is the special ingredient that makes the fried rice yellow, and because of its incredible health benefits, the addition of this spice makes this recipe a good-for-you treat. A great way to use up leftover rice—rice that is several days old is perfect for this simple but extremely tasty recipe. 

Omit the turmeric if using saffron rice.


  • 4 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old

  • 10 to 14 medium raw shrimp, shells removed, quickly thaw frozen shrimp in a bowl of lukewarm water

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 1/2 cup lightly chopped cilantro

  • 3 spring onions, sliced

  • 2 tablespoons white wine, white cooking wine, or sherry

  • 3 cloves garlic, or 1 teaspoon bottled pureed garlic

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 tablespoons oil, such as canola

For the Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste, available in jars at Asian/Chinese food stores

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon turmeric, depending on how "yellow" you want your rice to be

  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chili sauce, optional, omit for mild fried rice

Steps to Make It

You can make this recipe with either white or saffron rice.

  1. Start with cold, cooked rice. If your rice has been freshly made, leave it in the refrigerator for several hours with the lid off to dry it out.

  2. Fried Rice Cooking Tip: At first, your cooked rice will be lumpy and sticking together. To separate it (this makes for a much better fried rice), place the rice in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Now use your fingers to mix the oil into the rice and separate the clumps. Continue working your fingers through until the rice is more or less separated into grains. Set aside.

  3. Mix the stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup. Omit the turmeric if using saffron rice. Set aside.

  4. Place a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons oil plus the garlic and shrimp. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump. Add a few teaspoons wine/cooking wine whenever the wok becomes dry.

  5. Push shrimp and garlic to the side of your wok or frying pan. Add a little more oil into the center of the wok, then break the eggs into this space. Quickly fry the eggs (as if you were making scrambled eggs), about 1 minute. Note: If you find egg coats the bottom of your wok or frying pan, you can also scramble the eggs in a separate pan and then add them.

  6. Keep the wok or frying pan hot for these last few steps (medium-high heat). Add the rice and peas, then pour the sauce over the top, distributing it as evenly as possible over the rice.

  7. Quickly begin "tossing" the rice in the wok/pan, using a shoveling-like motion (lifting from the bottom of the pan). A flat-bottomed spatula or plastic "egg flipper" works well for this. Continue "stir-frying" in this way for about 3 minutes, or until rice and peas are hot. Tip: When rice is done, you will hear it starting to "pop" in the wok.

  8. Taste-test the rice for salt (we find it is rarely salty enough). If needed, add a little more fish sauce (instead of salt), 1/2 tablespoon at a time, and continue stir-frying until desired taste is achieved. Remove from heat.

  9. Sprinkle the spring onion and coriander over the top. Serve hot straight from the wok/pan. For more formal occasions: Line the outside of a serving platter with cucumber slices. Scoop rice onto the platter, then sprinkle with the spring onion and coriander. For those who like it extra spicy, serve with a bottle of Thai chili sauce on the side.