Fried rice is my go-to recipe when I have leftover rice and I am tired for the day to make an extra special dish. It is a complete meal and very healthy. It is loaded with veggies like broccoli, asparagus, snow peas, and other veggies that you would like to add, it is full of natural carbohydrates which is a good source of natural sugar, shrimps as a good source of protein, garlic and green onions plus a big dash of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory effects. I got this idea from the Shrimp Fried rice recipe of the woksoflife I added and replaced some ingredients which I preferred to use in all my dishes. They have very good recipes that any mom would love to make for their family. Please note that the best way to make fried rice is to use leftover rice or cold rice. If you use a newly cooked or warm rice the fried rice would be mushy especially if you do not have a rice cooker. Just like in baking a buttered dough it only ends up crispy and flaky when the buttered dough is cold. The same principle goes with fried rice. When the rice is cold and dry, coat it with oil and it will fry properly and turn golden brown. I use this technique even if I have to use soy sauce because for me it tastes better. You can use your own technique which you find easier for you!
Let’s get things straight, some people avoid carbs but carbs in moderation is not bad for you. Asians have been eating rice for thousands of years and obesity is not a problem in Asia especially before the fast food came to replace the traditional Asian diet. Research say that Asians have enzymes to break down carbohydrates which are not present in most caucasians. You may trust that study but in my readings it’s not the carbs that make us fat but what we did to modify carbohydrates. For example, gluten, the infamous gluten that people so avoid nowadays was part of the natural components of grains such as wheat. Suddenly, gluten is an enemy. It makes you bloat they say. But what really makes you bloat is the consequence of a series of alterations that we’ve done to the grain that made gluten bad for us. If grains are produced organically there is no need to avoid gluten and there will be no such thing as gluten intolerance.
Rice is perhaps the most important food in Asia aside from seafoods and vegetables. We eat rice at least 3 times a day. In my case, six times a day. We even use it to make desserts. Luckily, Asians have the enzyme to digest a lot of carbohydrates. So, I didn’t gain weight until I started going to college. When you live in a dormitory with no option to cook, you can’t really choose much with very limited options. I remember my dorm mates and I had to eat packaged noodles and fast food. It was quick and convenient. How I wish that now they allow students to cook because my dorm mate got ill from all the bad food. We all missed home cooked meals and the closest to that was the noodle place that was newly built on the university campus along with other new restaurants and fast food chains. It was safer not to go out and it was much cleaner because the restaurants were regulated by the university. That noodle place had a very good menu. They had this Mongolian rice with different meat options and I remember my friend Amie and I loved the beef rice. I missed that flavor in my mouth recently so I decided to make something similar. Too bad, I couldn’t find the recipe of that Mongolian rice anywhere. It was just so different from the smell to the taste of the mixture of spices they used—it was memorable!
My husband loved this and ate two servings. Maybe this shrimp fried rice is the closest I can eat while still hunting down that lost recipe. I am more of a fish person so shrimps work better for me anyway.
rice cooker/medium saucepan
large mixing bowl
small mixing bowl
- 2 cups of leftover jasmine rice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for large portions
- 1 tablespoon dark Chinese soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons organic Kikkoman soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 cup broccoli, bite size pieces
- 1 cup asparagus, only the ends
- 1 cup snow peas, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 5 scallion stalks, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or any rice wine
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, pour the leftover rice. At this stage the rice is stiff and dry. Sprinkle some water (about 3 tablespoons) and break it apart with your fingers or use a pair of disposable gloves if you don’t like the mess or if you have long nails where the rice can get stuck in. When the grains have fully separated, pour 1 tbsp of olive oil on your hand and immediately but gently mix with the rice as if you are massaging it. Do this until all the grains are coated with olive oil. If you have a lot of leftover rice, just add more olive oil 1 tsp at a time. You don’t want your rice to be too oily, just lightly coated. Add the dark and the regular soy sauce into the mixture and massage the rice lightly once again until all the grains are fully coated witht he soy sauce.
- On your stove set the fire to a medium-high heat and let the pan warm up. You will know that it is warm enough when you sprinkle a little water and it immediately evaporates with a sizzling sound. This is the best time to pour 1 tablespoon of oil and the 2 beaten eggs. Don’t touch it until it’s cooked. When it is cooked break it down into tiny pieces using your wooden spatula. When everything is cut into tiny pieces transfer it into a bowl and set aside.
- Put 1 teaspoon of olive oil and cook the shrimps on each side. Pour on the same bowl with the scrambled eggs and set aside.
- Lower the heat and put 1 tsp of oil in the wok. Sautee the chopped shallots until translucent and then add the rice. Mix it well so that the flavor of the shallots is absorbed by the rice. Now sprinkle the turmeric and mix until fully combined. Add the snow peas, asparagus, and broccoli. Mix gently.
- Add the salt, sugar, pepper, and sesame oil into the rice mixture and mix well once again. Cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the shrimps, eggs, and scallions and cook for a few seconds. You will see some crust forming on the bottom of the pan if you are not using a non-stick pan but don’t worry because that’s normal. Sprinkle the rice wine and mix all together once again and cook for a good 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat. Serve on a plate or a bowl and enjoy!