From-Scratch Shrimp Fried Rice

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I have a confession to make. I used to use seasoning packets when I cooked. Ok, I know it’s not as dramatic as I made it sound. Still, I always felt like I was cheating when I did it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not turning my nose up at it. I just wanna do things a bit more naturally nowadays and the packets I used to get were filled with additives and preservatives and yumminess. What does this have to do with shrimp fried rice you ask ?? Everything!

Hubby loves shrimp fried rice so I make it quite often and up until today I had always used a seasoning packet. Recently, my friend told me how she made shrimp fried rice without the packet and it turned out great. I had to recreate the yumminess without all the yuckiness. These are the substances I procured: 

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You can click on the pic to see it bigger. If your finger is tired I’ll just tell you. Soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, Chinese five spice, ginger, garlic (which I forgot to include when I was setting this up, what? like you’re perfect?), green onions, egg and peas and carrots. Whew.

If you had to choose though I would omit the oyster sauce and the five spice. The sesame oil and soy sauce are essential, in my humble opinion. Also, I later found out that the whole shrimp stock process didn’t really add much flavor, so you can skip that part if you want to. I was just trying to inject as much flavor from all directions to soothe my seasoning packet withdrawals.

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You’ll need a cup or rice and two cups water. I usually use a 1 to 2 ratio for rice. Unless I wanted it dryer, then I use like 1 to 1 1/2. Oh, and I loooove basmati rice. I use it no matter what. Except for risotto. That would be gross. I think. Rinse the rice till the water runs clear.

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I almost forgot the main ingredient! Shrimp. These are shell-on jumbo wild caught shrimp from Sprouts. Yum.  

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So you will need to devein then peel these. Unless you bought them already peeled and deveined.

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Pull out and discard that black wormlike demon thing and try not to puke and pass out at the same time. Pull yourself together, put your gangsta face on cuz you just deveined a shrimp and rinse and peel the shrimp. Place the peel in a saucepan and marinate the shrimp in soy sauce. I hate bland shrimp in shrimp fried rice. If you don’t share my sentiments bro then skip the marination part.

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Add water and simmer shells for 5-10mins. Press down on the the shells to get as much flavor out of them as you can while they simmer. Then strain out the shells and reserve the liquid. You just made shrimp stock!

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Put two cups of the shrimp stock you just made (!) and one cup of rice in a pot. Bring to boil, stir, cover and reduce to simmer for 10mins. Then fluff with a fork.

Now you need to make your scrambled egg. Set that aside. If you don’t like eggs in your fried rice then you can skip this part too. It’s all about making it how you like it and don’t you forget it!

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 Prep the veggies time! Cut up the green onions and grate the ginger and garlic.

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Now cook your shrimp and veggies in the same hot pot.

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Put the top on the pot and make the fried rice seasoning. This is what I used on my first attempt to replace the dreaded seasoning packet:

Mix a drizzle of sesame oil, a drop or two of oyster sauce and a little soy sauce into a bowl. Mix and taste. If it needs some saltiness, add soy sauce. If it needs savoriness (a.k.a. umami), add more sesame oil. Sprinkle a dash of the five spice for good measure. I added more sesame oil and soy sauce, incase you were wondering.

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 By now your rice should be done. Add it to the shrimp and veggies, pour the sauce and stir. Add more of any sauce depending on what you feel it needs. Enjoy!

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