Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
Some days, mommy brain gets the best of me. I forget to throw the clothes from the washer into the dryer, and the wet clothes end up sitting in the washer for a day. I forget to take out the trash on trash day, and I do not realize it until I hear the garbage truck down the street. The worst is when I forget to grocery shop when there is nothing in the fridge and do not realize it until I only have less than 30 minutes before I have to run to pick up my son from school to have him home by dinnertime.
When this happens, my go-to dish is Chinese fried rice. No, it’s not because I am Chinese. Seriously. It’s because it’s difficult to mess up fried rice and the last thing you want to do with an almost empty fridge is to create an inedible dinner. And trust me, when you have a 10 months old trying to pull up on everything and falling everywhere, you are beyond distracted and can easily screw up a dish. You can put pretty much anything you want into fried rice and call it dinner. When it comes down to it, fried rice is a combination of vegetables, a protein if you feel like it, and scrambled eggs. I use shrimp for this recipe, but you can use sausage, chicken, steak, tofu…really, any protein you like. I love cooking recipes involving many food groups so that my toddler can get as much nutrition as possible in one dish.
Also, it’s hard to really mess up the rice for fried rice. If you use a little too much water and the rice out of the rice cooker is a little too moist, you just sauté the rice more to get rid of the moisture. If the rice is slightly too dry, no problem – do you know that the best fried rice is actually made from leftover rice from the day before? I used brown rice for this recipe to add more fiber to the dish, but feel free to use whatever rice you would like.
A few tips and tricks I want to point out about this recipe:
- I used chicken broth to cook the rice because I don’t use salt anywhere else in the dish to keep the sodium level low and the broth gives the rice a more flavorful taste. Feel free to use water and season the dish as you like.
- Typically, you would add soy sauce to the fried rice at the end to give it more flavor, but I skipped the soy sauce to avoid more sodium in the dish.
- Want to really add flavor to fried rice? Add ketchup! I loved ketchup in fried rice when I was a little kid. It makes the rice a pretty red color too. However, it does add sugar so I skip it when I cook for my toddler.
- I use frozen vegetables because I always have them around in my freezer and they take minutes to cook. I just do not have the time to chop up fresh vegetables and cook them!
- I use sesame oil in this recipe because I always have some around. If you don’t have it, just use olive oil or vegetable oil instead. You won’t have the sesame flavor in the dish but it’s not the end of the world for a last-minute dinner.
- Fry the ingredients one after another in the same pan and set them aside when they are done. Then, add everything back in at the end and fold in the rice.
- I used my Instant Pot to cook the rice, but you can use a rice cooker or a saucepan over stovetop as well. Or like I mentioned above, use leftover white rice from your Chinese take-out! Instant Pot does make the best rice though, and I had my fair share of rice growing up in a Chinese household!
Bon appetite! Or 慢慢吃 in Chinese (which actually translates to “eat slowly” which is good for your health).