Apr 16, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

        Shrimp fried rice is really a simple and almost bland-looking recipe, but I think you'll be surprised if you taste it.  I love this recipe for three reasons. First, it uses cold, leftover rice. Second, it comes together lightning fast and third, it tastes just as good heated for lunch the next day. Those three reasons give this recipe a permanent place in my tried and true folder. It's a terrific way to use up leftover rice, whether home cooked or from that take-out order delivered a couple days ago.
       The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks (Staff Meals from Chanterelle) and I would recommend you purchase it or check it out at your local library. Now, those chefs knew good food. Chanterelle was one of the first restaurants to bring fine dining to downtown New York City. They closed their doors in 2009, but they have three cookbooks with fabulous recipes. I have made quite a few things from this one and each one was tasty. One recipe I blogged about was the chilled Zesty Cranberry Soup, it is unique and very refreshing. 
      I think you'll like the ease of this recipe as much as you'll like the taste. This dish lies somewhere between cooking from scratch and dialing for Chinese takeout. I've included a variation for vegetarian fried rice. 

Shrimp Fried Rice
Staff Meals from Chanterelle

If you’ll be cooking the rice yourself, use long-grain Chinese rice or a slightly aromatic Thai jasmine variety. Both have superior flavor and produce grains that remain separate after cooking. The important thing is to make sure that the rice used has been thoroughly chilled before stir-frying; otherwise it will stick to the pan. Although the recipe calls for shrimp, this can be omitted, or you could add an equal amount of diced roast pork, cooked chicken, or Chinese sausage. For vegetarian fried rice, skip the shrimp and use Chinese cabbage, bok choy, and mushrooms.

3 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil, as needed
1 large egg, beaten
8 ounces of medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced
4 cups chilled cooked rice
1/2 cup peas, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons quality soy sauce (I used Kikkoman)
kosher salt, to taste

Heat 1-2 tablespoon of oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. When it is almost smoking, add the egg and stir with spoon, breaking up the egg as it sets. Transfer the egg to  a large bowl and keep it in a warm spot.

Add the shrimp to the wok, stir-frying until just pink, about 2 minute. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the egg.

Add the onion to the wok along with another tablespoon of oil, if needed. Stir-fry onion until browned but still a bit crunchy, about 2 minutes. Scrape onion into the bowl.

Add a oil, if needed. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, immediately add the rice. Stir-fry, making sure the rice doesn't stick to the wok. When it's beginning to brown a bit, add the peas and soy sauce. Continue stir-frying until everything is heated through 1-2 minutes. Toss in the reserved shrimp mixture and thoroughly mixed.

Transfer it to a serving bowl or platter and serve immediately.

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