Grandma’s shrimp fried rice tastes authentic, but way better than takeout. She showed me how to make it ages ago, but then I didn’t make any for a long while. As a result, shrimp fried rice is something I always feel as if I’m doing wrong, like I’ve left something out or skipped a step. Sometimes I’m right. Sometimes, the rice turns out a little too sticky, a little too homogenous in color, and I know I’ve done something in the wrong order. At the end of the day, I love it even when I screw it up, but I’m writing it down the right way so I can refer back the next time I have these doubts.
- A pound of shrimp
- A bunch of rice
- An onion (white’s fine)
- Some garlic (3 cloves or so should be okay)
- Eggs (only need 2!)
- Spices and things, including Sazon (from Goya, the kind with achiote but not cilantro), and especially soy sauce!
- First, cook the rice. FIRST. First, way first, first first first, so it can cool off a little when it’s done. I always forget and I’m halfway through cooking the onions and then I realize I’m making fried rice, not yellow rice, and I think that’s what makes it come out so starchy. Because there’s just no way I’m going to wait around for rice to cool when I’m ready to fry it.
- Chop up the onion and the garlic and throw it in a big chicken fryer with some olive oil. Cooking it a little above Medium for a while seems okay. Time it so that’s not done until the rice has had a chance to finish cooking and start to cool! This is a fine time to scramble those eggs, too. In fact, cook the eggs first in the pan you’ll be using for everything else, then stick them in a bowl and tell them to wait. They’re something that gets added, not cooked in, so it hardly matters when.
- Make sure the pan is nice and hot and throw the rice in the middle of it. It’ll fry. Soy sauce now! Other spices, too. Once the rice starts making frying sounds (I like it when it pops!) it’s time to put the shrimp in, and then just keep everything moving until the shrimp is pink and the rice is brown and it looks the most delicious. At the last minute it’s time to put those chopped scallions in. They’ll have time to wilt while everybody is putzing around the kitchen getting drinks poured and silverware out and all.
- Voila! Fried rice. I like to make this with sweet and sour ribs, but last time, we did pork loin chops instead and that was quicker and just as delicious. I sauted them in a little olive oil first (for AGES because they were two inches thick), and when they were cooked through, I turned the pan off, spread the duck sauce on top of each chop, and put the lid on for a few minutes whilst I plated the rice. So that’s a nice alternative to have.