If you are new to making the Shrimp Fried Rice recipe, let me welcome you. This easy Shrimp fried rice has a fantastic flavor, not one that is overpowering but it is unique in its own way. Don’t get it twisted; this African shrimp fried rice is entirely different from the Chinese shrimp fried rice in its mode of preparation.
Making an excellent tasting quality shrimp Fried Rice in the comfort of your home is very easy. I learned how to make this method of making Fried Rice from one of the Chefs in a company restaurant that I managed back in the days, and their fried Rice was the most requested meal on their menu. Oh, mine! They were a fantastic set of chefs!! I will be sharing a couple of more recipes that I learned from them in the future.
Rice by itself has a mild taste, but it has a high potential of absorbing the flavors from the spices that are added to it. These spices make a lot of difference in the final taste of the Rice. An essential tip to note when cooking this Fried Rice is to use very good chicken stock, shrimp stock, or Turkey stock. Beef stock or goat meat stock is something you should try to avoid when making this recipe. No matter how good these stock tastes, they have the ability to overpower the mild taste of the Fried Rice.
Often time, we tend to boil the rice in the stock before cooking it. Toasting the rice is not what is usually done, however, this is a great way to open up the rice to absorb more flavor.
Should I rinse my Rice or not?
- A debate that goes on in the cooking community is whether to rinse Rice before cooking or not. While some argue that rice will lose most of its nutrients when cleaned, others believe that the starch content in the Rice reduces when washed. I wash my rice a couple of times with room temperature water until the water becomes clear each time I cook my rice.
- The truth is, whether you rinse your rice or not depends on the texture you want your rice to have after cooking it. If you prefer sticky rice, you don’t have to rinse your rice to achieve that sticky consistency easily. On the other hand, if you want your rice grains to be well separated then rinsing it will be a good idea.
- Most West African Rice recipes, this Shrimp Fried Rice inclusive calls for cooked rice with individual grains, therefore, they choose to thoroughly rinse their rice before cooking it to have clump-free rice. Fried Rice, Jollof Rice, Native Jollof Rice, Coconut Rice are all good examples that need well-separated rice grains.
- Will the Nutrients in the Rice be lost when you Rinse the Rice before cooking it? This is a myth that has kept a lot of people who wants to rinse their rice from not doing so. Yes, I know there is a bit of nutrient that gets rinsed away but sincerely, it is very minimal, and it doesn’t count.
How to cook the Shrimp Fried Rice
I start off by rinsing the rice thoroughly until the water comes out clear. I usually rinse between 3 to 4 times on average. Of course, I can go one or two more rounds but often, not lesser. Pour the rice into a sieve and set it aside to drain.
If the Rice is not well-drained, then you will not be able to toast it. The water content will cause the Oil to get overly wet so; basically, you will end up cooking the rice rather than frying it.
Shrimp Fried Rice Video
The process of toasting the rice begins with the use of a good Oil. I will advice using butter, Margarine or Coconut Oil. Don’t use bland Oils like vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oils and the likes. Once the Oil gets hot, add the Onions. Fry it for about a minute then add the bay leaves and Thyme.
This step matters because the flavors of the Onions, Thyme and bay leaves will be released inside the Oil and by the time you start toasting, the rice will easily be able to absorb this flavor.
I used two small bay leaves in this recipe. However, one large bay leaf will do the job perfectly well – If your bay leaves are broad, you will only need one.
Let’s Toast the Rice!
Here comes the secret to getting your rice to absorb all the flavors you have in stock for it: Rice by itself has a mild taste, but the addition of spices makes a lot of difference in the outcome of your Rice. Adding Onions and herbs like Rosemary or Thyme into the Oil will give room for the herbs to bloom in the oil which will, in turn, be transferred to your Rice when you toast it.
Toasting the rice before boiling it will add another level of flavor to your rice. It will give the Rice a slightly nutty and toasty flavor and just like the Chinese fried rice, and it will let the rice have a well-separated grain. The Rice needs to be toasted for about 6 minutes continually stirring to prevent the Rice from scorching.
How do you know if your rice is well toasted?
- The individual grains will appear shiny from the oil that you use in frying it.
- You will surely perceive the nutty aroma
- The color of the rice would have turned to a lighter brown shade.
Cooking the rice in stock is another way to get a good tasting fried rice. It’s a basic rule to substitute water with stock when making a savory meal to enhance the taste. Plain water will dilute the flavor rather than add to it.
Another tip to note when cooking this Fried Rice is to use outstanding chicken stock or Turkey stock. Beef stock or goat meat stock is something you should try to avoid when making this recipe.
Also, the quantity of stock you use depends on the type of rice. The long grain parboiled rice takes a slightly longer time to cook hence, more stock you need. If you choose to use Jasmine or Basmati Rice, which cooks faster, then you will need a lesser quantity of stock.
The type of Rice used for making this fried rice is also something that should be put into consideration. I often use the parboiled long grain rice for my fried Rice in order to achieve well-separated grains. However, I have also used other types of rice too, like the Basmati Rice and it turned out well. Although, if I’m asked to pick a favorite for making any Fried Rice recipe, I will go for the parboiled long grain rice anytime.
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 4 Cups Rice
- 2 Tsp Curry Powder
- 1 Tsp Thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves Small
- 1 Tsp White Pepper
- 2 Onions Medium & Diced
- 6 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 0.5 lb Shrimps Cooked
- 5 Cups Chicken Stock
- 1 Habanero Pepper
- 0.5 Inch ginger root
- 1/2 oz mixed vegetable
- seasoning cubes optional
- salt optional
- Wash and drain the rice and set aside
- In a large pan, preheat the Oil, add the diced Onion and stir-fry for about one minute.
- Add the bay leaves and Thyme and continue to stir-fry until the Onions become translucent and limp.
- Add the washed and drained rice and stir for about 4 to 6 minutes until the rice smells toasty and nutty.
- Add the Chicken stock, season with white pepper and curry powder. Toss in one habanero pepper (optional) Cover it up and leave to cook.
- Once the rice is done, set it aside.
- In a large pan, add about 1 tablespoon of Oil, add the diced Onion and grate in a bit of ginger, stir until the onion becomes limp.
- Add the mixed vegetables, and stir for a few seconds. Add the shrimps and stir for few seconds as well. Season with salt and seasoning cubes if necessary.
- Add the Rice and stir fry for about a minute or two. Take it off the heat and serve.
- **Talking about curry powder, I like to use the Jamaican hot curry powder, and a little bit of it goes a long way. If you can't find that, you can use any other brand that you like.
- Using stock cube and Salt is optional. You might need little to nothing of both depending on how well seasoned your Chicken stock is. I did use a tiny bit of both in mine.
- Frying the cooked rice in batches helps to get great fried rice, I used 4 Cups of Rice for this recipe, and I fried in 3 batches. Though you can fry once or twice if your pan is large enough,
- If you choose to add Habanero pepper, please don't forget to remove it after cooking. Eating habanero pepper is not a funny thing. I've been there!
- It is advisable not to leave the vegetables for too long on the stove top because it may quickly lose its nutrients and their color will become dull.
- Non-stick pans work best for stir-frying. Try to get a good one. I used the salad shrimps, but you can use any size of shrimp you want.
- My mixed vegetables contain sweet corn, Green beans, Sweet peas, and carrots. Other vegetables like Green bell pepper, Red bell pepper, and Green onions can also be used.
- The cooking time of the Rice will reduce slightly because of the toasting.
- Don't also forget to remove the bay leaves! Happy cooking!
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If you make this Fried rice recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen