Shrimp Fried Rice

For me there’s really only one rule about making shrimp fried rice at home – you need to have leftover rice. It’s actually a great idea to make more rice than you need for a dinner that includes rice just so that you have leftovers to use for fried rice the next day. Leftover rice is key because it has had a little time to dry out and that makes it more suitable for frying. Freshly made rice is too moist and can result in soggy or mushy fried rice, and nobody wants that!

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I’m not particular about what type of rice you use for fried rice. Jasmine would be my rice of choice, but as long as I have medium to long grain leftover rice, I’m happy to use it up in this delicious dish. Fried rice is a blank palette recipe, waiting for you to make it your own. Generally, you’ll want to add some vegetables, a protein of some kind and some scrambled egg. Then you can season with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil and quite honestly have dinner on the table in about 20 minutes with just the ingredients you like. 

Ingredients for shrimp fried rice on brown paper - shrimp, rice, sprouts, carrot, green onion, carrot.

As far as the vegetables are concerned, you could use any combination of veggies that you like. With vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, onions, sliced snow or snap peas and other quick cooking vegetables I cook them right in the pan before adding the rice. With vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower that are  bit more irregular in shape, I’ll blanch them first before adding them to the pan.

A pan with sautéed carrots next to a plate with cooked shrimp and egg.


For the protein, you could make the recipe just as written and enjoy some shrimp fried rice, or you could substitute sliced chicken, steak or pork, or cubed and marinated tofu. I generally cook the protein ahead of time in the pan because the pan, no matter how large, can really only accommodate so much. I don’t want to overcrowd the pan, adding the protein, vegetables and rice altogether because over-crowding cools the pan down and promotes moisture accumulation rather than having a surface area from which moisture can evaporate. Cooking the protein alone ensures that you don’t over cook it too and it’s just as easy to add it back to the pan once everything else is properly cooked. 

While egg is traditional in fried rice, you don’t have to add it if you don’t want to. It is a great way to stretch the amount of protein included in the dish and that’s helpful if you have only a small amount of meat or shrimp to use. It helps make the meal even more affordable if you’re on a budget.

Shrimp fried rice in a blue pan.

The seasoning of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil is really very basic for fried rice. There are other options and hundreds of different recipes out there, but this recipe keeps it nice and simple – accessible to all.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 17 m
  • Total Time: 32 m
  • Servings:


  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ pound medium shrimp about 20
  • OR
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 3 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, cooled and ideally day old
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts, optional
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Pre-heat a 10- or 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add about one tablespoon of the oil and sauté the shrimp or chicken until just cooked through – about two or three minutes. Set the shrimp or chicken aside on a plate.
  2. Add a little more oil and cook the eggs, scrambling as you go. As soon as the eggs are just cooked, remove it to the same plate as the shrimp or chicken.

  3. Add a little more oil to the skillet and sauté the carrots for a couple of minutes. Add the green onion (saving some for garnish), garlic and crushed red pepper flake until the vegetables start to become tender – another two minutes. Add the rice, stir or toss everything together and let the rice fry for a few minutes. Flip the rice in the pan and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Return the cooked shrimp and egg to the skillet and mix them in with the rice. Add mung bean sprouts (if using). Season with the soy sauce and sesame oil, adding more to taste if you like. Sprinkle more green onions on top and serve.
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Comments (21)Post a Reply

  1. Your recipe looks great but I can’t get it to print. Very disappointed. Also, I tried to email it to myself and that didn’t work either.

    1. Hi Jan. There is a “PRINT RECIPE” button to the right of the recipe card title. If you click that, a new window will open with a nicely formatted recipe. You can simply print that page using your browser print function. Hope that helps.

  2. 5 stars
    Will try several of these recipes because I can always count on their excellence. Sure miss seeing you on QVC!

  3. 5 stars
    Finally a fried rice with good rice, tasty veggies, really pleased with the balance of flavors and the end result wasn’t just salt like take out. Added extra sprouts (home grown) and it was a great meal.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this today, husband loved it, he said don’t loose this recipe, the only thing I didn’t add was the bean sprouts, couldn’t get them at local market. I live in a very remote area, nearest small town is 60 miles away, could you give alternative ingredients to your recipes.

    1. Hi Kathie. You can use canned beans sprouts if you can’t find fresh. They may be more easily available. You could also try some canned water chestnuts or bamboo shoots too. The sprouts in this recipe are optional so it is just as delicious if you leave them out too.

  5. 5 stars
    Loved this dish! I added celery, blanched broccoli, frozen corn and a tad more soy/sesame oil. But I used 4 cups of rice, did not see how 2 cups could be a main course for 4 people. And I like left-overs. I bought some take-out already prepared Gen Tao chicken as an added treat.

  6. I cooked this last night. I used leftover KFC chicken with skin removed. I added frozen peas. It was delicious. Thank you for this recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    Delish! I cooked two strips of diced thick-cut bacon, then cooked the shrimp in the bacon fat. Added frozen peas with the fresh diced carrot. The mung beans added a nice crunch. I used more than two cups of rice. Will make this again.

  8. Day old Chinese take out rice? Minute rice? If home cooked rice can you please give me specifics? I use a ton of your recipe’s and purchased a wok (still haven’t used it).

    1. You can really use any rice you like for this recipe. Meredith prefers Jasmine rice, but any medium or long grain leftover rice will do.

  9. 5 stars
    ‘Best shrimp fried rice I have ever made. It was even easier with Meredith’s tips! I love cooking her recipes. They are delicious.

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