As college Freshmen, Ang and I decided to go to Puerto Rico for spring break and told our parents it was for a volunteering trip. We did volunteer while we were there, but gave our parents the distinct (and false) impression that it was a school-sanctioned, school organized trip (I’m sorry mom and dad).
At the end of the week, we took a ferry over to a tiny island called Culebra to explore the amazing beaches. After learning to salsa with the locals, traipsing all over the island through 7 ft tall corn fields and partying with a group of new friends until late in the night, we realized we had no way of getting back to our hotel. Some of our new friends offered us the hammock on the deck of their cottage on the beach and we settled in for the night, taking turns sleeping until the roosters came out in the morning. That was our first adventure together — we had the time of our 18 year old lives.
But it took a while for us to have food adventures. For the first 5 years of our friendship Ang ordered nothing but shrimp friend rice if we went anywhere remotely asian-themed. She has since ventured out to trying all types of fun new foods with me, but I thought I would take it back to the old school for her birthday and it was only fitting that she gets some shrimp fried rice.
The most important thing about making fried rice is to make sure you use day-old rice. Fresh rice is delicious, fluffy and moist…perfect for most recipes, but terrible for fried rice. You want the rice to have some time to dry out and tighten up in the fridge so that it doesn’t clump up and get soggy when you cook it. I tend to make this the day after I order Indian food because I always have extra rice left over.
- 4 cups of day-old rice
- 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots
- 20-30 shrimp, peeled and veined
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 bunch of scallions, chopped (only the green part)
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or grated
- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
- In a large skilled or wok, saute the garlic and ginger in the oil for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the peas and carrots and cook for 2 more minutes. Be careful when adding the veggies, in case they splatter.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes until the shrimp have mostly turned pink.
- Add the rice and soy sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Make a well in the middle of the skilled or wok and pour in the eggs. Stir the eggs to scramble them without disturbing the rice. Once the eggs are mostly solid, mix everything in the pan together and add the scallions.
- If you don't feel comfortable cooking the eggs in the same pan as the rice without disturbing it, you can scramble them in a separate pan and add them to the rice. While you are cooking the eggs this way, leave your rice to continue to cook in the other pan. Stir the rice a couple of time so that it doesn't burn but also note that allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes undisturbed lets it get crispy.
- Garnish with some more scallions and serve hot.