Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice is one of my favorite dishes that relies heavily on my well-stocked pantry and a few fresh things... Oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce will always be found in my pantry (or refrigerator if open)! Fried rice is a great way to use leftover rice. With fresh sugar snap peas and mung bean sprouts, you'll have a fantastic one dish meal on the table in 30 minutes!
People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.~~Author Unknown
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Chopsticks and a Well-Stocked Pantry
'Tis the season... Does joy, peace, or chaos reign in your home this time of year? Far too often, the frantic pace, stress, and crowds define December rather than the solace of meaningful traditions, family, and faith. Year's end is often a time of reflection, and regrouping in preparation for the upcoming year.
Now is the time to think about creating your well-stocked pantry, and starting the New Year with a sense of purpose... bringing healthy and delicious food like this fried rice to your table
Update note: Before I go any further, I need to apologize for the photos that improperly showed the use of chopsticks. They should not be crossed! This is disrespectful in Asian cultures, and I was ignorant back in 2013 when I first published this post. In the process of updating some of my old recipe/posts, I realized I hadn't addressed these photos. Finally, in 2021, this fried rice post got new text and photos!
In a previous post, I introduced the topic of the well-stocked pantry. I plan to return to this topic periodically, as I feel strongly that a well-stocked pantry is key to improving the quality and variety of your meals. It may also provide inspiration to prepare a home-cooked meal after a long day at the office rather than stopping at the local drive-through or calling for take-out.
So, I've discussed taking an inventory of what types of food appeal to you, and planning your pantry around those flavors and items. For example, does your family love Asian food? After work on a busy weeknight, you may be tempted to call for Chinese take-out or even delivery. The food may be edible or even enjoyable, but it is an expensive alternative, and may or may not be healthy.
A paradigm shift is in order 🙂 Stock your pantry with quality Asian ingredients that allow you to throw together a tasty and nutritious meal in short order... probably in less time than you can get it ordered and delivered, and for less money. Where does one start in selecting Asian ingredients? The (poor-quality) photo below shows ingredients I pulled from my own pantry, all used regularly in Asian cooking.
🍚 Asian Pantry Ingredients
I will start with the basics, lest the list become overwhelming. An Asian market will, of course, be the best source for Asian ingredients. However, many of these items can be found at supermarkets and specialty markets like Trader Joe's.
- Sesame oil
- good soy sauce
- oyster sauce
- hoisin sauce
- sriracha sauce
- chili garlic paste
- rice wine vinegar
- rice wine
- fresh ginger
- whole or minced garlic
As you begin to gather items for your "well-stocked pantry," you should find that you have more options for quick, weeknight Asian-inspired meals. An added benefit to this approach is that if you find you want to venture further with Asian cooking, you will already have many of the ingredients.
While a stir-fry or fried rice are perfect for a weeknight, Indonesian Rendang Daging (Spicy Beef in Dry Curry) is best saved for a relaxed weekend day... Download a copy of my pantry checklist, and customize the excel file to suit your family's preferences. It's free!
🍚 Using Leftover Rice to Make Fried Rice
One of my favorite ways to use my Asian pantry - and leftover rice - is in fried rice. Fried rice can be anything from a simple, flavorful side dish to a more ambitious main course with one or more proteins.
The versatility of this humble dish makes it a perfect choice for utilizing your pantry. This recipe is for a shrimp and pork fried rice, but feel free to vary the proteins and vegetables to suit your taste and the contents of your refrigerator and pantry 🙂
If you're pulling leftover rice out of your refrigerator, be sure to spread it out on a baking sheet, and break up any clumps prior to heating your wok.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- rice - This fried rice requires cooked rice. It's a great way to use leftover rice. Avoid using freshly cooked warm rice, as it will be mushy. If you make rice just prior to making the fried rice, spread it out on a baking sheet, and allow it to cool completely and dry out as much as possible.
- sesame oil
- oil - Canola, vegetable, peanut oil are good choices. You need oil with a high smoke point.
- fresh ginger - While my preference is to grate fresh ginger, I do keep a jar of minced ginger in my refrigerator.
- shrimp - Choose medium to large shrimp from a sustainable source.
- boneless smoked pork chop - I use these Smithfield smoked pork chops. I love the smoky flavor it adds to the fried rice. You could also use a good ham.
- bell pepper - Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are so colorful. Choose 1 or more if you "eat with your eyes" like I do!
- sugar snap peas - You can substitute snow peas or even green beans.
- mung bean sprouts
- eggs - I usually do 1 egg per serving at that time. If I'm planning on leftovers for lunch that day, I do not cook the egg in advance as it doesn't keep well.
- oyster sauce
- soy sauce - I like tamari soy sauce, and it is naturally gluten free if gluten is a concern.
- sriracha sauce - Sriracha is Asian hot sauce. Adjust to preference.
- garnishes - We like chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.
When I stir-fry anything, I cook in stages. With fried rice, I typically stir-fry the proteins, remove them from the wok, stir-fry the vegetables, remove them from the wok, and then stir-fry the rice with the sauces.
- Stir-fry the aromatics and proteins - In a large wok, heat oils on high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and pork. Stir-fry until pork is nearly cooked - about 2 minutes. Add shrimp, and stir-fry until shrimp is nearly opaque. Be careful to not overcook. Remove to a large bowl.
- Stir-fry the vegetables - Add bell pepper and sugar snap peas to the hot wok. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until the bell pepper barely begins to soften. Add the bean sprouts, and stir-fry an additional minute. Remove to the bowl with the shrimp and pork.
- Cook the egg - In a separate non-stick sauté pan coated with cooking spray, cook the eggs as for an omelet. Flip when the eggs are set, and turn off the heat. NOTE: If you have a really good non-stick surface on your wok, you may choose to wipe it out, spray it, and cook the eggs in the wok. It saves washing a pan!
- Stir-fry the rice - At this point, you may wish to add a bit more oil to the wok. When it is hot, add the cooked rice to the wok. Give it a good stir, and then add the soy sauce, sriracha sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir over high to combine the sauces with the rice. Continue stir-frying the mixture until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Finish the dish - Return the shrimp, pork, and vegetables to the wok. Stir-fry to combine all ingredients. Turn off the heat on the wok. Slide the omelet on to a cutting board. Cut in half and then julienne.
- Serve - Garnish the fried rice with julienned egg, scallions, and sesame seeds as desired. Serve.
Use cool and dry rice - Plan ahead and use thoroughly-cooled and dry cooked rice. A fresh batch of warm (or even lukewarm) rice will not fry well when it hits the hot pan, and will result in soggy and sticky clumps. Leftover refrigerated rice is great! If you are in a hurry, cook up a fresh batch of rice, then spread it out on a baking sheet or another large flat pan to allow the moisture to escape.
NOTE: If you're using "stale" or leftover rice, be sure to break up the clumps!
Using a wok to cook your fried rice, and cooking it on high heat provides optimal results. I have an induction cook top, and a non-stick flat bottomed wok that works great.
For more tips, see How to Make the Best Fried Rice from Serious Eats.
You can successfully use many kinds of rice: Basmati, jasmine, long-grain, medium-grain, etc. Jasmine is a favorite in Chinese kitchens, but I prefer basmati (and I always have it on hand). Jasmine cooks up a little sticky, and I think it's a little more difficult to stir-fry and avoid clumps.
Yes and no. We usually eat any remaining shrimp, and just save the fried rice, vegetables, and pork for lunch in the next couple of days. If you don't mind leftover seafood, you can certainly save the shrimp. I find they become rubbery when they're reheated. The fried rice heats up well in the microwave, and tastes great. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
I hope you will give this tasty weeknight dish a try! As the ancient proverb suggests, "All the proofe of a pudding is in the eating." The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
Shrimp and Pork Fried Rice
- 1-2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely minced or grated
- 8 ounces medium or large shrimp shelled and deveined
- 8 ounces boneless smoked pork chop about 2*
- 1 red yellow, or orange bell pepper, julienned
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas stem ends removed if necessary
- 12 ounces bean sprouts
- 4 eggs whisked enthusiastically
- 4 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon sriracha sauce to taste - it's hot sauce
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 3 scallions chopped
- In a large wok, heat oils on high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and pork. Stir-fry until pork is nearly cooked - about 2 minutes. Add shrimp, and stir-fry until shrimp is nearly opaque. Be careful to not overcook. Remove to a large bowl.
- Add bell pepper and sugar snap peas to the hot wok. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until the bell pepper barely begins to soften. Add the bean sprouts, and stir-fry an additional minute. Remove to the bowl with the shrimp and pork.
- In a separate non-stick saute pan coated with cooking spray, cook the eggs as for an omelet. Flip when the eggs are set, and turn off the heat.
- At this point, you may wish to add a bit more oil to the wok. Whisk the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sriracha sauce together. When the wok is hot, add the cooked rice to the wok. Give it a good stir, and then add the soy sauce, sriracha sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir-fry over high heat to combine the sauces with the rice. Continue stir-frying the mixture until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Return the shrimp, pork, and vegetables to the wok. Stir-fry to combine all ingredients. Turn off the heat on the wok.
- Slide the omelet on to a cutting board. Cut in half and then julienne.
- Garnish the fried rice with scallions and julienned egg. Serve.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.