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Faster than take-out, this spiced shrimp fried rice is so flavorful and easy to make! Everyone loves it, even the picky eaters! The secret to amazing flavors is scallion, sesame oil and fish sauce. Seriously, this spiced shrimp fried rice is faster than take-out!
In less than 20 minutes, you can be enjoying this flavorful and colorful fried rice studded with jumbo spiced shrimp! The shrimp is lightly fried to crispy perfection thanks to little bit of cornstarch.
We’re talking lots of flavor and amazing texture in every bite!
And secret to great texture is cold day-old cooked rice. A clever shortcut: use a bag of frozen carrots and peas.
What kind of shrimp to use for fried rice:
I buy a large bag of frozen EZ peel deveined jumbo shrimp from Sam’s Club. They’re so convenient, super easy to peel and prep. (EZ peel means the shell is cut along the back of shrimp, which makes it a breeze to peel.) I highly recommend purchasing those to cut down prep time on busy weeknights.
How to thaw and peel frozen shrimp quickly
Don’t worry if you didn’t plan ahead and thawed shrimp beforehand. I’m here to share how I thaw and peel frozen shrimp right before cooking. It takes less than 10 minutes!
- Place the frozen shrimp in a bowl with cold water. Don’t use warm water to expedite the process, or you’ll start cooking the shrimp, and you don’t want that.
- Let it stand for 5 minutes, and then change the water again.
- Now the shrimp will be semi-frozen, hard, but easy to peel. Peel and put the peeled shrimp back into the cold water. By the time all shrimp are peeled, they will pretty much all thawed. It’s ok if they’re slightly frozen in the middle, because they won’t be overcooked easily.
Spiced Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 lb raw jumbo shrimp*, peeled and deveined (Note 1)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch*, Note 2
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable, or canola oil, divided
- 1 ½ cups frozen carrots and peas, thawed
- 4 cups leftover cooked rice
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce, optional, but highly recommended
- 1-2 scallions, green part only, sliced
- In a large bowl, place shrimp and add cornstarch, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. (I used 12-inch non-stick skillet.)
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat it for 30 seconds.
- Once oil is hot, add spiced shrimp in one layer. Cook for about a minute and flip. Cook for another minute or so, or until they are opaque. Transfer into a clean plate.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat it.
- Add carrots and peas and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in cold leftover rice. Let sit for a minute or so, and then break it up with a wooden spoon, mixing with the vegetables. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Push the rice and vegetables to the sides, making a well in the middle.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Once heated, crack three eggs and scramble in the middle.
- Once the eggs are mostly cooked, stir with rice and vegetables.
- Add sliced greens of green onions.
- Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
- And lastly, stir in cooked shrimp. Serve immediately.