The RV Chronicles — Eating takeout from my tiny kitchen (Recipe: Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice)

Let’s one thing straight.

Those recipes scattered across the Internet that claim to be ‘better than Chinese takeout?’ Well, they’re mostly full of it. There are a few key factors when it comes to Chinese takeout technique, and most home cooks have no clue.

Oh, sure. You can beat those guys at their own wok game. But there are a couple of things to remember.

First, you likely don’t have a 500 degree wok and 20 years of fried rice experience. Secondly, soy sauce does not equate to a dish that tastes like the stuff from your local takeout joint.

Want fried rice that tastes better than theirs? Use better ingredients and cook it in stages. If I can do it at the Jimmy Rockford, your version will be up for an award. And you’ll win Chinese takeout bragging rights for sure.

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Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice

Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice — Better than takeout? You bet your fortune cookies!

Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice — Better than takeout? You bet your fortune cookies!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice
Chinese Shrimp Fried Rice — Better than takeout? You bet your fortune cookies!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
  • 3 cups – Cooked white rice, cold
  • 8 oz – Medium shrimp, peeled & deveined w/ tails removed
  • ¼ cup – Finely diced carrots
  • ¼ cup – Frozen English peas, thawed
  • 2 – Large eggs
  • 2 – Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB – Neutral oil (vegetable, grapeseed, canola)
  • 2 TB – Soy sauce
  • 2 TB – Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 TB – Sambal oelek (optional)
  • 1 tsp – Minced ginger
  • 1 tsp – Toasted sesame oil
  1. In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine rice and 1 TB of the neutral oil, squeezing to mix thoroughly.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with sesame oil.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or wok, heat the other TB of oil to medium-high.
  4. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until almost completely pink and opaque, about two minutes.
  5. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  6. Add the eggs to the hot skillet and cook, flipping once, until firm – about 1½ minutes; Remove from skillet and set aside.
  7. Add the carrots and stir-fry for about 2 minutes; then add the peas, garlic and ginger, stir-frying for another minute or so.
  8. Add the rice, spreading evenly across the pan; turn occasionally until it it warmed, about 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the egg into small pieces.
  9. Add the soy sauce, cilantro and sambal oelek (if using); stir to combine.
  10. Add the shrimp and egg; cook, stirring regularly, until everything is hot – about 3 more minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.



  1. Kathryn @ anotherfoodieblogger says:

    Yes all the way on the Sambal oelek. Not optional in this house. 😀 Looks yummy, another good recipe for all the shrimp we have right now in the freezer.

  2. Oh my this looks delicious – we love fried rice. Making it in stages is the ONLY way to go with Asian food because it’s WAY too labor intensive otherwise. Good Advice.

    • adamjholland says:

      Not to mention, most of us don’t have a professional flame and a 2-foot-diameter wok at the house. Thank you, Kelli. 🙂

  3. I do have to say that when I order take out, I can never seem to recreate it at home! Think its more than just the flavours that make it taste great too, the experience and relaxing factor definitely comes into play. Love this fried rice too Adam, it looks incredibly flavoursome and delicious X

    • adamjholland says:

      Admittedly, I’m a take-out junkie. As much as I like to cook, I’ll probably always be a regular at the local Chinese dive. Hope all is well, Thalia. 🙂

  4. I agree they’re full of it, and I tire of seeing them. I think Chinese is very difficult and the equipment and technique not friendly to the average American kitchen. I remember trying one recipe that claimed “30 minutes” and two hours later and 10 pans in the sink, I was pissed! With that said, there is one thing I do make at home and that’s fried rice. I love your addition of Sambal oelek. Bam!

    • adamjholland says:

      Or even the typical Chinese kitchen (cooking fuel is at a premium on the other side of the Great Wall)… I’ve spent many hours talking to restaurant cooks and taking Chinese cooking classes. You really can duplicate it at home, so long as you’re willing to cheat a little. 🙂

  5. OK—I never knew to knead the rice with oil! Great technique here. Pinned. (You know there is nothing like greasy Chinese take-out. We crave it, get a fix, and then we are good for another 6 months. )

    • adamjholland says:

      I’m sort of the same way, Debra, with Long John Silver’s. Except … Well, something changed at age 40 and I can’t handle it any more. 🙁 Glad to see you!

  6. Love step #1. I make a similar recipe, but I always add oyster sauce. It gives it a sweetness and Manservant has to have sriracha at the table. However your sambal oelek may solve that! I must say that Denver has very few good Chinese restaurants. The few are not near her,e so we prefer Vietnamese. Manservant is quite picky after living in China for several years. I do get cravings though, so he caves!

    • adamjholland says:

      If he lived in China, he was eating the really good stuff like red oil dumplings and water-boiled fish. I’m not sure that sambal oelek is a great substitute for sriracha, since sriracha is more along the lines of a really spicy ketchup, but it’s worth a try. As for Vietnamese food, I’m a huge fan. In fact, I’m trying to multiply my lemongrass plants as we speak so as to be able to cook more of it on the fly.

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