Make this Thai-style spicy shrimp fried rice in 15 minutes! Made with succulent shrimp, fluffy rice, and tom yum paste to make it spicy and bursting with so much flavor. If you love Thai food, especially tom yum, you have to try this recipe!
Thai-style Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice
If you're a fan of shrimp and crave the vibrant flavors of Thai cuisine, you're in for a real treat!
This spicy shrimp fried rice is the ultimate go-to dish that you won't be able to resist. With its tangy, spicy, and multi-layered flavors, it's sure to be a hit!
The secret? Tom yum paste! It adds a whole new dimension to the dish, elevating this seemingly simple fried rice to new heights. Believe me, you will love it just as I have!
Here's what you need to make the best shrimp fried rice at home:
Use small to medium shrimp or prawn that has been cleaned, deveined, and shelled. For convenience, you can also use frozen shrimp. To prevent it from becoming watery during cooking, thaw it by placing it in a zip bag and submerging it in cold tap water.
Day-old white rice is best used for fried rice dishes because it doesn't easily turn into a mushy and sticky mess. Its texture is perfect for absorbing the flavors and aromas of seasonings, sauces, and vegetables.
The slightly drier texture of the day-old rice also helps to prevent the dish from becoming overly oily or greasy during cooking.
Coriander / Cilantro
To really bring out that delicious Thai flavor, we're using coriander (also known as cilantro) instead of green onions (scallions). The stalks are added during stir-frying and then the leaves will be used as a garnish.
Tom Yum Paste
My secret to a delicious spicy shrimp fried rice is tom yum paste. It is a popular seasoning in Thai cuisine, which is made from a blend of herbs and spices like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chili peppers.
You can buy this in most Asian supermarkets and online shopping sites.
Thai-style Fried Rice Sauce
This is by far my favorite Thai-style fried rice sauce. It's tangy, and tasty and helps reduce the cloyingness of the shrimp and tom yum paste.
To make it, you will need:
- Chicken Powder - The secret to restaurant-style fried rice is chicken powder. It is in essence chicken bouillon in powder form.
- Oyster Sauce - a staple ingredient in most Thai dishes is oyster sauce.
- Sugar - you only need a small amount of sugar to balance the spice and savory flavor.
- Lime Juice - gives the fried rice a refreshing tangy and citrusy flavor.
- Fish Sauce - is a must-have ingredient in many Thai dishes including fried rice recipes. You can substitute it with soy sauce if preferred.
- Sugar - This is optional. Add a teaspoon of it if the tom yum paste you got doesn't include sugar.
How to Make Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
And here's how to make it:
A few tips:
- Saute the onions until soft and fragrant. This will bring out their natural sweetness.
- Cook the shrimp just until some parts have turned pink. Don't fully cook it. This usually takes around 1 minute. Add a few teaspoons of the sauce to give it some flavor.
- Add the rice when the shrimp has been partially cooked. Pour the sauce and the tom yum paste.
- Toss everything together until the rice is coated with the seasonings. By this time, the shrimp will be fully cooked.
Vegetables you can add
Customize this shrimp fried rice recipe by adding these suggested vegetables:
- Broccoli - cook for 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water until tender yet still crisp. Partially cook the shrimp, then add the broccoli.
- Bok choy - separate the stalks and the leaves. Stir-fry the stalks for 1 minute after the onion has softened and before adding the shrimp.
- Mushrooms - in this recipe, I used bunashimeji mushrooms which cook easily. You can also use oyster mushrooms, button mushrooms, and shitake mushrooms.
How to use freshly cooked rice for fried rice?
Use these simple techniques if using freshly cooked rice:
- Cook your rice as you normally do but with a little less water than usual e.g. if 2 cups of rice need 2 cups of water, use 1 ¾ cups of water instead of 2 cups. Get it? This will prevent the rice from being too starchy.
- Spread it onto a tray to cool off faster or place it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
- 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 pound small shrimp / prawn (cleaned, deveined, and shelled, note 1)
- 3 cups cooked rice (note 2)
- 1-2 tablespoon tom yum paste (note 3)
- 8 oz mushrooms (thinly sliced, note 4)
- 2 stalks cilantro / coriander (stalks and leaves separated)
- 1 teaspoon chicken powder (or ½ chicken bouillon)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, note 5)
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon fish sauce
To serve with
- 3 sunny-side-up eggs
- lime wedges
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.1 teaspoon chicken powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 ½ tablespoon fish sauce
- Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and stir-fry until soft and fragrant.1 medium onion, 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Add shrimp/prawns, mushrooms, and 2 teaspoons of the sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute until some parts of the shrimp have turned pink.1 pound small shrimp / prawn, 8 oz mushrooms
- Add the rice, remaining sauce, tom yum paste, and mushroom. Stir-fry for 3 minutes adding the coriander stalks halfway through, until all the rice is coated with the sauce and paste.3 cups cooked rice, 1-2 tablespoon tom yum paste, 2 stalks cilantro / coriander
- Serve immediately, garnished with fresh coriander/cilantro leaves with sunny-side-up eggs on the side.
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Shrimp/Prawn - For convenience, you can also use frozen shrimp. To prevent it from becoming watery during cooking, thaw it by placing it in a zip bag and submerging it in cold tap water.
- Rice - use day-old rice as much as possible. Jasmine rice, short and long-grain rice should work well.
- Tom Yum Paste - available in most Asian supermarkets and online. Note that spice levels may vary. Start with 1 tablespoon then do a taste test. Add more base on your preference.
- Mushrooms - I recommend button mushrooms, portobello, shitake, and shimeji mushrooms.
- Sugar - skip if the tom yum paste you have already has sugar.
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