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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Something Out of Nothing: Makeover Edition

I  started rehearsals today for the new play I am directing, which means that for the next five weeks I will almost never be home for dinner.  "Dinner" will be protein bars, fruit and some tea grabbed between leaving my office and arriving at the theatre.  Whoever said theatre was glamorous had another think coming.

For the last week, I have been cooking as often as I can, using whatever was in my refrigerator and pantry to inspire meals.  On the day of the bosses' day lunch, for instance, here is what came home with me:

That's right.  No chicken adobo, but about 8 cups of jasmine rice.  Add some shrimp and a few things out of the pantry, and you've got shrimp fried rice.  I don't actually like restaurant fried rice:  it seems greasy, heavy and salty.  It's not something that I would ordinarily choose to make, but I have a thing about wasting food and I wanted to see if restaurant fried rice could be made over into something appetizing.

Good news:  it can.  I'm not going to lie, fried rice is, you know, fried.  However, the oil can be minimized without sacrificing the flavor.  Dare I say, it actually improves the flavor. 

Made Over Shrimp Fried Rice
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, January 2001

2 tbsp. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp. white wine*
1 tbsp. fish sauce*
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large eggs, whisked
1 cup chopped scallions
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
5 cups cooked white rice (I had jasmine rice)
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, cooked and roughly chopped
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed

Whisk together the first six ingredients in a small bowl.

Warm a large saucepan or wok over medium heat, and add the oil.  When the oil is shimmering, add the eggs and stir fry until a wet scramble forms.  Add the onions and ginger;  stir and cook for one minute.  Add the rice, shrimp and peas and cook until the rice is heated through. 

When the rice is thoroughly heated, add the wet mixture and stir to coat the rice.  If it is still too dry, add a little more broth or fish sauce.

Serves four as a main course.

*The original recipe called for two tablespoons of rice wine or sake, neither of which I had on hand. 


  1. Thank you! My wife loves fried rice, I may have to give this a try :)

  2. Sounds delicious! Best of luck with the new play!

  3. Lovely and something similar to the ones I make at home. I too don't like to waste food and thats why there's plenty of fried rice recipes on my blog. Its such a simple meal for me to prepare, esp on the lazy Sundays, waking up pass 11am.

  4. I like this rework. I too am not a big fan of fried rice in restaurants for the same reason

  5. looks good. I love fried rice. such an easy way to make something delicious

  6. I love your made over version! It looks really tasty! Best of luck with your play!

  7. Sounds like a fabulous fried rice. I am loving how fresh and tasty yours looks.

  8. I love your made over version of shrimp fried rice. I did my own for chicken fried rice. Best of luck with the play!

  9. Thank you for this. I want to like fried rice but as you say... it's fried and the restaurant version tends to be greasy! Going to try your light version.

  10. MMM fried rice. This is the only thing I have tried to make but just can't pull it off. :( Now my sister that can't cook at all can make the family fried rice like a pro. I'll give her this recipe and ask her to make it for me. :)

  11. Sounds like busy weeks ahead, huh? Goodluck on your new play...Thanks for sharing your shrimpy-fried rice ;) My husband will really be thrilled when I cook this for him. A little treat after consecutive nights of takeouts and pizza nights when I get too busy...LOL! Thanks again!

  12. I do like your lighter version of fried rice-kudos to you for not wasting food. I never realized the grease factor in the restaurant style-but now that you have mentioned it, you are right. I will need to try
    Good luck with the play and try to eat healthy while squeezed for time ( I know it can be hard).

  13. Thanks for the fried rice recipe. I make fried rice very similarly. My daughter loves the shrimp version, I'm partial to the sous vide chicken version! Also thanks for your comment on my blog!

  14. Mmmm shrimp fried rice is my favorite! I'd love to have it in lighter form since I have to limit my intake of the Chinese take out. :) Thanks for the recipe!