We like to introduce you to new ingredients, because there are so many different flavors, textures, and cuisines out there. Trying out new recipes and ingredients can help broaden your palate, and you will never get bored making the same thing over and over again. After all, you never know what you may like or what will become your next favorite thing!
Today we will be adding red curry paste to our fried rice to really kick it up a notch with some heat and a ton of flavor. Red curry paste contains spices like coriander and peppercorns; fragrant ethnic ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, and Kaffir lime leaves; and for the heat factor, red chiles. But we like to buy the paste, instead of buying all these ingredients, so dinner will be quick and easy.
“I was unsure if I would like this as I have never had, or cooked, curry before. This was fabulous! Will absolutely make again!”
There are many other kinds of curry paste that are made with different ingredients, such as yellow curry paste, which gets its yellow color from turmeric and yellow chiles, or green curry paste, which is made with a bunch of fresh cilantro and green chiles.
Each curry paste lends a different flavor profile, so we encourage you to try out the different kinds to find your favorite. For example, red curry pastes tend to be the spiciest of them all, while green curry pastes are sweeter.
“Used green curry instead of red & it was fabulous! I did not expect my toddler to gobble this down like she did!” -Sydney
We stuck with red curry paste for our Curried Fried Rice with Shrimp, but feel free to use the curry paste of your choice.
The key to making fried rice is to use leftover rice that has been sitting in the fridge overnight. This firms the grains, rids them of extra moisture, and keeps them separated, so that your fried rice will not turn mushy. Mixing the rice with a bit of cooking oil also helps the break up the grains to make it easier for stir-frying.
“I really liked this meal. It felt indulgent with the creamy curry sauce.” -Colette
Defrost, rinse, and dry the shrimp a day before, but if you forget to take the shrimp out of the freezer, here’s a solution:
Using a wok will help you cook fried rice and stir-fries easily, and is inexpensive, like this non-stick wok.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
For More Smarts:
For the vegetarians out there, many curry pastes contain shrimp paste, but you will be able to find curry pastes without shrimp paste, and these usually tend to be red curries.
You can find curry pastes in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store or at any ethnic supermarkets. If you are concerned about spice, any brand carried at a Western supermarket should be pretty mild. And of course, always test it out little by little. Add less curry paste than the recipe calls for, and then add more to taste. That way, you won’t have an overly spicy meal that will have you gulping down milk straight out of the fridge!
- Shrimp – 1 lb., peeled and deveined
- Green onions – 3 stalks, chopped, white and green parts separated
- Red curry paste – 1 tbs.
- Fish sauce – 1 tbs.
- Brown sugar – 1/2 tbs.
- Coconut milk – 3/4 cup
- Leftover rice – 3 cups
- Cooking oil – 1 tbs. + 1 tbs. + 1 tbs.
- Eggs – 4
- Frozen peas and carrots – 2 cups
- Peanuts – 1/4 cup, crushed
- Lime – 1/2, juice of
- Shrimp – Defrost, rinse, and dry. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Green Onions – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Sauce – Mix together curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, and coconut milk. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Rice – Mix leftover rice with first part of cooking oil. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add second part of cooking oil and then shrimp to heated oil. Pour in half the curry sauce, and saute until shrimp is mostly cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Remove from wok and set aside.
- Return wok to heat and add last part of cooking oil to pan. Add in white parts of green onion to heated oil. Once you can smell the aromatics, crack eggs into wok and scramble. When eggs are done, add in leftover rice and frozen vegetables. Stir-fry for ~1 minute. Add in remainder of sauce. Toss everything together, and cook until rice is warmed through. Add in green parts of green onions, peanuts, shrimp, and a squeeze of lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper (use white pepper if you have it).