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Shrimp Fried Rice

As with any recipe, read all the way through before starting. Wok cooking warnings and tips, etc. at the end.

Here is my recipe for shrimp fried rice. I usually leave the shrimp out when my allergies start kicking in. Its fairly easy to cook. I use a wok, but you can probably just as easily use a non-stick skillet or a sticky skillet if you prefer... (I will define terms at the end.)

Food: (This recipe gives me three meals, or three servings, your servings will vary.)

half-pound of shrimp, or about 20 small `popcorn' shrimp, or 10 large ones. a one pound box of brown rice (about 450 grams) vegetables to taste: I use a small onion, three stalks of celery, two largish carrots. Bell pepper (green, non-hot) is also good. Some places use beef fat to make them shiny. Just about any other vegetable you like can be used for this. Try to keep the rice as the main part of this, or you will feel like you are eating salad! (The vegetables should be no more than one-third of this dish, after cooking. I make mine no more than one-fourth.)

soy sauce (I use a low salt one. Tamari is soy sauce.) sesame seed oil is good. sea salt (added in the serving dish, not in the cooking utensil)

Equipment:

I use a 12'' across wok (a large one), the spatula that came with it (almost sheet steel about 1/8 inch thick or 3 mm, a pancake-type spatula is too flexible), a strainer that can hold all of the rice (I prefer one that has prongs on it that allows the strainer to be put on the pot), a slightly larger pot than that recommended by the rice cooking directions, a serving dish, a stove with at least two burners (no, don't remove any, you might need them later... ).

Put the entire box of rice in the pot. Put just enough cool/cold water in the pot to cover the rice and then add about 2 inches (40-50 mm) more. Using your clean hands, move the rice around in the pot. This will clean the rice and any loose husks will float to the top. Drain the water. Depending on the rice, you might do this one more time. Add water to one cup more than that in the instructions on the box. Cook until almost done. It should have a chewy consistency not unlike chewing gum (If it crunches, it's still raw). Turn off the burner. Carry the pot and the strainer over to the sink. While holding the strainer over the sink, dump the rice carefully into the strainer. (If you prefer, put any liquid in a container and keep for soup stock. Yes, it is delicious added to a vegetable soup.) After all the rice is in the strainer, place the strainer on top of the pot opening. I run cold water over the rice at this point, and re-strain it. Set to one side on an unused burner (see, they came in useful after all... ).

While the rice is cooking, cut the vegetables into small slices. I usually chop the onion up, cut the carrots length wise into quarters and then into smaller pieces crosswise. The celery I just trim and then chop crosswise. You might want to take the outer dried layers off of the onion.

Pour a small amount of oil in the wok (three tablespoons at most), turn burner to medium. Place one or two small pieces of vegetables in the wok. When these start to sizzle, wait another 15 seconds and then add all the rest of the vegetables. Stir with the spatula. After the vegetables are well coated (after about 1-2 minutes turning), cover the wok and let cook for about 3-5 minutes. The time will depend on how well you want the vegetables cooked. They should still be slightly crispy at serving time.

After the vegetables have cooked as above, take the lid off the wok and add the shrimp, stir, add the rice and soy sauce. Stir for about a minute or two. I usually use one--two capfuls of soy sauce. (That's the cap that is on the bottle of soy sauce. Some people use a cup or more. I feel with that much soy sauce that is all you are going to taste.) Replace the lid. Let simmer for a short while. I let it simmer while I put the plate, fork, etc. on the table (can you tell I'm a bachelor?). Five minutes at the most. Now take the lid back off and stir again several times. The rice will complete its cooking here. This is why you don't cook the rice until done in the pot, you will wind up with mush (inedible mush, almost like grits :--) )...

Turn off the burner. Using the spatula or a large spoon, dish the fried rice into a serving dish. Now add whatever salt you desire or add after you dish it onto your plate. (I shake the salt into my hand to make certain I don't use too much, before I put it on my food.) I like ice tea with this in the heat and hot tea in the cold weather.

Terms defined: popcorn shrimp; shrimp about 1 inch (25 mm) long after cleaning. About the size of an average popcorn kernel after popping. Usually considered as too small for bait here in Mississippi. About 30-40 of these to make a pound (454 grams). Large shrimp are about 10-12 shrimp per pound. Jumbo shrimp are about 8-10 per pound. small onion; an onion about 1-2 inches in diameter before any removal of the dried outer layers. largish carrot; a carrot about 4-6 inches (100-150 mm) long, not including the green carrot top. a stalk of celery is one part of the bunch. So, remove three stalks from the bunch. A bunch of celery is a single celery plant.

For another flavor: one or two scrambled eggs can be added at the same time as the shrimp.

WARNING: If you have never used a wok, it is easier for the oil to burn or catch fire because of the thinner metal.

The first time I cooked this, it came out good, after that I made mistakes on the timing of the entire thing and wound up with fried mush instead of fried rice.

Now, as to blandness of this meal. The first time I ate this I had spent years eating fast food, snacks, etc. This rice meal had no flavor. After I stopped eating junk food, my taste buds regained their ability to discern flavors. Then I noticed the sublities of fried rice. (Sigh. Yes, I eat junk food today, and the rice tastes almost bland... )

How long can you live on a diet of this? I did it for three years. I rotated different vegetables in and out of the recipe. Yes, I did take vitamin suppliments. This is very cheap to make. The above recipe gives enough for three meals. I just reheat the second and third one in the wok. Thats the other reason for using only a small amount of oil. It will accumulate on the food and then the third time will taste oily. So, only use small amounts of oil. You'll be able to tell after some practice. The first time I cooked this, I waited until I was Home Alone (No! Not the movie! Good Grief!) and cooked it. The first time it came out okay, but not the second as I let the rice cook too long in the pot.

This was so long, I left out the jokes... :--)

A slight error. The shrimp I used in the recipe were pre-cooked. By that I mean the supermarket steams them, then packages and sells them. Raw shrimp would take several minutes of sautéing before adding to the rice in the wok.

VR: Dreamy Jim RL: Jim Pierce e-mail: jmpierce@whale.st.usm.edu



Previous: Dinner at Didi's
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Previous Page: Lemon Snow Pudding with Custard Sauce
Next Page: Drunken Shark by Robert Moreau (DJ's brother-in-law)

Jost.Krieger@rz.ruhr-uni-bochum.de
Fri Dec 17 12:40:15 MET 1993