It’s the first of two recipes this week! Since my mom lived in Taiwan for a few years when she was in her 20s we grew up eating Asian food (mainly Chinese and Taiwanese) made from scratch at home. Talk about an amazing childhood, right? Because of that I’m super picky about my Chinese and I usually just prefer to make it myself. Sounds complicated and too much to do, right? I mean, how do you take a delicious ethnic food and make it yourself? Well it’s actually super easy. Most east Asian food is just a combination of 4 things: sauce, veggies, a protein, and rice. Keep them separate and you’ve got the vast majority of Asian foods. Cook them together and you’ve got fried rice. So strap in, folks. We’re making the most delicious fried rice you’ve ever had!
Seafood Fried Rice
I hate to say it, but in reality you’re going to want a very big wok for this. I try not to force you to purchase new equipment for these recipes, but if you’re going to make proper and delicious Asian food at home, you’re going to need a wok. Large frying pans are the next best choice, but they’ll need to be awfully big to make up for a lack in wok. Pots won’t work at all – while there’s going to be plenty of space to keep all the ingredients, there’s not enough surface space to fry everything. You can heat a wok on high heat and, because of the way the wok is designed, the distribution will keep things from burning, but also keep everything hot enough to stir-fry instead of boil/burn/overcook. A wok is generally large enough to hold all the ingredients you’ll need to make really good Asian food, unlike most saute pans. And, lastly, a wok makes for a very healthy cooking surface – because of the way the wok is shaped you need less oil to cook than in a traditional saute pan.
So now, after that one paragraph, I’ve talked you into it and you’ve purchased the best wok you can afford, right? Good! Then congratulations! You are now the proud owner of one of my most-used pieces of kitchen equipment (note to self, that would be a great post someday). Wait – you’re telling me I didn’t convince you? Blast… Well you can still using a frying pan, it just won’t work as well. Pick the biggest one you’ve got (not a pot, just a frying pan) and let’s chat about ingredients.
Guys, I know you all wanted to see me make this with actual snails. But in reality, I’m not going to. Based on the photo and where Link picks these things up, I’m guessing they’re meant to just be shellfish. So, from now on, any recipe containing any of the variety of snails will be substituted with shellfish, usually shrimp. Trust me, you’ll thank me for that. And just like the Creamy Heart Soup we have to fudge a little in the real world.
First, we make the rice. Now, my wok is huge. My mom had one of her friends in Taiwan purchase a traditional wok for me for my birthday a few years ago and it can hold massive amounts of food. I’m guessing you weren’t that lucky. So I’ve toned down this recipe to fit a wok (or frying pan… sigh…) half the size of mine. That should (fingers crossed) work out alright. So let’s make rice, using the same directions I always post, but list in detail in the Meat and Rice Bowl recipe. Rinse the rice several times in water, fill it up with water to your first knuckle with your finger resting lightly on top of the rice, and turn on the rice cooker. One of these days I’m going to figure out how to make rice in a pot so I can teach you all how… but it is not this day! This day we use a rice cooker! For Gondor!
While the rice is cooking let’s chop the veggies. Measure out your peas (they don’t need to be thawed), wash your carrots, green onions, and cabbage, and let’s get going. Chop the carrots into larger bite-size pieces. Peel the outer leaves off the cabbage (this may just be a personal thing) and cut the cabbage in half. Slice into strips, turn the strips, and chop into small squares. Cut the green onions into inch long pieces and let’s do the shrimp.
Until recently I was incredibly nervous about working with raw shrimp. I was always afraid I would undercook it and get sick and die. As a microbiologist raw seafood is NOT on the menu. But once I discovered how easy it is and how delicious well-cooked shrimp is I’ll never go back. Most shrimp is frozen and farmed. It’s really the only way to get sustainably-sourced shrimp nowadays. That’s totally fine. Try to find something that still has it’s tail on but it deveined. While I know how to devein a shrimp I can’t go into it here. I don’t have any photos, you see, to show you. So take your properly thawed (put them in the fridge the night before in a ziplock bag. It’s as easy as that) shrimp and rinse them gently under cold water. Now take each shrimp and pull the tail off. Just place your knife along the tail, right up to where the tail meets the shell inside (so at the end of the flippers… fins? Then just pull. It’s super easy. Place them all in a bowl together and now we wait.
As soon as the rice is cooked heat your wok (or frying pan) on high, as hot as your stove will go. Add about 1-2 tablespoons oil and half the green onions. Now, it’s important you use the right kind of oil. You need a vegetable oil, an avocado oil, canola oil, something like that. Olive oil has a lower smoke point so it can’t handle the high heat we’re going for. When the green onions start popping add all the eggs and scramble until cooked. Don’t overcook them, we still want them soft and slightly squishy. Take them out of the pan/wok and set them aside.
Add more oil and the rest of the onions. Add the carrots, frozen peas, and cabbage. Stir fry (literally just stir as you fry) until the carrots are slightly tender, but not mushy. This’ll take anywhere from 5 minutes (if you have a wok) to 10 minutes. Take them out of the wok and again, set aside.
Add a smidgen more oil and, after 30 second or so, add the raw shrimp. Cook for several minutes (about 3) or until they are completely pink but not overdone. If they’re totally pink and really curling in a circle they’re probably a little overcooked. Once they start to show a little pink add the salt and continue to stir frying until pink all the way around.
Add the veggies back in and stir everything together. Add the rice and eggs and stir and mix until completely combined. Add all the soy sauce and stir until well-mixed. It’ll seem like a lot of soy sauce until it’s mixed completely. Once it is, maybe a minute or two, it’ll even out and be much better.
Serve and get ready for the compliments!
Link’s Seafood Fried Rice
- Rock Salt
- Hylian Rice
- Hearty Blueshell Snail or any Porgy
Seafood Fried Rice
Fried rice with shrimp, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and peas
- 1.25 cups calrose (or other sushi) rice
- water to cook rice
- 3 eggs
- 2 carrots
- 1/3 head of cabbage
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 15-20 raw shrimp, tail on, deveined
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 or so tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- Rinse the rice several times in water. Level the rice, place your forefinger gently on top of the rice, and add water until the level is up to your first knuckle. Cook in a rice cooker until done.
- While the rice is cooking prepare the other ingredients. Measure out the peas and leave them frozen. Wash the carrots, green onions, and cabbage.
- Slice and chop the carrots into large bite-size pieces. Peel the outer leaves off the cabbage and cut off the top third. Slice that third into strips, turn the strips, and chop into small squares. Cut the green onions into inch long pieces.
- Ensure the shrimp has been thawed properly. They should be thawed in the fridge overnight in a sealed bag. Rinse the shrimp gently under cold water. Remove the tails by placing the edge of your knife along the tail, right up to where the tail meets the shell inside. Pull gently but firmly to remove the entire shrimp from the shell. Place all the shrimp in a bowl.
- As soon as the rice is cooked heat your wok (or frying pan) on high, as hot as your stove will go. Add about 1-2 tablespoons oil and half the green onions. When the green onions start popping add all the eggs and scramble until cooked. Don’t overcook them, we still want them soft and slightly squishy. Take them out of the pan/wok and set them aside.
- Add more oil and the rest of the onions. Add the carrots, frozen peas, and cabbage. Stir fry (literally just stir as you fry) until the carrots are slightly tender. This will take anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Take them out of the wok and again, set aside.
- Add more oil and, after 30 second or so, add the raw shrimp. Cook for several minutes (about 3) or until they are completely pink but not overdone. If they’re totally pink and really curling in a circle they’re probably a little overcooked. Once they start to show a little pink add the salt and continue stir frying until pink all the way around.
- Add the veggies back in and stir everything together. Add the rice and eggs and stir and mix until completely combined. Add all the soy sauce and stir until well-mixed. Serve and enjoy!