Being Egyptian, I get stuck with leftover rice more than I’d like to admit. Add that to our current lockdown situation, it’s only getting worse. I don’t know if this is a common problem or if it’s just me, but every few days I make one dish or another which requires rice, and there the cycle begins. Some rice is always leftover, and it’s usually not enough to make a whole dish either, so what to do? The next day I get the brilliant idea of cooking even more rice to add the leftovers to, which results in...surprise surprise...a new batch of leftover rice. It’s an infinite loop! Once it starts, you will almost always have some small bowl or container in your fridge housing an insignificant amount of rice that you don't know what to do with.

Well, this cycle ends here! With this dish, you’ll never get stuck with another stale bowl of rice again. Thai fried rice with shrimp is actually best made with day-old rice, and nothing beats this Thai street food favourite in terms of delivering bags of flavour. The key to leftover rice is that it loses some of its moisture over time which allows it to separate and not clump up, and hence fry off nicely. For protein, the best is shrimp in my opinion, however; you can use either chicken or beef. You can skip the protein entirely if you prefer a vegetarian dish.

I stumbled upon this recipe originally by Mark Wiens, and it has been my go-to dish for leftover rice whenever I can get my hands on some good shrimp. So without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 2
Equipment: Wok (a large saute pan would work as a substitute).


- 1.5 cups of cooked rice, cooled (or day-old for better results!)
- 10 shrimps, tail on
- ½ small white onion, sliced
- 1 baby bok choy, sliced in strips (or any other crisp, leafy vegetable)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions
- 1 egg
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp oyster sauce
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 1 Tbsp of veg. oil

Chilies/Fish Sauce:

- 5 bird's eye chilies, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- ½ a lime


- Combine the chilies, fish sauce, and lime in a small bowl. Use to dress the finished dish.
- Place your wok on medium-high heat, add the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, and stir until fragrant (about 15 sec)
- Toss in the shrimp, and fry for about 30 sec or until they turn pink.
- Add half your rice, to soak up all the shrimp juices. Stir fry for 10-15 secs. This keeps your rice nice and dry.
- Push all your mixture to one side of the wok, and crack the egg in the empty side. Give the egg a stir and let it cook for a few seconds.
- Begin mixing the egg with your rice and shrimp. Keep stir-frying for another 20 secs to fully cook the egg.
- Stir in the rest of the rice, add the soy sauce oyster sauce, and a pinch of sugar. Stir until sauce is mixed in.
- Add the chopped bok choy, stir fry for about 30 secs, or until leaves begin to wilt.
- Lastly, add the green onions, give it a stir.

Done! Now you can serve and enjoy your bowl of amazing shrimp fried rice.

Try the recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Will this help end the cycle of left-over rice? Tell us your thoughts in the comments down below!