Savoury Fried Rice with Shrimp Paste

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4–6

Appears in

Fried rice is universally popular. All that it needs is a little zest, a little flavour boost, to make it a real treat. Shrimp paste is one of the many seasonings that supply the desired enhancement of taste. A flavoursome condiment, it is a purple-tinted, solid paste and a rich source of protein and calcium. Although it probably originated in south China, shrimp paste is widely used throughout Southeast Asia and is very much a Thai staple.

Ingredients

  • long-grain white rice measured to the 400 ml (14 fl oz) level in a measuring jug and cooked according to the method given
  • 25 g (1 oz) dried shrimp
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 small finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 2 small fresh red or green Thai chillies, seeded and chopped

Garnish

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded spring onions
  • handful fresh coriander leaves

Method

Cook the rice at least 2 hours ahead of time or the night before. Allow it to cool and put in the refrigerator.

Soak the dried shrimps in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain, coarsely chop and set aside.

Combine the eggs with sesame oil, salt and pepper. Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the groundnut oil, and when it is slightly smoking, add the egg mixture and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the egg has set. Remove it and place it on a platter. When cool, chop it into shreds and set aside for the garnish. Wipe the wok or pan clean.

Peel and seed the cucumber, finely slice it and set aside for the garnish.

Reheat the wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of groundnut oil, and when it is slightly smoking, add the garlic, onion and dried shrimp and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes more. Add the rice and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the chillies and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Turn onto a platter, garnish with the egg, cucumber, lime wedges, spring onions and coriander, and serve.

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