Shrimp Fried Rice to Jazz Up Your Leftovers

Should you find yourself with a load of leftover cabbage, carrots and peas from your Sunday roast dinner, give this a go for a quick and healthy Monday night supper. The shrimp can easily be replaced (or indeed, augmented) with any leftover meat you may have lying around. You don’t need much of anything – that’s one of the real advantages.

However, if you haven’t got leftover vegetables to hand, it is still worth a bit of upfront chopping and steaming. The end result is every bit as good as your local Chinese takeaway, but fantastically healthy and low calorie. A new weeknight favourite.

Feeds 2


1/2 a small white or green cabbage (or 1/4 of a large one), finely sliced and then roughly chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced

4 spring onions, sliced (or one medium white onion, finely diced)

1 pepper (red, orange or yellow), de-seeded and finely diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 small piece of ginger (25g or so), peeled

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Handful frozen peas

Leftover cooked meat, chopped small (optional)

2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more to season

1 tsp sesame oil

250g plain cooked rice left to get cold (I often use a packet)

250g (approx.) frozen raw shrimp, defrosted and deveined

2 eggs, cracked into a small bowl and beaten

1 juicy lime

Fresh coriander, to serve


If you’re working with leftover veg to start, simply chop everything up so it’s nice and small. Set aside. Keep the raw ingredients separate from the cooked vegetables for now.

If you’re starting from raw, place the chopped cabbage into a basket steamer and steam for 5 – 8 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the steam and leave to cool slightly. Chop up the carrot, spring onion and pepper as directed.

Use a fine grater to grate the ginger and garlic into a paste. Set aside.

Preheat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil.

When the oil has started smoking, add the raw vegetables including the ginger and garlic, giving everything an immediate stir around. Keep stirring every few seconds or so. After about 3 – 4 minutes the vegetables will have softened slightly. Then add the cooked cabbage, peas, and whatever other cooked meat or vegetables you’re using. Cook for a minute to warm through.

Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Next add in the rice, breaking it up with your hands to make sure you haven’t got any clumps. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often. Once the rice is hot and everything has been combined, push it all to one side and make some space to cook the shrimp.

Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer in the available space you’ve made. Cook for a minute, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir everything together. Now push it all to one side again, ready for the eggs.

Add the beaten eggs to the pan in the space you’ve made for them. Cook, stirring the eggs often, until you have scrambled eggs. Once the eggs have cooked, stir them through the rice.

Turn off the heat and squeeze over the juice from the lime. Now taste the rice mixture and add more soy sauce if required. (It’s worth getting it right at this stage.)

Transfer to two plates and top with some fresh coriander. Serve, preferably with a fork and a cold beer.

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