Most of us know fried rice as a Chinese dish. With that mindset, we cook the dish with seasonings that give it distinctive Chinese flavors and aroma. But did you know that you can cook fried rice with Japanese flavors?
To cook shrimp and squid fried rice with Japanese flavors, saute the seafood in sesame seed oil and season the rice with dashi and soy sauce. Japanese soy sauce is less salty that its Chinese brethren so there is no need to worry that using dashi (which is also salty) will make the fried rice too salty to be delicious.
But why add dashi? And why granules? Dashi heightens the seafood flavor of the dish. Granules because you don’t want to use too much liquid when cooking fried rice to prevent it from getting soggy.
Shrimp and Squid Fried Rice
- 250 grams shrimps shelled and cleaned
- 250 grams squids cleaned and skinned
- 1 large bell pepper
- 10 to 12 green beans
- 1 onion (preferably the sweet variety)
- 3 to 4 shiitake mushrooms
- 3 to 4 cups cooked Japanese rice cooled
- 2 to 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 packet dashi granules
- 2 to 3 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoon sesame seed oil divided
- Cut the shrimps and squids into small pieces, ideally no larger than half-inch.
- Deseed and chop the bell pepper.
- String the green beans and thinly slice.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- Cut off and discard the stems of the shiitake. Chop the caps.
- Stir together the rice, dashi granules and soy sauce.
- Lightly beat the eggs.
- Heat one tablespoon of sesame seed oil in a frying pan.
- Saute the shrimps and squids with a sprinkle of salt. Cook for about two minutes then scoop out and set aside.
- In the remaining oil, saute the bell pepper, green beans and chopped onion with a sprinkle of salt for about two minutes. Scoop out and set aside.
- Pour the remaining sesame seed oil in the pan and turn up the heat to high.
- Dump in the rice. Stir fry for two to three minutes or until heated through.
- Turn down the heat to medium and push the rice to the sides of the pan to create a well at the center.
- Pour the beaten eggs into the well.
- Stir the eggs in a circular motion, slowly incorporating the rice as the circular motion gets wider and wider.
- When the eggs are cooked through and incorporated, turn up the heat once more and add the shrimps, squids, mushrooms and vegetables to the rice. Stir fry for another two to three minutes.
- Taste the fried rice. Add more salt if needed and toss a few more times before serving.