Shrimp paste fried rice is just salty fried rice with the nuanced flavor of fermented seafood. But just how pronounced that nuance is depends on the quality of your shrimp paste.
A link to a detailed discussion of shrimp paste is found in the ingredients list below. I suggest you go over that before attempting to make this dish. After you’ve decided, know that the success of this dish does not depend on the amount of shrimp paste you use. It has a strong aroma and flavor, and should be used sparingly, so that it doesn’t overwhelm.
If you want to add contrast to the nuanced saltiness of the shrimp paste, add sugar and lime juice to give the fried rice a more interesting blend of flavors. Not much. Add sugar and lime juice little by little and keep tasting until you reach that point when the flavors just pop.
Shrimp Paste Fried Rice
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 shallots peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- 1 cup cooked rice preferably day-old so that the grains have dried out
- pepper to taste
- thinly sliced scallions as much or as little as you like
- salt (optional)
- 1 generous pinch sugar (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice or lemon juice (see notes after the recipe)
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Saute the shallots until softened. Add the garlic and saute until aromatic. Take care not to burn the garlic.
- Add the shrimp paste. Continue sauteeing for another minute or until the solids begin to separate from the oil.
- Add the rice, sprinkle in some black pepper, and turn up the heat. Stir fry until the rice is heated through.
- Off the heat, add the sliced scallions and give the fried rice a few tosses to blend in the greens.
- Taste the fried rice. Add salt is the shrimp paste does not impart sufficient saltiness.