Last Updated: April 16, 2020
Between managing my workload, sports and spending time with family, learning how to cook was never really a priority for me—which I’ve now come to realise is a handicap. Well, what better time to pick up some culinary basics than the period of the ‘Circuit Breaker‘, when we’re cooped up at home with nothing to do?
Here to round up our #stayhome recipes series (Creamy Mac & Cheese, Ramen Pancake, Bak Chor Mee, Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, 5-Ingredient Shrimp Wanton Noodles and One-Pot Chicken & Mushroom Rice) is none other than a classic plate of fried rice, because nothing says Asian home-cooked food more than that.
What I love about fried rice is that it’s savoury, filling and most importantly, it’s simple to cook. This dish is also great for those in a pinch, because you can just use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry and customise it to your own tastebuds. For the recipe I’ll be sharing today, you’ll probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge, so let’s get started on our Salt & Pepper Shrimp Fried Rice!
Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes
Step 1: Toast the Sichuan and black peppercorns in a frying pan over medium heat until they become fragrant.
Step 2: Transfer them into a mortar and grind them into a fine powder with a pestle.
Step 3: Add in the salt and mix.
Step 4: Heat the oil in the frying pan over high heat and add the chopped onion and diced garlic, stir-frying for half a minute.
Step 5: Add the prawns, season with ½ teaspoon of the pepper mixture and stir-fry until prawns start to turn orange.
Step 6: Pour in the eggs evenly across the pan and break them up when they’ve just set (shown above).
Step 7: Add in the rice, soy sauce and a dash of sugar.
Step 8: Stir-fry until well-combined and each rice grain is coated with the soy sauce.
Step 9: Toss through the spring onion (optional) and serve with an extra sprinkling of pepper salt mixture to taste.
As someone who rarely cooks, I was pleasantly surprised with how my Salt & Pepper Shrimp Fried Rice turned out. The most tedious part of this recipe was probably waiting for the prawns to defrost, peeling and deveining them, and chopping up the onion and garlic. When it got down to the frying part, it was a flurry of adding ingredients one after another into the pan and smelling the aromatic pepper mixture that wafted through the house, which had my stomach rumbling.
Each bite of the fried rice was savoury, followed by the numbing effects of the Sichuan pepper, similar to the numbness you would experience when eating mala. The combination of the sweet, juicy prawns with the fried egg and soy-coated rice was simple, yet satisfying and very tasty. The slight hint of sugar made it more of a Thai-style variation of fried rice, so it’s up to you if you want to include it!
This Salt & Pepper Shrimp Fried Rice can be refrigerated, so my advice would be to make a bigger batch of this and portion it over the next few days for easy reheating. You could also make more of the pepper salt mixture to keep as an all-purpose seasoning over scrambled eggs, meats and more—it creates an addictive peppery, numbing sensation.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our Simple Stay-home Recipes series as much as we’ve had fun cooking and eating the fruits of our labour. If it’s helped to tide you over this monotonous period and gain some new culinary skills, let us know whether you’d want to see more of these recipes from us, and we’d be happy to oblige. In the meantime, #stayhome and stay safe during the ‘Circuit Breaker’!
Expected Damage: S$3 – S$5 per portion