The weeknight dinner menu is relentlessly predictable around our house. Ground turkey, salmon, and chicken dishes rotate throughout the week like clockwork, some headed to the stovetop, others to the grill. While I like the routine of it all (my grocery list is so reliable that my delivery app can practically autofill everything I need), we're typically so desperate for something different that we're dialing in takeout before the week's over.
I love giving our local favorites business on a Thursday night, but this week I decided to recreate one of our go-to to-go orders at home: Shrimp Fried Rice. It was a hit before I even started prepping the ingredients. The second I mentioned what I was making, my husband started pacing around the kitchen eager to see how my stab at it would stand up to our spot down the street.
And honestly? It was just as good. Most of the ingredients were already waiting in my pantry, so all I had to do was add some shrimp to my shopping list to get started. Once the rice was cooked, the veggies were chopped, and the shrimp were sizzling in my skillet, it came together quicker than a delivery would have made it to our door.
The recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet or a wok, and I'll warn you that it's more than a suggestion. As you combine the veggies, rice, sauces, and shrimp, not only does the pan get crowded, but it's also still frying away. Without the right pan, you're destined for a bottom layer of sticky, stuck-on rice that you'll have to scrub off later.
I had a little fun and added some water chestnuts and corn to the mix, though peas would have been a nice add on too. Next time, I'll plan ahead and dry the rice before adding it to the wok. Making it a day in advance or cooling it down on a baking sheet in the refrigerator would have made it a little less sticky. Even still, it was a hit and ready in less than 30 minutes–a win, win in my book.