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Continuing on with this week’s mission to use up as many ingredients in the fridge before they go bad….I made some shrimp fried rice for our lunch today.  Super simple, super easy.

The beauty of fried rice is that you can add almost anything to it and it can come out good.  Kind of like soup, where you can throw in whatever random veggies you have, along with the leftover chicken and rice, and voila, dinner.

On a side note, brining the shrimp will help give it that “bite” and “bounce” and improve the shrimp texturally.  Soaking the shrimp in a cool saltwater brine is  especially helpful if you happen to have a mushy batch of shrimp…brining will help salvage them.  If the shrimp is fine, then you can skip this step.  The shrimp I used were not mushy, but I wanted to give brining a try.  The verdict: the shrimp did have more flavor and bite to them, but I don’t feel that I’d be missing out if I didn’t brine the shrimp.

Shrimp fried rice

4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1 pound shrimp, shells removed and deveined
1 zucchini, diced into small cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
2 stalks green onions, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
pepper to taste
soy sauce
vegetable oil

While you are chopping and prepping the vegetables, soak the shrimp in a saltwater brine for about 20 minutes.  Rinse in cool water and pat dry.

Heat oil in non-stick frying pan or wok.  Add onion and cook until it begins to become caramelized and transparent.  Add the zucchini and bell pepper, and cook for several minutes until they are tender.  Remove from pan, set aside.

Add about 2 T of oil to the pan.  When the oil is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer.  If desired, sprinkle ground pepper lightly over shrimp to add flavor.  Do not disturb, do not move the shrimp.  Let cook until shrimp is pink (do not overcook). Remove the pan and side aside.

To the same pan, add about 2 T oil and when the oil is hot, add the rice.  Stir fry, adding soy sauce as needed to flavor and color the rice.

Add the shrimp, onions, zucchini and bell peppers, mix well.  Stir in the green onions.  Flavor with pepper to taste.  Enjoy!