Monthly Archives: April 2019

Shrimp Fried Rice | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

I love Chinese food. Takeout. There is nothing better than MSG filled rice and noodles out of a white cardboard box. I decided to start trying to incorporate non-takeout Chinese meals into the weekly menu since virtually traveling to China every day to teach with VIPKID. My dumpling attempt was an epic fail that made all my students’ moms laugh on Chinese social media (yeah, I am totally on Chinese social media 😂).

But. I gotta say. My Shrimp Fried Rice came out yummy! And was described by one Chinese mom as, and I quote, “香.” (Translation: Fragrant). Best part was both kids asked for seconds!

Shrimp Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 cup of dry rice, prepare as directed
1/2 to 1 cup of frozen veggies, your choice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package of frozen shrimp, around a pound, thawed
2 tablespoons sesame oil, more or less as needed
2 tablespoons soy sauce, more or less to taste

  • For frozen veggies, I usually use only chopped broccoli. Because. Picky eaters. I also will use carrots and peas but the peas get picked out by 3/4 of my family. I’ll let you guess who eats them.
  • I like to use the raw, peeled, deveined, tail-off shrimp. Because. Well. It is so much easier. For everyone.
  • It is better to have slightly drier rice. Last time I made this, I accidentally let the rice boil too long before reducing to a simmer. As in it was on the verge of bubbling over. The rice was perfect because it wasn’t as soft and sticky. If you have other suggestion on getting the perfect rice, let me know!

Instructions:
1. Start the rice. Usually rice takes about 20 minutes to cook.

2. When there is about 10 minutes left for the rice, heat up the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok, if you have one. I need a wok.

3. Add the frozen veggies and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. I kind of push it around as it cooks.

4. Push all the veggies to one side of the pan and add the lightly beaten egg to the empty side. Push those around as the cook as you do for scrambled eggs. Because. That’s what they are. Once they are mostly cooked, mix up with the veggies, breaking up the eggs in the process.

5. Add your thawed shrimp. At this time check your rice and, if it is done, remove from heat.

6. Once the shrimp is mostly pink, add the cooked rice. Mix it all up.

7. Add the soy sauce. It will seem like there is not enough for the pile of food in your pan. But just start mixing. And mixing some more. You will be amazed that within minutes, everything is lightly soy sauced. If you like more, add more. But I would only add a little at a time. A little goes a long way.

8. Keep mixing for a few minutes to let the rice become slightly fried.

Recipe Notes: “Push around” is a very technical cooking term. It is not as vigorous as “stirring” but more prolonged than “mixing. So push that stuff around the skillet to keep it cooking evenly and to prevent it from burning!

Nutritional information per BIG serving (using 1 cup cooked rice): Calories 336; Fat 9.6 g (Sat. Fat 1.6 g, Unsat. Fat 7 g); Carbs 38 g (Fiber 2.6; Sugar 1.4 g); Protein 25.4 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 658 mg; Potassium 135 mg

You can switch up the protein or just do Veggie Fried Rice too. I think I would probably start cooking beef or chicken before the veggies though because they take longer to cook than shrimp.

Fast, easy and yummy!! And SO much healthier than takeout!

Advertisements

18 Months | VIPKID

vipkid_teach

Yesterday, I received an email from VIPKID telling me it is time to renew my 4th contract! That means I have been teaching with VIPKID for nearly 18 months! April 1st also marks 1 year since I have been teaching full time hours with VIPKID.

vipkid_teacher

As of today, I have taught 4,782 classes and 1,681 students. That adds up to 119,300 minutes of teaching amazing children on the other side of the world. I literally travel to China every day via the magic of the internet!

Amazing. That is probably the best word to describe this entire VIPKID experience over the last 18 months. I have met so many children who never cease to amaze me. These kids, as young as 3 and 4, are some of the brightest, hardest working children I have ever met. With each 25-minute class, I make connections with children and their families on the other side of the world. Making kids and babies (I love meeting baby siblings) on the other side of the world laugh never, ever gets old. I have so many regular students, some that I have been teaching for over a year, that I adore. I miss them when I don’t see them and I have really been able to get to know them, 25 minutes at a time. I hope to someday soon get to China so I can squeeze as many of them as possible.

The job itself almost all pros for me. I can make my schedule and set my hours without approval or running it by anyone. The lesson plans are all done for me so I log in every day, teach and when I am done teaching, I am done. I don’t have to interact with managers, supervisors, or the company unless I want to besides emails they send out with information about promotions, updates, and other mostly useful information. I don’t have to leave my house so there is no commute time added to my work day. I don’t even need to put on matching pants, appropriate work pants or even actual pants, if I so desire. I do always wear pants though!

For me, the only real con of working with VIPKID is the hours. Doing VIPKID full time makes for some crazy hours because you work Chinese time. I only work during the afternoons and evenings in China, which is the middle of the night and morning hours EST. I usually work 2 am to 10 am on the weekends. Weekdays usually start a little later (3:30 am to 4:30 am) because of the kids’ school day (China is 12 hours ahead of me in North Carolina). BUT. There is a plus side to these hours. I am home and available during most of MY kids’ school day. So if they have an event, their teacher needs a volunteer, they get sick or they stay home sick, I am available! I am also home to pick them from school every day and be with them after school until I go to bed. For me, it is totally worth getting up in the middle of the night to be there for my babies.

vipkid_teacher

The pay. It’s a semi-con. In all honesty, I could be making a lot more money if I went out and got a “real” job in my field. I have a law degree and was a litigation attorney before I quit to be home with my kids. I could be, probably should be, making more than $20 to $24 an hour. But. I would have to put on real pants. Drive to an office. Work long hours and overtime. Bring work home with me. Possibly travel.

I would not be as flexible for my kids. They would need to go to after school care every day and go to day care during the summer. After a long school day that starts at 7:30 am, I am willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be home with them after school and spend the summers with them. They are only children for such a short amount of time and I missed so much of their baby and toddler years. The mama guilt is real. And its strong.

Both of the “cons” of this gig are almost non-existent if you are teaching for VIPKID as a side gig. You can tailor your schedule to an hour or two of classes before your day job if you don’t mind getting up a little earlier. Or limit it to Friday/Saturday evenings. Or Saturday/Sunday mornings. An average of an hour a day will bring home approximately an extra $600 a month. When the day comes that I decide to put on real pants and get an out-of-the house job, you can bet I will still be teaching with VIPKID on the side! Besides loving my regular students, the extra income is so easy and FUN to make!

If you are interested in teaching with VIPKID, as a side gig, full time or somewhere in between, I would love to help you with the process! I have a lot of experience under my belt after 18 months and can help you get started! You can get more information and fill out the VIPKID application: