Pineapple fried rice is one of my favorite Thai dishes. It’s simple, yet so appetizing and hearty. You can serve this with grilled seafood such as squid and fish, as well as with barbecued chicken and pork.
The medley of vegetables, shrimps, fruits, nuts and rice creates a rich symphony of textures and flavors: crunchy, tender, sweet and savory. In fact, this can be a complete meal in itself. Moreover, because it keeps well, you can even bring it to the office or school for lunch.
While it’s best to use fresh pineapple (so you can also serve the rice in the shells), you can do a shortcut and use canned pineapple tidbits instead. Just make sure to drain the pineapple tidbits very well before incorporating them with the rest of the ingredients.
Thai pineapple fried rice
Makes 4-6 servings
1 medium-size ripe fresh pineapple
3 cups one-day-old cooked white rice
2 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c green peas (thawed if previously frozen)
1 small carrot, diced
1-2 c diced fresh pineapple (from the fresh pineapple)
½ kilogram medium-size shrimps, peeled, heads and tails removed
½ c toasted cashew nuts
½ c raisins
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp curry powder
Cut the fresh pineapple in half vertically, leaving the crown of leaves on. Scoop out the flesh of the pineapple, but leave the pineapple shells intact. Dice the pineapple into bite-size pieces. Set aside both the diced pineapple and the shells.
Put the cooked rice in a large bowl and fluff the grains with a spoon to separate them. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large wok and sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the green peas, carrots and the prepared diced pineapple. Stir-fry until the vegetables and pineapple are tender, about one to two minutes.
Add the shrimps and stir-cook until the shrimps turn slightly pink. Pour in the cooked rice, cashew nuts and raisins. Season with sugar, soy sauce, pepper and curry powder. Stir-fry until the mixture is evenly blended.
Pour out any remaining liquid from the pineapple shells. Spoon the rice mixture into the pineapple shells. Serve immediately.
You’ll need a very sharp knife to cut the pineapple. Be sure not to bruise the bottoms of the shells since you’ll be using them as serving dishes.
If you want a stronger flavor, add a little bit more curry powder.