Fried Rice with Pineapple

by Karin Calloway
Fried rice is a Chinese takeout staple, but my Fried Rice with Pineapple is a Thai tradition that is sweet, spicy and loaded with fresh pineapple flavor. Using a whole fresh pineapple boosts both flavor and presentation. The pineapple is sliced in half, and then hollowed out to later be filled with the warm fried rice. Use a large chef’s knife to cut the pineapple in half, and then cut around the inside (about 1⁄2 inch from the rind) using a pairing knife. This makes it simple to scoop out the flesh of the pineapple with a metal spoon.

Fried rice is best when you use rice that was cooked a day or so ahead, but you also can make it with just-cooked rice if you’re short on planning time. You also can turn the dish into a delicious rice salad by omitting the steps of frying the rice and heating the vegetables. This is a nice, cool option when the weather is hot.

  • 1 medium fresh pineapple
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot (or 1 tablespoon prepared ginger puree)
  • 1 hot red chile, seeded and finely chopped, optional
  • 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped garlic, about 2 large cloves
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine or basmati rice (1 cup raw rice cooked according to package directions)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Cut pineapple in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. Chop pulp finely and place in a large bowl. Add shallots, ginger, chile (if desired), green onions and cilantro. Add salt to taste (about 1⁄2 teaspoon) and set aside.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add rice, fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar, and stir-fry until rice is heated through. Add pineapple mixture and stir-fry until hot. Taste, and add more soy sauce, if desired. Serve in the pineapple shells.

Makes 6 servings.
Fried Rice with Pineapple

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A Taste for Thai
The cuisine of Thailand, with its combinations of sweet, salty, tart and spicy flavors, is an American restaurant favorite. But supermarkets everywhere carry most of the ingredients you need to create a delicious Thai menu at home.