Fried Rice with Pineapple

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.