Pineapple fried rice stir-fry is the perfect use for day-old rice. It's loaded with curry-flavored rice, shrimp, chicken, raisins, and cashews for a hearty and tasty side dish or a complete meal in itself.
One kitchen hack that saves me plenty of time during dinnertime is making a big batch of steamed rice once or twice a week. I cool down the cooked rice completely, divide it into resealable bags, and freeze it so on days when I am too busy or too lazy to prepare a complicated meal, I just thaw a bag to stir-fry into a delicious and filling fried rice.
If you're looking for delicious ways to revamp day-old rice, you've come to the right place as I have tons of fried rice recipes I hope you try such as house special, nasi goreng, yang chow, and this pineapple fried rice which happens to be my fave.
What is pineapple fried rice
Pineapple fried rice is a Thai dish made of pre-cooked rice, juicy pineapples, chicken, pork, crab meat, or shrimp, and other add-ins such as green peas, sweet peppers, cashews, and raisins. It's seasoned with curry powder and fish sauce for a delightful medley of sweet and savory tastes.
A type of Khao phat, which means "stir-fried rice," it's a popular street food sold in wet markets and food stalls and is commonly served as a side dish or a main entree.
While it's usually presented in hollowed pineapples, this is optional. If you want to skip carving the fruit, canned pineapples will work just fine.
Having said that, if you do have a few minutes to spare and don't mind a little bit more mess, I urge you to take that extra step. There is just something about using fresh fruit chunks and serving the fried rice in a pineapple boat that makes it that more special.
How to cook steamed rice
The heart of this dish is, of course, the rice, and properly preparing it is the first step to successful stir-fried rice.
- Long grain rice works best, and my favorite to use is Jasmine rice. It has a subtle floral aroma and fluffy, sturdy grains that don't stick together or become mushy when stir-fried.
- Rinse the rice a few times until the water runs clear to remove surface starch that would otherwise make the cooked rice gummy. Drain well using a fine-mesh sieve.
- When I am planning to make fried rice, I usually decrease the amount of water used in steaming the rice to yield a drier texture. Check the package for recommended measurements.
- Use day-one cooled rice! Leaving the rice in the fridge to cool rids the grains of excess moisture and allows them to firm up.
- If using freshly-cooked rice, spread out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 to 2 hours or refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours to dry out and completely cool.
- Stir-fries are a quick process so make sure all the ingredients are prepped and ready to go.
- Cut the chicken in uniform, bite sizes for fast and even cooking.
- Use a wok or a wide pan with high sides for easy distribution of the ingredients without spilling and to give the rice enough space to toast nicely.
- Cook on high heat to prevent the rice from sticking to the surface and to give it a nice, toasty flavor.
- Only one cup of pineapple will be used in the recipe. Store the remainder in an airtight container and use for other recipes.
- To keep from overcooking, pan-fry the shrimp just until color changes as they will continue to cook when added back to the pan.
Thai pineapple fried rice is delicious as a side dish or a complete meal. You can serve it on regular plates or hollowed pineapple boats for better presentation.
- 1 pineapple
- 6 cups cooked rice
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
- ½ pound chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
- ½ cup unsalted cashews
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup green peas
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 green onions, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Stand pineapple (with leaves facing up) on a flat work surface. With a serrated knife, slice down on one side of pineapple at about ½ inch thick. Do not cut leaves.
- Using the knife, cut around the inside of the pineapple, following the rim. Cut the pineapple flesh by making vertical and horizontal slices. Using a large spoon, scoop out the pineapple. Scrape down any fibers left inside pineapple boat.
- Cut pineapple flesh into 1-inch chunks. Only 1 cup will be used in the recipe. Store the remainder of the pineapple in an airtight container and use for other recipes.
- Rinse the hollowed pineapple boat and drain well.
- Using hands, break rice to separate grains. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, chicken broth, curry powder, and sugar. Stir until sugar and curry powder are well-dispersed. Set aside.
- In a wide pan or wok over high heat, heat about 1 tablespoon oil. Add pineapple chunks and cook, stirring regularly, for about 30 seconds Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add shrimps and cook, stirring regularly, until color changes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add chicken and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Wipe down the pan as needed. Add about 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add eggs and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 minute or until they begin to set but still moist.
- Add liquid mixture, stirring regularly.
- Add cashews and cook, stirring regularly, for about 30 seconds or until lightly toasted.
- Add the rice and cook, spreading on the entire cooking surface of the pan, for about 45 seconds or until grains start to sizzle and then toss to redistribute. Repeat a few times until sauce is well distributed.
- Add green peas and raisins. Continue to cook until green peas are heated through.
- Add the shrimps, chicken, and pineapple. Toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add green onions and continue to cook, tossing regularly, for another 1 to 2 minutes or until ingredients are heated through.
- To serve, spoon rice into pineapple boats. Garnish with additional raisins and cashews as desired. Serve hot.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”