This gorgeous, luscious Thai Pineapple Fried Rice will knock your socks off!
Your guests will be pleasantly surprised when you serve the fried rice in the beautifully crafted pineapple bowl. It is great as the main dish or as a side dish.
In this article, I will share with you my method to fried the authentic Thai-style pineapple fried rice, and how to make the pineapple boat in just a few simple steps.
Let’s kick off with a few important tips.
Five tips to cook the best pineapple fried rice
Pineapple fried rice is different from other fried rice because it is the only fried rice cooked with fruits and curry powder. The addition of raisins and crunchy cashews convince me that it will taste completely different from the yang chow fried rice that I posted earlier. Needless to say, it is one of the most ordered items at the Thai restaurant.
This Thai fried rice recipe is modified by adding some small dice of capsicum (red bell pepper) to improve the color and applying the traditional Chinese stir-fry technique. The result is a complex integration of the pineapple, and curry and augmented with the wok aroma as a result of cooking over high heat. The sweetness of the diced pineapple provides a balance to the savory taste of the shrimp and chicken.
Read the following notes before jumping to the recipe section. There is a lot more valuable information here to get the best out of the recipe.
1. Cook the rice
I recommend using Thai long-grain white rice for this Pineapple fried rice recipe. Since it is not very starchy on the outside, the fried rice will not turn out very sticky, which is what is intended to be.
You may want to use brown rice instead of white rice to prepare this fried rice. It is healthier but I still prefer using the fragrance Jasmine rice.
The first step to prepare pineapple fried rice is to cook the rice. You have two options.
Use the leftover rice to cook.
Day-old rice is ideal for frying because it has lost moisture over time and has a dryer surface. It is also a great way to use up the leftover rice. Therefore, it is less likely to stick to the wok and can be stir-fry freely over high heat to generate the wok aroma.
Use fresh rice to cook
If you do not have leftover rice, cook some fresh rice specifically for the fried rice. Here is my recommendation on how to achieve the optimum result.
- Rinse the raw rice several times until the water runs clear even though it is clean. The water of the first rinse looks murky due to the presence of starch from the rice. Less sticky Rice is easy to fry because it will not form lumps easily.
- Discard the water from the rice as much as you can. Add 1.5x of water to the rice. (For instance, if you start by using one cup of uncooked rice, then add 1.5 cups of water.). Cover and cook in a rice cooker. Keep the lid on for at least fifteen minutes after the rice cooker turns off automatically because the rice might not fully cook in most cases. Keep it covered to let the rice absorb the water.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice so that it will not form large lumps.
- Transfer it to a shallow pan to let the moisture escape. You can put it under the fan to speed things up. The rice is now as good as the leftover rice for frying.
2. Prepare the shrimp
Clean, remove the shell, and devein the shrimps. Cut half of the shrimps into small pieces and stir-fry with the rice. Keep the remaining uncut shrimps to place on top of the fried rice as a garnish.
3. Marinate the chicken
Cut the chicken breast meat into slices. Marinate with some salt and water for fifteen minutes or longer. You can cook chicken pineapple fried rice without the shrimps.
4. The seasoning
The combination of the distinctive Thai seasoning sauce, fish sauce, and curry powder makes the pineapple fried rice taste entirely different from any other fried rice.
The Golden Mountain brand of Thai seasoning and the Squid brand of fish sauce is available online. The recipe does not specify which type of curry powder. I am using the Baba brand of meat curry powder, but you can choose any other brand.
These seasonings should be available at the Asian grocery store near you.
5. Making the pineapple bowl
Serving the pineapple fried rice in the pineapple bowl is very appealing.
Here are the steps to make the pineapple bowl. (also called pineapple boat).
- Place the fresh pineapple steadily on the chopping board or on the table.
- Cut it lengthwise, If you want the bowl to be slightly bigger, cut it slightly off the center and use the larger side.
- Run a sharp knife along the sides, then slice crisscross to cut the juicy pineapple flesh into cubes, approximately one inch wide. Be careful not to cut through the skin.
- Use a knife or spoon to scoop out the pineapple cubes.
- Remove any remaining flesh. Clean and keep the pineapple bowl dry.
- Remove the core that might still attach to the flesh of the cubes. Cut the flesh into smaller cubes if they are too large. Set aside for later use.
I suggest always choosing the sweet pineapple for this recipe. If you do not have that ripe pineapple, you can substitute it with the canned pineapple, but you have to make some adaptations in your presentation since you do not have the pineapple bowl.
How to fry the pineapple fried rice (in detail)
Before you begin, get everything ready and within reach to keep things flowing at stir-fry time.
Stir-fry the ingredients
- Heat some vegetable oil in a well-seasoned cast iron wok. You can use a stainless steel wok or a large pan to stir-fry. However, the cast iron wok is the best for stir-frying since it has a high heat capacity, non-stick, and withstands high heat.
- Stir-fry the shrimp over medium heat until they turn pinkish. Remove immediately.
- Add the chicken meat to the remaining oil and stir-fry the same way as the shrimp. I like to cook shrimp and chicken separately as shrimps cook faster than chicken.
- Remove the chicken, and add the onion. Saute the onion until tender and slightly translucent. You can also cook it further until it is caramelized. You can do it either way. Remove.
- Crack one egg into the remaining oil. Add some oil if required.
- Scramble the egg until it is half cooked over low heat.
Fry the rice
- Pour the cooked rice into the scrambled egg mixture. Stir and flip quickly to combine with the egg. The rice should not have lumps. The grains should be well separated, preferably air under the fan or kept overnight. You will break the rice grains if you try to break up all the lumps with the spatula in the wok.
- Stir-fry the rice started from low heat, then turn up the heat gradually as the rice becomes dryer. The rice will stick to the wok (especially if it is not well-seasoned) if you use a high temperature at the beginning.
- When the grains start to dry up, the starch on the surface will no longer react with the wok surface. That’s when you can turn up your high-power stove even resemble a towering inferno, and your rice will remain free-flowing and will not stick to the wok.
- Add the seasonings. Combine well.
- Return the shrimps (only those small pieces, keep the whole shrimps to garnish later), chicken, and onion to the wok. Add the pineapple pieces.
High heat to generate the wok aroma
- Add the capsicum. Gradually turn the heat up to the highest level you can muster. That’s the stage you see the chefs tossing the wok over the blazing flame in the restaurant! (Note: Since the home stove will not produce as much heat as the one in the restaurant, stir-fry one plate at a time is the best option.)
- Once you smell the wok aroma generated by the high heat, add the cashew nuts, raisins, and chopped green onions. Turn off the heat immediately. Prolonged cooking will not create more aroma. It will only dry up the rice further which is undesirable. The best fried rice should be lightly charred on the surface but still chewy inside.
- Scoop the rice into the pineapple bowl. Place the shrimps on top and garnish with more chopped green onions. Serve.
- 8 Shrimps (leave 4 whole, and 4 cut into small pieces)
- 50 g chicken breast meat (marinated with 1 tsp oil and 1/4 tsp salt)
- Half cup fresh pineapple cubes
- 1 egg
- 250g of cooked rice
- half onion (about 50g) diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- One tablespoon of Golden Mountain seasoning sauce
- 2 teaspoon of fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Heat some vegetable oil in a wok. Stir-fry the shrimps over medium heat until they turn color. Remove.
- Saute the chicken meat. Once it is cooked, remove.
- Saute the onion until tender and slightly translucent. Remove.
- Scramble the egg until it is half cooked over low heat. Add the cooked rice and combine with the egg.
- Add the seasonings. Combine well.
- Return the shrimps (only those small pieces), chicken and onion to the wok. Add the pineapple cubes and the capsicum.
- Turn to high heat. Once you smell the wok aroma, add the cashew nuts, raisins, and chopped scallion.
- Scoop the rice into the pineapple bowl. Place the shrimps on top and garnish with more chopped scallion. Serve.
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Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless Steel
Lodge 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok. Pre-Seasoned Wok with Flattened Bottom for Asian Stir Fry and Sautees
Golden Mountain Seasoning Soybean Sauce - 6.8 fl oz bottle
Squid Fish Sauce 725ml
BABA Meat Curry Powder 500g - 17.64oz
NOW Foods Raw Organic Cashews
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1226Total Fat: 64gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 52gCholesterol: 316mgSodium: 6683mgCarbohydrates: 119gFiber: 9gSugar: 29gProtein: 45g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/16/2019