One of my favorite dishes to order at our favorite Thai restaurant back in Singapore was pineapple fried rice. I have yet to see this dish on the menus of the Thai restaurants here so I have decided to give try making pineapple fried rice last week.
The recipe is adapted from the blog, Guai Shu Shu. I referenced the cutting of the fruit from about.com. The detailed instructions and pictures helped a lot. And for me, a serrated knife/bread knife is the best choice not only for outside but to cut out the insides of the pineapple too. I used a regular spoon to scoop everything out and reserved the amount I needed for the fried rice while the rest went into a fruit salad. Please do not fret about getting perfect cubes out. It didn’t happen for me either.
2 shallots/1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 cup frozen green peas
1 chicken breast, cut into small cubes, lightly coated with cornflour
2 cups cooked white rice (leftover rice or freshly cooked but with slightly less water than usually called for)
1 cup pineapple cubes, with juice
1 loose tablespoon turmeric
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
1. Heat a wok with medium high heat for 2 mins. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is easily spreadable and forms “lines”, shallow fry the cashew nuts till golden. Scoop up, drain and set aside.
2. Let the wok reheat for 1 minute. Add in chicken cubes. Sear the chicken till light golden brown on both sides before removing. Sear for 1 minute on one side and flip it over with the spatula for the other side. Scoop up, drain and set aside.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the wok. Add in the shallots. Stir fry till fragrant before adding in the turmeric powder. Mix the turmeric and let it mingle among the shallots. Add in the rice. Add at this point the pineapple juice and a dash of water (about 2-3 tablespoons). Quickly push down the spatula and flatten and spread the rice. Stir fry, flatten and spread is the continuous action until all the rice are coated yellow. The juice and the water helps moisten the rice and increase the spreadability of the rice. It also helps to continue cooking the rice to render it al dente. At this point, the moisture should have nearly all been evaporated.
4. Once coated, add in the sauces, chicken, pineapple cubes and peas to mix. Stir fry and toss vigorously to get everything evenly mixed together. Once everything is heated through, add in the raisins for a couple of final tosses. Switch off the heat. Carefully fill up the pineapple boat with the fried rice and garnish with your choice of topping, coriander or store bought crispy shallots.
*Note: For the rice, I made it fresh on the day itself. Cooked the rice one hour earlier using 20% less water and once done and flaked, I let it air until I am ready to use it.
** Note: When preparing the pineapple boat, it is better to rinse the whole pineapple under water as there are always small bits everywhere.
***Note: If one prefers to have some heat in the fried rice, do add in a sliced chilli or two together with the peas.