Pineapple fried rice is a quick stir-fry with Thai-inspired ingredients like jasmine rice, curry, fish sauce, red bell pepper, pineapple, peas, and shrimp. This side dish is served up in an easy to make pineapple boat for an exotic touch.
Take your taste buds on a southeast Asian adventure with this tasty Thai pineapple fried rice recipe. Fragrant jasmine rice is cooked until tender and makes an excellent base for the dish. A combination of curry powder, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic coats and infuses into each rice grain. To balance the savory flavor, fresh diced pineapple adds a touch of sweetness.
Crunchy bell peppers and peas add crunch and color to the dish. Succulent shrimp gets quickly cooked with the rice for an easy way to incorporate protein. All of the ingredients are quickly stir-fried together for a fast meal. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised to be served from the pineapple bowl!
How to make pineapple fried rice
This pineapple fried rice recipe features authentic Thai flavors that perfectly balance the characteristic umami, sweet, and spiced flavors of this Asian cuisine. I use a combination of:
- Jasmine rice
- Fresh pineapple (canned chunks also work)
- Sauce: Soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, curry powder
- Vegetables: Fresh or frozen peas, red bell pepper, red onion, green onion, garlic
Leftover rice is traditionally used to make this dish mainly because it’s convenient and doesn’t break down when stir-fried. Fresh rice can still be used, but allow it to cool before making this recipe. For a low carb alternative, you can also try cauliflower rice.
How to cook rice
This recipe uses long grain, Thai jasmine rice. To make steamed rice, use the simple boil and simmer method. Add a ratio of 1:2 rice to water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let the rice cook until it absorbs all of the water. Do not remove the lid or stir the rice until it’s done cooking!
The rice should have a tender bite and be easy to separate the grains with a fork. Allow the rice to cool down a bit while you gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cut a pineapple for the rice and bowls
It’s time to have a little fun! What makes this side dish so attractive is how it’s presented, in a beautiful pineapple boat. Don’t be afraid to learn how to cut a pineapple, it’s really simple!
- Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise.
- Use a knife to create a bowl shape inside each half.
- Cut out long pineapple spears adjacent to the core.
- Cut out the pineapple core.
- Scoop out any excess fruit.
- Lightly dry the inside.
- Dice the spears into smaller chunks for the fried rice.
A simple stir-fry technique is used to make this pineapple fried rice. To elevate the taste of the dish, aromatics like red onions, garlic and ginger are briefly cooked. The shrimp is then sauteed until they turn translucent, followed by the peas and red bell pepper.
In traditional Chinese fried rice recipes, the darkening of the rice is from the Maillard browning when the rice is heated in the hot pan.
For this Thai-inspired version, curry powder, soy sauce, and palm sugar are incorporated. Stir in the ripe pineapple and green onions, and it’s ready to be filled into the hollowed-out pineapples.
This fried rice recipe yields enough to fill two pineapple bowls, perfect for feeding a hungry crowd. I like to serve it alongside a hot plate of pad thai noodles for a festive feast. I know once you make this recipe at home, you’ll have the confidence and inspiration to try more exotic dishes.
More Thai recipes
Choosing the right variety of rice
For this pineapple fried rice recipe, I recommend using Jasmine rice which originates from Thailand. This long grain rice variety cooks up to be soft and plump with a tender chew with a subtle floral aroma. It’s not very starchy on the outside, so it does not require additional washing and rinsing before making a stir-fry. The grains stay separate and are robust enough to hold up to the more vigorous movement in a wok.
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Pineapple Fried Rice
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 pineapple
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 4 ounces shrimp, 31/40 count, peeled and deveined
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper, ¼-inch dice
- ½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen, defrosted
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- black pepper, as needed for seasoning
- cilantro leaves, for garnish
- In a 3-quart sized saucepan, add rice and water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to a simmer and cover with a lid.
- Simmer rice for 10 to 12 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Remove rice from the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Fluff rice with a fork and allow to cool while preparing the pineapple fried rice ingredients.
- Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise and carve out wedges from both sides of the core.
- Carefully cut out the core, to create a hollow bowl. Scrape the inside flesh with a spoon if needed after removing the core.
- Cut the removed pineapple flesh into ½-inch pieces, reserving about 1 cup (7 ounces, 200g).
- In a small bowl mix together fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and curry powder.
- Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat.
- Add the vegetable oil, once hot add the onions, ginger, and garlic, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the shrimp and cook until it turns pink in color, about 2 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and peas, cook 1 minute.
- Add the rice, constantly stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the diced pineapple and green onions, stir to combine.
- Season rice with black pepper as desired.
- Transfer rice into pineapple bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves.
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