Pineapple fried rice stir-fry made with curry-flavored rice, shrimp, chicken, raisins, and more! It’s 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 in resealable bags, and freeze 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.
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 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 pineapple 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 and no exceptions! 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.
Cooking tips for stir-frying
- 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.
- Stir-fry on high heat to prevent the rice from sticking to the surface and to give it a nice, toasty flavor.
- Only one cup will be used in the recipe. Store the remainder of the pineapple 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.