In this Pineapple Fried Rice recipe, you’ll learn:
Pineapple Fried Rice only takes minutes to cook, but can easily become a heavy, soggy mess if you just throw all the ingredients into the pan for a stir fry. I’ll show you have to make the best pineapple fried rice at home with some simple cooking tips that will guarantee fluffy, light, tasty fried rice — and NOT soggy, goopy or heavy.
Use leftover rice that’s been refrigerated. Freshly cooked, hot rice will result in too-sticky, glue-like texture in your fried rice. That’s because hot, cooked rice is already sticky and perfectly cooked. Adding this into a wok — with additional ingredients and liquid (like soy sauce) will turn the rice into mush.
Leftover, refrigerated rice has had a chance to dry out a bit. The process of cooking and adding in liquids and wet ingredients (for Pineapple fried rice, it would be soy sauce and pineapple) will rehydrate the rice grains.
Sometimes, I’ll make a batch of rice, then freeze it. When I want to make fried rice, I’ll defrost the rice to use (but make sure you don’t heat it through — just defrost until no longer frozen).
Here is another important tip – prior to cooking, wet your hands and run your fingers through the cold rice, separating each grain of rice. Rice won’t stick as much to wet hands. Separating the grains before adding to the wok will make the rice fluffier and lighter. Imagine adding a clump of rice into the wok and trying to separate out the clumps with a spatula – it is too difficult!
In this recipe for Pineapple Fried Rice, you’ll cook the egg first, then dish out to plate. Then, in same pan, cook the chicken. A couple minutes later, add the shrimp. This is to ensure that each ingredient is perfectly cooked (not over or under cooked) AND that each ingredient maintains their distinct flavor and texture.
Chicken takes longer to cook than shrimp, and if you cooked them together, the shrimp will be rubbery and tough.
The egg is cooked separate because we want perfectly scrambled egg pieces in the fried rice. If you add the egg into the pan along with other ingredients, the egg will just coat all the ingredients and make them heavy. Plus, everything will taste like a mish-mash of ingredients. I want my eggs to taste like eggs, and my shrimp to taste like shrimp!
If you want to use whole pineapple for Pineapple Fried Rice, use the pineapple as a bowl for a presentation. Take a look at your pineapple. Which side is the flattest? The flattest side should be the bottom of the pineapple bowl. If your pineapple is roly-poly, then go ahead and make a very thin slice, just to create a flat edge. I probably could have sliced mine a little thinner — too thick of a cut and you’ll cut too much flesh (and your bowl will leak)
Now cut the pineapple in half, lengthwise – keeping in mind here where the “bottom” of the pineapple bowl is.
Reserve half of that pineapple for another use.
Use a knife to cut along the edge of the pineapple, about 1/4″ away from edge. Go all the way around. I like using a flexible boning knife so that i can get deep into the pineapple. Just be careful not to cut all the way through the skin — and especially not through the bottom of the pineapple.
Cut along both sides of the pineapple core. We’ll discard the core later.
Use a large spoon to scoop to lift up the pineapple flesh and loosen the pieces.
Take out the core, and set aside (we might have to use it a little later.)
Scoop and scrape out the rest of the flesh, being careful not to go through the skin or through the bottom of the pineapple.
But oops, see that little hole? Don’t worry. I’ll plug it up. Cut a small piece from your pineapple core, and press it into that hole. That should plug it up nicely.
Now, it’s ready for your Pineapple Fried Rice! Discard the rest of the core. Cut the pineapple flesh into small, bite-sized pieces, about the size of a dice. If you feel like you want more pineapple, feel free to cut the other side as well. But remember, that too much pineapple in the fried rice will mask the flavors of the delicate rice, shrimp and chicken.
The original recipe and photo of the dish is from Everyday Chinese Cookbook by Katie Chin (reprinted with permission). I’ve made changes to her recipe (Katie used pre-cooked chicken and pre-cooked shrimp in the recipe), and I think you’ll love the flavors of sweet pineapple in this dish.
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