Fried rice is one of the best comfort foods there is. Easy to prepare and completely versatile, this dish can be served during casual meals with the family or even during special gatherings with friends. Among the fried rice recipes available, pineapple might be the last ingredient you’d expect for fried rice.
However, pineapple fried rice is a delicious recipe that has a burst of Southeast Asian flavor, complete with the right mix of sweet, salty, and savory. This pineapple fried rice recipe is an absolutely delicious Thai dish that can be served as a wonderful side dish or as a fantastic main course.
If you like to eat take-out fried rice dishes but want something homemade, this recipe is for you! To learn how to make the best pineapple fried rice, read more below.
Which Rice is Best for Fried Rice?
Before we begin cooking, it’s important to know what type of rice you need to use to make this pineapple fried rice.
You can actually cook fried rice with any rice, as this dish was meant to preserve leftover rice way back in 589 CE during the Sui dynasty in China. However, to cook the best pineapple fried rice that’s on par with the ones served in Thai restaurants, certain types of grains are required.
The best fried rice has separate rice grains and a consistency that’s light and not too sticky. Long grain white rice varieties are ideal as it cooks up with a fluffy and firm texture, and distinct individual rice grains.
Because of its fragrance and sweet, somewhat nutty flavor, many people prefer Thai jasmine rice to all other varieties. However, while jasmine rice is a type of long-grain rice, it has less amylose so it’s slightly sticky when cooked. Basmati rice, which has a greater amylose content, is the superior option.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your taste and the availability of rice varieties in your area. Choose whichever is convenient or to your taste.
Preparing the Rice
For best results, prepare the basmati rice in advance and refrigerate the day before you make the pineapple fried rice. While you can use fresh rice for this pineapple fried rice recipe, using leftover or day-old cooked rice is still preferable.
To cook your rice, simply follow the package instructions or use a rice cooker. Store the cooked rice in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Choosing the Pineapple for Fried Rice
This tropical fruit is unquestionably important to the pineapple fried rice recipe. As a result, it’s critical that you get your hands on a fresh one, if available. What you’ll need to find is a ripe and juicy pineapple that’s sweet.
Look for a smaller frond in the center of the green leaves when picking your pineapple. You don’t have to dig all the way to the center, just pick the ones that are not on the outermost side.
Gently tug on the frond. If the frond pops off easily, it’s the ideal pineapple. If it doesn’t, choose another pineapple.
If fresh pineapple is available, you can use canned pineapple chunks instead.
How to Make Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe
The ingredients used in this pineapple fried rice recipe are freezer friendly and are easily found in your local grocery stores. This fabulous recipe is extremely versatile; you can use the three options provided below, which include basic, vegan, and Thai pineapple fried rice. You can tweak each recipe according to your preferences.
2 cups diced fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 tbsp crushed fresh ginger or ginger powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
Add soy sauce, fish sauce, oil, ginger, and pepper to a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
In a large pan or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring constantly until the onions are translucent. Set heat to medium-high and add in the carrots, corn, and thawed frozen peas while stir-frying. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Add rice, pineapple, ham, green onions, and soy sauce mixture to the wok or pan and cook, stirring frequently for 2-4 minutes. Add in eggs and continue to stir for approximately 2 minutes, or until the scrambled egg is well cooked.
Serve right away.
Vegan Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe
If you still want to enjoy pineapple fried rice but don’t want any meat added in, you can cook this variation.
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, chopped or canned pineapple chunks
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped raw cashew nuts, unsalted
¾ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup frozen peas
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 lime, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
Baked or fried tofu, chopped (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Chili sauce (optional)
Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan in medium heat and toss in the pineapple and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and the pineapple has caramelized on the edges.
Toss in the green onion and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently until the garlic is aromatic. Add fried tofu.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in cashews and peas. Cook, stirring frequently until the cashews are aromatic and lightly browned. Stir in the rice. Cook and stir until the rice is done.
Remove the pan from the heat after the rice has warmed through. To taste, add the tamari and chili garlic sauce. Squeeze one-half of the lime over the rice and stir in the lime juice. Set aside after seasoning to taste with salt.
Cut the remaining lime wedge into four more wedges. Serve the fried rice in individual serving dishes with a lime wedge, chili sauce, and a little sprinkling of cilantro and sesame seeds on top.
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe
This awesome recipe is somewhat close to the authentic Thai fried rice, with ingredients such as curry powder adding a bit of spice to the dish. This Thai fried rice includes shrimp, but you may substitute other forms of protein.
Thai chili is included, but if you’re not too fond of intense spicy flavors, you can omit this.
2 cups pineapple, chopped or canned pineapple chunks
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp honey (you can use palm sugar as a substitute)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup raw cashews
3 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, thinly diced
1/2 cup green beans or corn
2 green onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
Thai chili, chopped (optional)
In a small bowl, add curry powder, 1/8 white pepper, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and honey. Mix well and set aside.
Marinade shrimp in a mixing bowl with the remaining soy sauce and white pepper. Set aside.
Scramble beaten eggs in a smoking hot wok or pan. However, don’t scramble too much to retain a silkier texture. Take the egg out of the pan and set it aside.
Over medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and the marinated shrimp to wok or pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes and cook shrimp until it’s almost cooked. Take the shrimp out of the pan and set them aside.
Add 3 tbsp oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai chili to the now-empty wok and cook over medium-high heat. Stir fry for 30 to 45 seconds, or until aromatic.
Add the cashews, diced carrot, and green beans or corn. Stir fry veggies for 1 minute before adding the rice and sauce mixture. Stir fry everything for 1-2 minutes or until every grain of rice is coated with sauce.
Add pineapple and cook. Add the shrimp, egg, and green onions last. Break down the egg into the rice and continue to stir fry for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is thoroughly cooked and reheated.
Top with chopped cilantro and serve warm.
Tips and Tricks for Pineapple Fried Rice
Serve your pineapple fried rice on a pineapple boat for a more festive appeal.
You can use fish as a substitute for shrimp. Catfish is ideal, but you can use a more local fish like cod. If you use white fish, instead of frying it with the veggies and rice, poach it, flake it up, and add it at the end of the cooking time. This will prevent the fish from becoming rough and dry.
Other shrimp substitutes include crab or crayfish flesh, which may be cooked in the same way as the shrimps. If you’re not a big lover of shellfish, light meats like chicken, turkey, or even pig can be used instead.
Don’t want pineapple tidbits in your rice? You can use crushed pineapple instead, just make sure to drain the excess pineapple juice.
If you’re not fond of crunchy cashews or if it’s unavailable, you can use other nuts or remove them entirely from the recipe.
If you prefer more toppings and color to your fried rice, you can add bean sprouts, chopped broccoli, mushrooms, or corn before serving.
For some sweet undertones to your Thai pineapple rice, stir fry veggies with a little bit of brown sugar.
If you don’t have curry powder on hand, use a mixture of powdered cumin and coriander instead.
Whether you’re a veteran home cook or a complete kitchen newbie, cooking the perfect fried rice is a recipe you wouldn’t have a hard time mastering. All you need is leftover cooked rice, an amazing recipe, and a pineapple bowl and you have yourself a perfect main dish you can serve to impress guests.
Definitely. Just use a gluten-free soy sauce that has been certified. Tamari is typically gluten-free, but double-check to make sure.
How do I serve Thai Pineapple Fried Rice?
This pineapple fried rice can be served in containers or on plates if you plan on cooking them for casual meals. If you want something more presentable, you can serve it on hollowed-out pineapple bowls, sometimes known as pineapple boats.
To make your pineapple bowl, follow the directions below:
Cut the pineapple in halves. Remove the pineapple’s crown if desired.
Make horizontal slices over the top and bottom of the pineapple with a knife without cutting through the peel. Then, to remove the core, make vertical incisions.
Finally, use a spoon to scrape off the meat from the sides.
Set aside the pineapple boat until ready to use.
How long is pineapple good after cutting?
Pineapple is a perishable fruit. Despite its supposedly impenetrable surface, it bruises readily and ferments if left at room temperature for too long. Use within two days if stored at room temperature.
The acidity of the pineapple will rise if stored at room temperature, but the sweetness will not improve. By refrigerating the whole pineapple in a perforated plastic bag, you may extend its shelf life to three to five days.
Once trimmed and sliced, place the pineapple in an airtight container with enough juice to cover it, refrigerate, and use it within five to seven days. Thaw the frozen pineapple before you add it to the recipe. Allowing the fruit to come back to room temperature enhances its flavor.
Freshly sliced pineapple can be frozen in juice or syrup, but the flavor will be diminished. Remove the peel, core, and chop the fruit into bits. Freeze for up to 6 months in airtight plastic bags or sealed containers with their natural juice.
Can I use brown rice in fried rice?
If you prefer something more substantial, you can replace white rice with brown rice. Brown jasmine rice is an ideal substitute for white rice, but you can use any other brown rice variations.
Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.