While the whole world is debating and meme-fying the adding of pineapple to savory preparations, I would just say one thing. It is no harm in experimenting once a while, because you don’t know what hits a jackpot for your palate! So, this tropical-ish Thai Pineapple Fried Rice is what you can actually go for. Made with fresh pineapple, this Pineapple Fried Rice recipe is simple, lightly spiced, delicious and vegan.
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The Pineapple Debate
A few years back, I had read an article which said “Please don’t heat your fruit and put it in savory foods.” This was basically for pineapple and other fruits being used as one of the main ingredients in various savory dishes like pizzas, etc.
Someone also once mentioned that you can only do so, when your kid is fussy about fruits. So, somehow just get them to consume fruits by adding in those dishes, which are otherwise meant to be salty and savory.
This whole pineapple deal has really been a controversial topic since a long time now. Not just for yesterday, but even today and will be tomorrow as well. Still, I also know many people who actually love their fruits in hot food.
What I feel personally is that there’s really no harm in going a little offbeat with flavors and pairings once a while. Just make sure to pair flavors tactfully, so that you don’t make something which is absolutely not edible, and then ending up in the bin! You can’t waste food!
The reason I have this Pineapple Fried Rice recipe is probably the same. Just to break that mundane routine of monotony, I would never shirk away from trying new combinations in food.
Though, I totally agree that its best to keep things classic or the way they have been always. But again, there’s also fusion food. Right? And its really fun to take the less traveled route sometimes!
Pineapple Fried Rice is Good
My first experience with the Pineapple Fried Rice was when we ordered one at one of the hotels in Kerala. Boy, was it delicious! Quite unbelievable too at that time. The fried rice was light, minimally spiced, yet packed with flavors. We liked it. So, I came back home and created this recipe. Glad that I did!
Usually, I make this simple vegetable Fried Rice. And not till recently, did I venture into any other fried rice recipes with fruits. Having said that, as I mentioned here earlier, sometimes it’s a fun thing to not work with the obvious. Hence, the Pineapple Fried Rice recipe!
About Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Since I’m using pineapple in this unique fried rice, the entire dish has slight sweet undertones. But then, there’s a spice attack too with the green chilies, crushed pepper and red chili sauce, amidst all this sweetness going on.
This Thai Pineapple Fried Rice is best with fresh pineapple cubes. If not, then opt for canned. I also prefer adding the Sriracha over the regular red chili sauce. Turn on the spice level to more or lower it by adjusting the levels according to what your taste buds can handle.
Got leftover rice? Use it in this Pineapple Fried Rice recipe without an iota of doubt. Also, go on make it colorful and more nutritious by adding veggies like baby corn, carrot, bell peppers, cabbage or green beans.
How to serve: Serve Thai Pineapple Fried Rice just as it is. Turn into a hearty meal by pairing with some stir-fried vegetables or pack it in the tiffin box as a delightful lunch.
How to make Pineapple Fried Rice
1. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice or your preferred long grained rice in water till the water runs clear of starch. Then, soak the rice in water for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain all of the water from the rice and set the soaked rice aside.
You could also use jasmine rice. Follow the prep and cook instructions as mentioned on the package.
2. Heat 4 to 4.5 cups water in a pan or pot.
3. When the water becomes hot, add ½ teaspoon oil.
4. Then, add ½ teaspoon salt.
5. On medium to high heat, let the water come to a rolling boil.
6. Add the rice.
7. Gently stir and cook the rice on medium to high heat without a lid.
8. Cook rice, al dente or almost cooked. Once cooked, drain the rice in a colander and set aside. You can gently fluff the rice with a fork, if you want. Allow the rice to completely cool at room temperature.
Do not cook the rice completely as while stir-frying the rice grains will break and result in a mush.
9. While the rice is soaking, prep the other ingredients. Peel and chop the pineapple in small cubes.
You will need about 1 cup chopped pineapple cubes. Also, chop the other ingredients like onion (about ⅓ cup finely chopped), green or red chilies (1 teaspoon chopped) and garlic (½ teaspoon finely chopped).
Make Pineapple Fried Rice
10. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a kadai or wok. Add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions. Choose to add ⅓ cup green onions or spring onions instead of onions if you like.
11. On low to medium heat, sauté the onions for a minute.
12. Add 1 teaspoon chopped or sliced green chilies or red chilies, ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic and ½ teaspoon finely chopped celery (optional). Stir and sauté for a few seconds.
13. Then, add ¼ cup cashews (unsalted).
14. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or till the cashews become light golden or golden.
15. Add the pineapple cubes.
16. Stir and sauté the pineapple cubes for 4 to 5 minutes or till the moisture dries up. You can also sauté the pineapple cubes till they caramelize.
17. Add ½ teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper. Mix very well.
18. Add 1 tablespoon naturally fermented soy sauce. You can also add tamari as per your taste. If using any other kind of soy sauce, then add as per your taste preference.
19. Mix to combine.
20. Add ½ tablespoon Sriracha sauce or red chili sauce or. You can add more or less according to your taste.
20. Mix the sauces thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
21. Add the cooked rice. Make sure the rice is completely cooked before you add it to the stir fried pineapple mixture. Hot or warm rice can will break or become mushy as you cook further.
22. Season with salt.
23. Stir gently and mix the rice well with the rest of the ingredients. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check the taste and add more of the soy sauce or red chili sauce if needed.
24. Lastly, add 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro). You can also add 1 to 2 tablespoons parsley leaves instead of coriander leaves. Mix gently again.
25. Serve Pineapple Fried Rice as is or with stir-fried veggies. You can garnish Thai Pineapple Fried Rice with scallion green (spring onion greens) if you prefer.
- Substitutes: Fruits like crunchy and firm apple or pear for pineapple; chopped nuts like walnuts, pistachios, almonds or pine nuts for cashews; spring onions for regular onions; sliced fresh red chilies for green chilies; white pepper powder for black pepper and chopped parsley for coriander leaves.
- If you don’t have naturally fermented soy sauce, use any kinds of soy sauce. Adjust accordingly.
- Sriracha takes this preparation, a notch higher. If you don’t have, the good ol’ red chili sauce is just as good.
- Remember to cook the rice al-dente. Cooking them completely may result in your pineapple fried rice become mushy.
- Don’t want to add extra time by cooking the rice? Use leftover rice instead. Make sure that the cooked rice is completely cooled before you use it in the recipe. Do not use hot or warm rice as the rice grains break easily while stir-frying. Moreover the fried rice can have a clumpy or lumpy texture.
The origin of Pineapple Fried Rice is believed to be Thailand. However, this particular recipe is my version of it.
Yes, you can use tamari, liquid aminos or coconut aminos if you have.
You can use pear, apple instead of pineapple and vegetables like cabbage, green beans, capsicum/bell pepper, baby corn and carrot.
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Pineapple Fried Rice (Thai Style)
For cooking rice
- 1 cup basmati rice – 200 grams or 1 cup long grained rice
- 1 cup water – for soaking rice
- ½ teaspoon salt or add as required
- ½ teaspoon oil
- 4 to 4.5 cups water – for cooking rice
- 1 cup chopped pineapple cubes
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or fresh red chilies or 1 to 2 green chillies, chopped or sliced
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium onion, spring onions can also be used instead of onions
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic or 2 to 3 small to medium garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped celery (optional)
- ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper or add as per taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (naturally brewed) or add as required
- ½ tablespoon sriracha sauce or red chilli sauce, add more as per taste
- ¼ cup cashews – unsalted and raw
- 3 tablespoons oil – any neutral flavored oil
- salt as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) or 1 to 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Rinse rice very well till the water runs clear of starch. Soak rice in water for 20 minutes. Drain all the water using a colander or a strainer and set rice aside.
- In a pot, bring to a boil 4 to 4.5 cups of water, salt and oil.
- Add the rice to the hot water.
- On a low to medium heat cook the rice without the lid.
- When the rice becomes al dente or just cooked, remove the pot from stovetop and drain the extra water from the rice.
- While straining, you can also gently rinse the rice in water so that they stop cooking and don't stick to each other. You can also fluff the rice with a fork and set aside. Cover the rice and set aside till the rice cools completely.
Making pineapple fried rice
- When the rice is soaking, prep the other ingredients. Peel and chop the pineapple in small cubes. Also chop the other ingredients like onion, green chilies and garlic.Spring onions can also be used instead of onions.
- Heat oil in a wok. Add finely chopped onions.
- On a low to medium heat, sauté for a minute.
- Add chopped green chilies or red chilies, finely chopped garlic and finely chopped celery (optional). Stir and sauté for a few seconds.
- Then add cashews.
- Saute for 3 to 4 minutes till the cashews become a light golden or golden.
- Add the pineapple cubes.
- Stir and saute the pineapple cubes for 4 to 5 minutes till the moisture dries up. You can also saute the pineapple cubes till they caramelize.
- Add freshly crushed black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add soy sauce. You can add soy sauce as per your taste preferences. Mix well.
- Add sriracha sauce or red chili sauce. You can add more or less as per your taste requirements.
- Mix the sauces evenly with the rest of the ingredients.
- Add the cooked rice. Season with salt.
- Stir to combine gently and mix the rice very well with the rest of the ingredients. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes with occasional stirrings.
- Lastly add chopped coriander leaves. You can also add parsley leaves or chopped scallion greens (spring onion greens) instead of coriander leaves. Stir and mix well.
- Serve Pineapple Fried Rice as is or pair with stir fried veggies or any of your preferred side dish.
- Cook rice grains until al dente. Do not cook them completely as the grains can break when stir-frying.
- Cool the rice completely. You can also refrigerate the rice for 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to stir-frying it.
- Add the sauces and seasonings as needed according to your taste and spice preferences.
- Swap pineapple with firm and crunchy apple or pear.
- In place of cashews use chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts.
- Use white pepper instead of black pepper. Coconut Aminos, Tamari and Liquid Aminos can be swapped with soy sauce.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Pineapple Fried recipe post from the blog archives first published in January 2016 has been republished and updated on 10 June 2022.