I was super excited to find pineapple for 97 cents at the local grocery. 97 cents is such a steal, and it fit perfectly into my $4.50 a day budget challenge. I was so excited I immediately texted B and my mom and my dad my awesome discovery.
I also text B all my other great finds…like “Hey, gas is $2.90!,” so he’s used to my, uh, appreciation of the small things in life.
Fried rice is super easy and a main medical school staple. It’s the Asian “casserole”for leftovers in the fridge. The trick to fried rice is using OLD rice and cook with high heat (make sure all ingredients are prepared). I made the rookie mistake of using fresh rice the first I tried this and it became a mushy mess. Similarly, don’t go crazy adding sauce because additional liquid makes it mushy. And scramble the eggs ahead of time for the same reason.
Thai fried rice in particular has the fun addition of pineapple. Normally I don’t like cooked fruits (eww, ham and pineapple pizza), but I have always been a huge fan of pineapple fried rice. You can’t beat the style points when you present your dish inside a gorgeous pineapple.
Nerdy fun fact: “Pineapples contain a plant enzyme called bromelain; it breaks down protein, making it a natural meat tenderizer. Bromelain also induce a prickly sensation in the mouth when consumed.
Although the enzyme is in all parts of the pineapple plant, it’s most concentrated in the stem and the core (which is edible, although tougher). Many people believe that letting a pineapple sit overnight helps take away the irritation, but the best way is to cut out the core (source)”
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparot)
1 cup pineapple, chopped (save the shell to serve)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cups cooked rice (at least 1 day old)
1 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons curry powder (to taste)
1/2-1 tablespoon paprika (to taste)
1/2-1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
5-6 thai chiles
2 red bell peppers (or any vegetable), diced
1/4 cup cashews, roasted
1 cup cooked chicken pieces
3 green onions, sliced
pepper, to taste
Halve the pineapple lengthwise and hollow out each half. Cut the pineapple into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
Scramble the eggs with some oil in a wok; remove and set aside in a bowl. Heat oil in a wok with the onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, curry, paprika, red pepper, and thai chilies; continue stir frying. Add bell peppers/vegetables, pineapple, cashews, and chicken as well as the scrambled eggs and stir fry until combined and cooked. Adjust spices to taste.
Remove from the heat and fill prepared pineapple with rice for serving. Garnish with green onions.