Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Rice 1

When I featured a commercial brand of Tum Yum Soup Paste in a recent post, it struck me that the paste, in addition to a number of non-soup applications, might be nice flavor base for fried rice and, since I had half a fresh pineapple, I thought I might combine the two.

Serving fried rice in a pineapple shell is not uncommon, especially in Thai restaurants, and, besides being attractive, it is the sort of dish that permits an almost endless range of permutations. Some of the pineapple flesh is always included of course, and shrimp seems to be quite a popular addition. Sometimes, the rice is very plainly seasoned but I also see Thai curry pastes being used as a flavor base and, for this exercise, the Tom Yum paste should work admirably as well. Instead of shrimp, I am going to use some Cuttlefish flesh I have frozen from a previous purchase, along with black mushrooms, some diced ham, and a little green and red bell pepper…

The Ingredients

  • ½ of a fresh pineapple (cut lengthwise) with the flesh scooped out;
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups cooked Rice;
  • ½ cup of the reserved flesh, diced small;
  • 2 dried black (Shiitake) Mushrooms, reconstituted and diced;
  • ½ cup diced Cuttlefish (use small shrimp, if you like);
  • ½ cup, diced Ham (preferable dried Chinese or Smithfield style);
  • ¼ cup, finely diced Red Bell Pepper;
  • ¼ cup, finely diced Green Bell Pepper;
  • 1 tbsp. Tom Yum Soup Paste (or a red Thai Curry Paste).

Thai Pineapple Rice 2

Here is the hollowed-out half-pineapple along with the flesh I will be using in this recipe. Obviously, this is just a small portion of the total flesh to come from just this half of the fruit but the rest will be put to good use.

The Method

Thai Pineapple Rice 3

Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a sauté pan over a medium flame, then add the ham, chopped mushroom and red pepper. Stir-fry until you can smell the aroma of the ham.

Thai Pineapple Rice 4

Now add the cuttlefish, green pepper and the tom yum paste. Stir to coat the rice grains with the paste and let everything get heated well through.

Thai Pineapple Rice 5

Finally, add the pineapple and continue stirring until it is hot as well and then transfer the contents to your pineapple shell. Garnish as you see fit (I used a few celery leaves and a Thai chili), and then serve immediately.

The Verdict

I thought the dish was attractive (although I probably won’t serve rice this way every day). The main function of the exercise, however, was to test the Tom Yum paste as a fried rice flavor base and, I am happy to say, it worked out very well. The paste would be a great addition to fried rice even on its own but the pineapple complimented the taste especially well. Next time, I think I might vary the other ingredients and possibly add some cashew. Beyond that, though, I am very glad I tried this…

21 thoughts on “Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice”

  1. I had pineapple fried rice last week at a local Thai restaurant and I was so disappointed so I went home and made it myself at the weekend. I used chicken for the meat, and fish sauce and soya sauce for the base for the sauce with garlic, ginger and chili, cumin and corriander. I didn’t have cashews so I used pistachio instead. Mine was better. 🙂 I didn’t serve mine in the pineapple half. Yours looks delicious.

    1. Thank you. On the day I made it, my wife was away so I just tasted a little and then kept it wrapped in the fridge until her return the next day. I then pooped it into the microwave, added some cashews and it was even better than the day before!

  2. I am waiting I bet the next post you are going to start carving some ornate swans out of your pineapple . I don’t make this often at home but your version looks very nice .

  3. this reminds me that it’s been a long time since the last time I made pineapple fried rice ^^ I didn’t use Tom Yum Paste for the base, but it sounds like a great idea, thank you for the inspiration 😉

  4. I adore pineapple fried rice and a I always add a little finely chopped fresh chili to it to bring out the sweetness of the pineapple. Tom Yum paste might be similar to that. Love the presentation. It’s so fun.

    This would be great for a pot luck. Inexpensive and with a wow factor. Maybe have one vegetarian fried rice in one half and a meat one in the half so people get to choose.

  5. This is a very popular dish . The fact that you really carved out a pineapple, really deserves my respect. It is a lot if work . People usually do this if they invite guests for dinner. I probably made something simikar but not with a pineapple shell as a plate, not at home. It looks like that you are really successful!

    1. Actually, hollowing out the pineapple wasn’t as hard as I thought. Although, one of those curved-tip knives used for grapefruit would have made it even easier!

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