No you take the pineapple seriously. It has been stereotyped as a “fun time” fruit in popular culture and appears variously as an accessory for the man from del monte, the star of Agado Song and the centerpiece of the cheese and pineapple hedgehog in children’s birthday parties for decades. Today’s recipe, however, gives the pineapple a chance to grow up: its sweet and sour nature balances the chilies, while its sumptuous juiciness helps put the bigger, bolder flavors in its place.
Thai style fried rice with pineapple
If you’re a 1980s kid (like me), you might be inclined to reintroduce the retro pineapple fun by serving the rice in a half-hollowed pineapple. Check if the fruit is ripe by pulling a spike from the center of the crown: if it comes out easily, it’s ripe.
preparation 15 minutes
Cook 25 mins
500g left over cooked riceor 200 g raw jasmine rice
50 g unsalted cashew nuts
8 spring onionscleaned and finely chopped
½ tsp fine sea saltor to taste
2cm x 2cm piece of fresh gingerpeeled and grated
4 fatty cloves of garlicpeeled and chopped
2 red bird’s eye chillies
250 g fresh pineapple fleshcut into 2cm x 1cm cubes (from a pineapple weighing at least 800g)
250 grams of green beanstopped
1 x 225g can water chestnutsdrained (140g net)
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tablespoons vegetarian pan sauce – I like Lee Kum Kees
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 large handful of Thai basil leaves
1 limecut into wedges
If you prepare the rice yourself, place the jasmine rice in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and place in a saucepan that you have a tight-fitting lid for. Cover with 12 ounces of just boiled water, bring back to the boil, then put the lid on and bring the heat to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Spread the cooked rice on a large plate and let cool to room temperature; If you’re not going to make it right away, put the plate in the fridge without the lid.
In a large skillet that you have a lid on, add 1 tablespoon of oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cashews, stir-fry for a few minutes until golden, then transfer to a plate. Add a few more tablespoons of oil to the same pan and when hot, add the scallions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir-fry for three minutes, until tender and neon green. Add the ginger, garlic and chilies, stir fry for two minutes, then stir in the pineapple and fry for a minute. Add the green beans and water chestnuts, mix well, cover the pan and let cook until the beans are soft and bent, about five minutes: If the mixture is starting to stick and the beans are not yet pliable, add a splash of water to the pan.
Stir in the curry powder, then pour in the stir-fries and soy sauce and let sit for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to become acquainted. Add the cooked rice and mix in gently – I find a spaghetti fork helps me with this without breaking the rice too much. Turn up the heat and fry hard for five minutes, turning halfway through. Once piping hot, invert onto a platter, sprinkle over Thai basil leaves and fried cashews, and serve with lime wedges.