I haven’t done any real cooking in our Austin kitchen yet, but this homemade Thai pineapple dish is looking pretty tempting after all the tacos I ate yesterday! Tacos for lunch and tacos for dinner. I am determined to eat all the tacos in Austin.
I even locked myself out of my car yesterday when I got out to pay for some tacos. That gave me a whole hour of waiting for the locksmith to think about tacos and review my list of Austin restaurant recommendations. I’m really overwhelmed by all the choices here. I don’t know if any taco will be able to beat the mushroom taco that I got from Torchy’s Tacos last night, though. Goodness!
Back to Thai food. This pineapple fried rice was inspired by a meal at Sweet Basil in Norman, Oklahoma over the holidays. I really loved the combination of sweet, caramelized pineapple with Thai spices. I can’t claim that my version is traditional, but it does taste very close to my memories of that dish. I used some leftover bell pepper instead of tomato and thought it was pretty great that way.
The cooking method for this fried rice is a riff on my spicy kale and coconut stir fry, so if you’re a fan of that recipe, I think you’ll love this one, too. This meal comes together very quickly once you start cooking, so make sure that your ingredients are prepped and ready before you turn on the heat!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or quality vegetable oil, divided
- 2 eggs, beaten with a dash of salt
- 1½ cups chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced (about ¾ cup diced)
- ½ bunch green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ cup chopped raw, unsalted cashews
- 2 cups cooked and chilled brown rice*, preferably long-grain brown jasmine rice
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha
- 1 small lime, halved
- Season with salt, to taste
- Handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnishing
- Heat a large wok, cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and place an empty serving bowl nearby. Once the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact, add 1 teaspoon oil. Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are scrambled and lightly set. Transfer the eggs to the empty bowl. Wipe out the pan if necessary with a paper towel (be careful, it's hot!).
- Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the pineapple and red pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated and the pineapple is caramelized on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the green onion and garlic. Cook, while stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds or longer. Transfer the contents of the pan to your bowl of eggs.
- Add the remaining two teaspoons of oil to the pan. Pour in the cashew and cook, stirring constantly, until the cashews smell fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pan and stir to combine. Once the contents are warmed through, remove the pan from heat. Add 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce) and chili garlic sauce or sriracha, to taste. Squeeze the juice of ½ of a lime over the dish and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to individual serving bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of torn cilantro leaves, with jars of chili garlic sauce or sriracha on the side.
*Rice notes: For 2 cups cooked rice, you'll need to cook up about ⅔ cup dry rice. To cook the rice, rinse it well in a fine mesh colander, then bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rice and let it boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain off the remaining cooking water, then return the rice to the pot. Cover the pot and let the rice steam, off the heat, for 10 minutes. To chill the rice ASAP, spread it across a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and let it cool in the refrigerator.
MAKE IT VEGAN/EGG FREE: Skip the eggs by heating the pan and then start cooking with step 2. This fried rice would be great with crispy baked tofu, which you could toss in during the last step.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Make sure to use a certified gluten-free soy sauce (tamari is usually gluten free).
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: The dish tastes great the next day, whether reheated or served at room temperature.
If you love this recipe: Be sure to check out my other Thai-inspired recipes here!