The continuing process of pantry downsizing and clean-out, in preparation for our move from country to city in a couple of weeks, has energized my cooking. Recently, my cleaning yielded a huge bag of jasmine rice (who knew?) and an almost equally large bag of curry powder, never opened. When a grocery delivery came with a free pineapple, I took it as a sign, and began to pull together the rest of the ingredients for this Thai fried rice. Although the dish typically contains fish sauce, I used soy sauce to keep it vegetarian. (For gluten-free, substitute tamari or other gluten-free soy sauce.) If you have time, make the rice ahead, and refrigerate it for a few hours, or overnight, or days in advance; you'll have a much less gluey fried rice. Canned pineapple (not in syrup) can swap in for fresh, and currants can stand in for raisins. Like all fried rice variations, this one is flexible; it's the combination of soy (or fish) sauce with curry powder that sets it apart.
Thai pineapple fried rice
From the pantry, you'll need: jasmine or basmati rice, vegetable stock, garlic, dried red pepper flakes, egg, raisins, cashews, reduced-sodium soy sauce, mild curry powder.
Adapted from this recipe on About.com. Serves 4-6.
3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce (or fish sauce, if not vegetarian)
2 tsp mild (sweet) curry powder
2 tsp peanut, canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large scallions, white and green parts chopped
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 egg (vegans can omit)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup whole roasted, unsalted cashews
3 cups cooked cold jasmine or basmati rice
1-1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth, if non-vegetarian)
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), for garnish
In a small measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce and curry powder. Set aside.
Heat a wok or deep-sided frying pan (I like to use a nonstick pan) over medium high heat. Drizzle in the oil, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic, scallions and red pepper flakes, and stir for 15-20 seconds.
Make a well in the center of the pan, and crack the egg into it. With your spatula, quickly scramble the egg in the pan; this should take only a few seconds.
Then, add the peas, raisins and cashews. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.
Use your hands to break up the cold rice and add it to the pan. Quickly stir-fry for 20 seconds, making sure to keep the rice from sticking as best you can. Stir in the pineapple.
Pour in the broth, and continue to stir-fry for a few seconds. Then, add the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry continuously until most of the liquid is absorbed, and all of the rice is coated with the sauce. It will take 15-20 seconds.
Top with fresh coriander, and serve hot.
More fried rice variations:
Tofu and Brussels sprouts fried rice, from The Perfect Pantry
Turkey and kale fried rice, from The Perfect Pantry
Nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), from The Perfect Pantry
Crab and Chinese sausage fried rice, from Steamy Kitchen
Kimchi fried rice, from Rasa Malaysia
Shrimp fried rice, from Just One Cookbook
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