Rice. A food I don’t think I could live without. You see, the grain has been a staple in my diet since I could chew solids: rice dishes are a way my family stays connected to our Iranian roots. And now – as an adult living in one of the world’s most diverse cities – I find myself devouring the delicious (and nutritious) complex carbohydrate almost daily. In fact, when I take a moment to think about it, almost all of my favourite dishes contain rice in some way or another (mom’s cooking, sushi, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mexican…) I’m obsessed with all kinds of rice — white, brown, black, wild, short grain, long grain — you name it, I love it and incorporate it into my recipes wherever I can (just take a look at my latest creations featuring the much-loved ingredient). Which brings me to the new recipe share below. You guys have asked for my Thai Pineapple Fried Rice recipe for years so I’m finally spilling the beans…or should I say rice (bwahaha)…
But before I do, I wanted to share a key learning. While I’m usually pretty good at knowing where my food comes from, I’ll admit that I never really paid attention to where my rice was being grown. That recently changed when I discovered that not all rice hails from the east (as I had naively assumed). Turns out, our neighbours to the south have been growing rice in the USA for over three centuries! In fact, the majority of rice consumed in Canada comes from the six rice-growing states: California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. Why is this important? Well, for one thing, thanks to strict agricultural practices of American farmers, USA Rice quality is top-notch. And equally (if not more) important, sustainability has improved exponentially over the years: the incredible farmers have increased rice yields by 53% while decreasing land use by 35%, energy use by 38% and water use by 53% — all without using any GMOs. Woot!
Sigh. What a glorious, glorious grain… And one that is packed with nutrients. I decided to make the recipe below using brown rice (which is basically white rice with its outer hull intact). The whole grain is a healthier alternative since a lot of the good stuff lives in the outer layer (especially vitamin B, minerals and fibre). It also happens to be sodium-free, cholesterol-free, low in calories, gluten-free and a slow burning complex carb which provides lasting energy. Tasty and good for us — double win! And it’s even more spectacular when combined with my favourite fruit…
Ready for it?! Here is my coveted recipe:
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
- 3 cups (750 mL) of cooked, brown USA Rice (preferably a day or two old).
- 1 whole pineapple: divide in half lengthwise and hollow both sides keeping the outer layer intact so you can present the dish in pineapple boats!
- 3-4 tbsp (45-60 mL) vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 egg
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red chili, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (125 mL) salted cashews
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
- 2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder
- ½ cup (125 mL) frozen peas
- Cook the USA Rice according to the package or follow these instructions. Set aside in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to prepare the dish, drizzle 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil on the rice and use your fingers to separate any chunks.
- In a cup, stir the soy sauce with the curry powder. Set aside.
- Add 1-2 tbsp (15 mL) of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chili and shallots. Stir for a minute. If you need, add a bit of stock to prevent sticking.
- Crack an egg into the pan and stir quickly to cook.
- Toss in the cashews and peas. Stir for a minute (add more stock if needed).
- Add the USA brown rice.
- Add pineapple chunks (you may want to use less than the whole pineapple depending on its size) and drizzle the soy sauce mixed with curry powder. Gently stir over medium-high to high heat for about three minutes.
- Give it a taste! Adjust salt levels by adding soy sauce/salt and spice levels by adding more red chilis to suit your palate.
- Serve rice inside pineapple boats. Sprinkle with cilantro and spring onions.
Ta-da! Isn’t she a beaut? This Pineapple Fried Rice recipe is sure to impress your friends and family. It’s definitely one of our favourites when we entertain. Everyone seems to love this colourful, flavourful dish.
This post is sponsored by USA Rice. The recipe above is one I personally love and have been using for years. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely our own. If you love rice as much as I do, give @USARiceCan a follow to see more inspiring rice recipes!