Thai pineapple fried rice
Baking rice in a pineapple subtly infuses a unique tropical flavour in the rice. This dish is a fun family meal!
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 large ripe sweet pineapple
- 300 g chicken breast or thighs, diced
- oil, for frying
- 4-5 spring onions, white and green parts separated, both finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- pinch chilli flakes
- 3/4 cup roasted cashews, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce*
- 1 tbsp soy sauce*
- 1 tsp fish sauce*
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 3 free-range eggs
- Start by making the rice as it needs time to cool and dry out in the fridge; if you can, do this the night before. First, rinse rice and place in a pot with coconut milk, water and a good pinch of salt. Stir and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce to very low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave (still covered) for 8 minutes before fluffing up grains with a fork. Spread out rice in a large dish or on a tray and place in the fridge to cool and dry out – ideally overnight, but a couple of hours will also do the trick.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut pineapple in half lengthways. Carve out the flesh while leaving the skin intact to create two ‘boats’ (see tip, opposite). Dice flesh and set aside about 1½ cups (if you like, freeze the rest then blend with the leftover coconut milk from the can for a dessert!). Pat the pineapple boats dry with paper towels.
- Pat diced chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok or your largest (preferably non-stick) frying pan on high heat. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes until golden, then add another drizzle of oil, the white spring onion and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric, coriander and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add cooked rice, diced pineapple, cashews, sweet chilli, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until well combined and heated through. Toss through the fresh red chilli (if using) and most of the green spring onion.
- Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Push contents to one side of the pan, add a drizzle of oil to the other side and add eggs. Scramble them around a bit with a wooden spoon or fish slice, then allow them to set as an omelette (about 2 minutes). Once it’s pretty much set, roughly break it up into pieces and toss through the rice. Turn off the heat. Taste rice and season with more fish sauce if needed.
- Spoon fried rice into pineapple boats, piling it as high as you can. Place pineapple halves on an oven tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until steaming hot. Just before serving, garnish with more red chilli, cashews and remaining green spring onion.