Pineapple is frequently used in Taiwanese cuisines because it is sweet yet tangy and very suitable for stir fry. Canned pineapple is a better choice for this fried rice dish because it is much sweeter than fresh pineapples. We sometimes think canned pineapple doesn’t have much nutritional value left after the canning process but it is still beneficial to consume them because of their high fiber content.
Pineapple fried rice is an elegant dish worthy of any type of banquet especially when it is plated in the hollowed out pineapple shell. This dish can be made with many different ingredients: chicken instead of shrimp or add green onions and other fresh vegetables instead of frozen ones.
Let’s talk about how to make fried rice. I am sure many people have heard the myth that fried rice must use the leftover rice from the previous night. Seriously, there is really no logical reason for this.
The most important thing to do in making fried rice is to separate each grain of rice, keep each grain whole, coat with oil and seasonings. Taiwanese likes Japonica rice. Freshly cooked Japonica rice is soft , loose, and absorbs lots of flavor when stir fried. But this cooked rice becomes very hard and lumpy when it becomes stale or refrigerated overnight. It is not an easy task to separate the grains and loosen the lumps during the stir fry process without crushing and breaking the grains.
If you have to use leftover cooked rice, steam or microwave the rice first before stir frying it in the wok to make the process easier.
About adding eggs in fried rice: if you are using fresh or warm cooked rice for 1 serving size, heat up the wok to cook the green onion first until it becomes aromatic, add beaten eggs to make scramble eggs, add the rice, and finally the seasonings. Stir fry quickly then plate.
To make a large serving or using cold rice, make the scrambled eggs first until it is half cooked then remove from the wok to prevent the egg from hardening in prolonged cooking process. Heat up the wok again to quickly stir fry the green onions then lower the heat to stir fry the rice to break up the lumps slowly with medium heat. Do not use high heat when the cooked rice is cold. If the rice appears to be dry at this point, add some water then seasonings. When the rice grains have loosened and separated, add the eggs back to the rice then plate.
I don’t like to first stir fry the rice then add the beaten eggs. This method is commonly called “gold over silver”. It doesn’t give you the fluffy scrambled eggs nor the clean rice texture in the fried rice.
Canned pineapple – 1 can
Vegetable oil – 3 tablespoons
Frozen shrimp – 300 g
Frozen vegetables (broccoli, edamame, or others) – 150 ~ 300 g
Cooked white rice – 5 bowls = 1000 g or 400 g of raw rice
Salt – ½ teaspoon
MSG – ¼ teaspoon (can be skipped)
Fried pork fiber – to taste
1) Drain the pineapple from the can. Cut It into small dices.
2) Heat up the wok and add the vegetable oil. Use high heat to stir fry the shrimps first until done then add frozen vegetables to cook for a little while longer. Drain the oil (leave it in the wok) and remove the shrimps and veggies from the wok.
3) Use the oil left in the wok to stir fry the cooked white rice and pineapples pieces (if necessary, add another tablespoon oil) with medium heat until the rice is no longer lumpy. Add salt and MSG (can be skipped) to season.
4) Add the shrimps and veggies back to the wok. Stir fry until everything is evenly distributed in the rice then turn the heat off.
5) Plate the fried rice, sprinkle some fried pork fibers, and eat while hot.