“How are you planning to serve the rice ?” Amie asked as she sniffed the pot of fragrant, yellow rice.
I smiled and opened the fridge, pulling out a small Walmart bag. From within the layers of kitchen paper, I proudly lifted out a large pineapple with a hollow core “This is what we will serve it in.”
Amie had graciously invited us to take over her kitchen for the afternoon and host a dinner party for 9. Zoe and I were dying to impress our guests. So we spent the afternoon following tutorials, on google trying to figure out how to make a pineapple boat.
I actually found that making a pineapple boat wasn’t too difficult. Maybe it was my stubborn or impatient streak, but I gathered my tools (aka. knifes, forks, spoons) and spent a solid 30 minutes digging. Maybe all that sand shoveling I did at the beach paid off?
Zoe and I originally created this recipe few months ago in our little college dorm with the intent of putting together a quick/fast meal. We had no time to defrost meat or buy groceries so we just cooked up leftover quinoa with some canned pineapple, diced tomatoes, curry powder and fresh coriander. Our impromptu and unintentionally “vegan” fried rice turned into one of our very favorite meals. Because it is SO DECEIVINGLY easy and fool proof, we decided to include it on our summer dinner menu.
At first, pineapple fried rice might seem way too simple to serve to a table of talented & experienced foodies. But I promise – you will be surprised.
Once again, simplicity has proven its charm. I must say that the fried rice was my favorite dish that night.
Filling up this pineapple boat was so much fun! We served the roasted cashews (unsalted) on the side for our guests who had nut allergies. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the pineapple boat being passed around the table (much lighter and easier than a regular pot).
The dinner turned out to be a huge success!! It was one of those nights I wished I could keep replaying over and over again.
By the end of the evening the kitchen was a mess, there were dishes piled up, pots to clean; but nonetheless well worth the effort. It was a magical evening of good company, and amazing food – one of those childhood “make believe” days that made me think just for a second that I really was a professional chef.
Whipping up some of my favorite South-East Asian Dishes was simply my favorite way of spending a Hot Summer’s Evening. Don’t miss out on this incredible Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashew Nut Recipe!
(And here is a sneak peek of the dinner we made for our guests. Zoe and I spent awhile trying to figure out what paired with what best and of course adding a little of our own “healthy twist to it”):
Our Dinner Menu (for 9):
Pineapple Fried Rice with Toasted Cashew Nuts (Gf, V, Oil-Free)
Indonesian Beef Rendang (GF) with Fragrant Coconut Rice & Salad Cucumbers
Steamed Broccoli with Ginger
Summer Thai Egg Salad (GF, Vegetarian)
Kung Pao Tofu (GF, V) – Above
Chocolate Hazelnut Butter/Raspberry Jam marbled Mini Muffins (P, GF, V, Oil-Free)
Of course we have to thank the incredible Amie for letting us crash her gorgeous kitchen (basically my dream kitchen) & the talented Tanan for taking some incredible pictures for us!
Ingredients – serves 8-9
- 3 cups uncooked Jasmine Rice (Or 2 2/3 cups uncooked quinoa)
- 1 whole pineapple, cored
- 7 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 6 tsp curry powder
- 5 tbsp GF soy sauce (or regular Japanese)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Garnish: Coriander Leaves, Roasted Cashew Nuts
How to Make:
Cooking your RICE/QUINOA : (Strict instructions given by my Chinese grandmother)
- If you are doing it NIGHT BEFORE: Cook your Jasmine Rice/Quinoa according to the instructions at the back of the package. Let it cool and store it in the fridge.
- If you are doing it FEW HOURS BEFORE: Cook your Jasmine Rice/Quinoa with slightly less water than indicated on the package. Spread your rice on a large baking tray. Place in a cool area for 2-3 hours to dry out.
Making the Fried Rice:
- Preparation: Follow the instructions to make a pineapple boat and reserve the flesh for the rice. If not, just prepare the pineapple flesh. Cut into small cubes and set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Fry for 2-3 minutes till fragrant.
- Add your cold rice (should be dry and clumpy). Use your wooden spatula to break up the rice clumps.
- Add curry powder, soy sauce, white part of scallion and mix until evenly distributed.
- Add your chopped pineapples and halved tomatoes. Fold through and allow everything to cook for 5 minutes or till completely warmed through.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Fold in fresh coriander leaves. Serve with toasted cashew nuts!