Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple fried rice is a popular dish served not only in Penang, but all over South East Asia. You can find it cooking in people’s homes, on the street at hawker stands, and served at overpriced fancy restaurants. It’s a delicious mix of savory vegetables and rice with sweet and tangy pineapple. We particularly love this dish because it’s easy to order without meat! Unfortunately, pineapple fried rice is usually very greasy and made with only white rice. Let’s just say, it’s not the healthiest meal you can eat! We recently had some for dinner the other night at a hawker stand and I was inspired to take this classic dish and make it healthy and guilt-free. And of course, it’s vegan!
This dish is quick and easy to put together. The only component that takes a bit of time in advance is the rice. The most important thing in cooking any fried rice is to not use freshly cooked rice. Freshly cooked rice is full of moisture and when fried loses it’s shape and gets all mushy. I recommend using any leftover rice you have sitting in your fridge or just cook the rice the day before. If you are in a real time-crunch, cook the rice and let it cool open on a plate for a couple of hours in the fridge.
1 tablespoon sunflower oil or sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon red chili paste
2-3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups brown rice, cooked and cooled (see advice above)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cups green cabbage, chopped
2 heaping cups bok choy, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup green onion, chopped both green and white parts
1 heaping cup fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1 heaping cup bean sprouts
Replace red chili paste with curry powder, add dried red chili flakes or fresh Thai peppers for spice, replace pineapple with mangos, add some baked tofu or TVP (textured vegetable protein) for some protein, add some finely minced cilantro, garnish with cashew nuts or peanuts!
Make sure all of your veggies are chopped and prepared.
In a large skillet or wok, heat sunflower oil and red chili paste until fragrant on medium heat. Add Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, garlic, onions, and cabbage and cook on medium to high heat just until cabbage starts to become translucent. Stir frequently.
Add bok choy, carrots, green onions, and pineapple, stirring frequently. Once combined, add brown rice and cook for another 3 minutes on high heat. Keep stirring! Taste and add more Bragg’s or soy sauce if needed. Turn off heat and stir in bean sprouts. Serve and enjoy!