It is time to prepare for the Chinese New Year and I want to use up the leftovers from the Christmas past. Frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen ham, frozen prawns spell fried rice. I would have made yang chow fried rice but we happened to have a pineapple so I decided to make pineapple fried rice for a change.
Pineapple and ham is one of my favourite combos. I know some find it cheesy but I really do like it, especially on pizza. I can't believe the level of scorn that it receives but I do stick to my choices in life as long as it makes me happy.
This dish is not Chinese nor Hawaiian despite its presentation. It is actually Thai, believe it or not. The recipe reads very much like the Chinese yang chow fried rice. What's different? There are pineapple bits in the rice. I thought it wouldn't make much difference but it does. That little touch of sweetness makes an interesting change to the rice. Although not in the recipe, I added oyster sauce, fish sauce and chopped coriander. Roasted cashews and omelette strips as toppings add texture and taste. A few minutes work would make a complete one bowl, one dish meal. It is so perfect for lazy evenings. Ditch the dining table and curl up on the sofa (use an actual bowl if you are to do this).
(for four servings)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 c. cold cooked rice
1/2 c. diced cooked Chinese ham
1/2 c. of small, peeled cooked prawns
1/2 c. frozen green peas
1/2 c. cooked corn kernels
1/2 c. diced fresh pineapple
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsps. fish sauce
1 tsp. (or more if you like) of chilli and garlic oil
Beat the eggs with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add 1 tbsp. of oil. Pour in half of the eggs and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. As the egg cooks, push the edges towards the center and let the uncooked eggs ooze towards the edge of the pan. When set, flip over onto a chopping board. Cook the rest of the eggs. Put one on top of the other, roll and cut into thin strips.
Heat up a wok and add 2 tbsps. of oil. Add the garlic and fry for 3 minutes. Add the rice. Press down with a slotted spatula to separate the grains. Fry on high heat for about 5 minutes or until the rice is hot and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Clean the wok and heat again. Add 1 tbsp. of oil and add the ham. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the peas, corn and pineapple. Stir fry for another 2 minutes. Put the rice back in and season with the oyster sauce, fish sauce and chilli oil. Add in the prawns and stir fry for 3 minutes or until the mixture is piping hot.
Transfer to a scooped out pineapple half or bowl and top with the omelette strips, cashew and chopped coriander.
To prepare pineapple halves as serving bowls:
Cut a pineapple in half, lengthwise. Cut along the perimeter of each half with a paring knife, leaving a margin of 1/2" all around. Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon.
Dry the hollowed shell with kitchen paper. Leave a thick wad of paper inside and set aside while you prepare the rice.
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