(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGETARIAN RECIPES) For this week’s meat Free Monday Challenge recipe, try some delicious pineapple Thai fried rice with both vegan and vegetarian versions. The best part about making fried rice? You can add or subtract any ingredient you want to make the recipe your own. As always, happy eating! — Global Animal
About.com, Darlene Schmit
This classic Thai pineapple fried rice recipe is real vegetarian Thai food. Make this easy fried rice at home – it’s as good or better than take-out fried rice! Thai jasmine rice is fried up with chunks of pineapple, plus cashews, peas, and currents with a curry-flavored sauce. Includes cooking tips to create perfect fried rice every time. Proof that vegetarian Thai cooking is anything but boring. Mmmm – heavenly!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Yield: SERVES 5-6 as a side dish
- 1 small can pineapple chunks, drained, OR 1+1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
- 3-4 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old (Tip: if fresh, leave for an hour or more in the refrigerator uncovered)
- 1/4 cup vegetable or faux chicken stock (or regular chicken stock if non-vegetarian)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red or green chili, thinly sliced, OR 1/4 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
- 1 egg (vegans can omit)*
- ½ cup frozen peas
- optional: 1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- ¼ cup currants OR rainsins
- ½ cup roasted unsalted whole cashews
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander
- STIR-FRY SAUCE:
- 3 Tbps. soy sauce (OR substitute fish sauce if non-vegetarian)
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- optional: 1/2 tsp. sugar
- Mix 1 Tbsp. oil with the rice, using your fingers to separate any chunks into grains. Set aside.
- In a cup, stir the soy sauce/fish sauce together with the curry powder.
- Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a wok/large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and chili, stir-frying until fragrant (1 minute). Whenever the wok/pan becomes dry, add a little stock (1 Tbsp. at a time to keep ingredients sizzling).
- Crack egg (if using) into wok and stir quickly to cook (like making scrambled eggs).
- Add the carrot (if using) and peas. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, adding more stock if needed.
- Now add the rice, pineapple chunks, peas, currents and cashews. Drizzle the fish/soy sauce mixed with curry powder over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until the rice “dances” (makes popping sounds) – about 5 to 8 minutes, or until desired lightness is achieved. Tip: Avoid adding any more stock from here on, or your rice will turn out heavy and/or soggy. If desired, you can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the pan/wok (this will give your rice that special ‘shine’ you see in restaurant fried rice)
- Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for salt/flavor, adding a few shakes of salt or a little more soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze or two of lime juice.
- To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter (or in a carved-out pineapple, if serving at a party – see link at beginning of recipe). Top with spring onions and coriander, and ENJOY!
*Note: Vegans may omit the egg without losing the flavour or nutrients of this great dish (cashews provide the main protein source).