Living in SE Asia for four years changed my palate considerably. Growing up, spaghetti and tacos were about as ethnic as we got in my family. After living overseas in my early 20’s and traveling extensively on my summers off as a teacher, my view of food changed exponentially. But after living in the spice-belt, my go-to favorites, got a lot more flavorful.
It’s a blessing to be part of a homeschool group that celebrates international flavors. We have regular international dinners where the kids choose a country to learn about and share a dish or two. One of Kazden’s favorite foods is Singapore Noodles. We collaborated in the kitchen to come up with our version of Pineapple Rice using the flavors of Singapore for his last international dinner of the school year. It was a terrific success and tasted as great as it looked. We actually made it twice in one week!
Pineapple Fried Rice
- 1 pineapple
- 2 tablespoons peanut or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced purple cabbage
- 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper or 1/4 cup diced pimentos
- 1/3 cup diced pineapple
- 6 cups cooked, cooled rice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamarind puree* or 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To prepare pineapple, cut in half and cut around the inside of the fruit, leaving about 1/3” of fruit next to the rind. In a large skillet or wok, caramelize onions in oil on medium-high heat. Add celery, cabbage and peppers, cooking until tender. In a small bowl mix remaining ingredients except the cilantro. Add the diced pineapple and rice to the vegetables and pour in sauce. Mix until all ingredients are combined and heated throughout. Lastly, add the fresh cilantro and scoop into pineapple halves.
*To see how I made my own Tamarind Puree, see the previous post.
Kazden’s wrap up…
Making Pineapple Fried Rice was more difficult than I expected. There were many ingredients put into this. It required more taste testing as we went along more frequently to see what we wanted to add more of. For more salty we added fish and soy sauce. For sweet we added more pineapple and juice. For hot we added chili sauce and for tartness we added tamarind and lime. We were really happy how this turned out the first time and were disappointed that we didn’t write down the ingredients exactly how we put them in. This is ironic because we just learned about how we should write down everything we do when making up a recipe in Culinary Arts class. The second time we made Pineapple Fried Rice, we added more seasonings at the beginning and measured each time we put one in. This was a fun and educational experience, now I know exactly what my mom does when she does her job of recipe development for companies she works with or for original recipes she creates.
Nakiri is simply Japanese for “vegetable knife.” Once you get the Shun Classic Nakiri in your hands, you’ll soon see why both professional chefs and good cooks around the world choose this beautiful and extremely useful tool whenever they have fruits or vegetables to prepare. With its straight blade, edge, and spine, the nakiri isn’t rocked like a chef’s knife. Instead, use a simple push cut and enjoy the clean, swift work it makes of vegetables of all kinds. For daily salad preparation or slicing vegetables for stir-fry, it can’t be beat. Finely dicing onions is fast, easy, and with the Shun Classic Nakiri’s blunt end, safer, too. (Info from Shun website.)
The Shun Classic Produce Knife is designed for preparing larger fruits and vegetables, especially those with thicker, tougher skins or rinds, such as melons, squash, or pineapple. This beautiful, mirror-polished knife offers a large 12-in. blade that can cut handle just about any large fruits, vegetables, and even proteins, with ease. The long blade enables you to cut all the way across even the largest produce, while the straight edge makes up-and-down chopping easy. (Info from Shun website.)