I’ve been meaning to share this recipe on the blog for a while. I got the measurements right, saved it in my Documents folder. Stayed untouched for a year. The reason is a bit embarrassing. Every time I buy a pineapple, I just want to eat it on its own! Malaysia has access to the sweetest, most succulent pineapples. Whenever I got one from my produce supplier, try as I may, I just couldn’t bring myself to set aside any for cooking. Even just a little bit for a couple of pictures? Nope. In it goes straight into my cold press juicer, into my blender for smoothies, right into my face for breakfast and after dinner for dessert until my mouth turns raw.
I learned what I needed to do was to make a mental note of buying a pineapple JUST for cooking.
It has its origins in Thailand, and it has been interpreted in so many ways around the world that I have never tasted the same pineapple fried rice twice. My interpretation replaces the typical roasted cashews with raw pumpkin seeds. The one I’m using is from Organicule, which are an heirloom variety in Austria and are extraordinarily massive. I love their chewiness and it adds an extra bite to this dish. Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of nutrients too, with a quarter cup (the measurement needed for this recipe) delivering up to 10 grams of protein, as well as Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc and Iron.
Also what I’m using is Organicule’s Turmeric Powder. This product is sourced from the small Indian village of Lakadong, which is touted for producing some of the most medicinally potent turmeric in the world. It contains between 5-7% curcumin (the anti-inflammatory phytonutrient unique to the root), compared to most other varieties which normally contain 3% at most.
You can try out Organicule’s Pumpkin Seeds, Turmeric and other great superfood products by ordering them on their website. You are welcome to use my promocode ‘DAVINA10’ to enjoy 10 percent off your shopping cart. If you don’t live in Malaysia, feel free to use any turmeric and pumpkin seeds that you have access to.
I only buy brown, red and black rice for their higher nutritional value than white. In this case, I happened to have a huge tub of white rice. It was leftovers from a party my sister organized for her daughter. White rice truly brings out the the beautiful golden hue of this dish. You are welcome to use any kind of rice you have on you.
There are different grades of pineapple in the market, the lower ones being ideal for cooking as they are more tart than they are sweet. Look for semi-ripe fruits, which have skins consisting of about 1/3 green and 2/3 yellow. Mine was already on the ripe side, and mine was a higher grade which made it sweeter too. I don’t mind that. My pineapple had a soft enough core to cook as well. If you’re choosing semi-ripe and lower grade, chances are higher that the core won’t be edible. Cut it away and keep for juicing, or to make fruit-infused water.
You may dice your pineapple a day in advance to save time when you get round to cooking. If doing so, make sure you drain the pineapple pieces of any juice before adding to the rice.
Should you choose to be artsy in presentation and keep the whole fruit for carving, set aside an extra 15 minutes for this!
Cut one portion of the pineapple vertically downwards, just before the leafy crown. The portion without the crown should have enough flesh for your rice and maybe a bit extra. For the larger potion with the crown, carefully slice the flesh about 2cm away from the outer skin. Be careful to not slice all the way down! Better to cut too shallow than too deep. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, clear out more of the bottom if you need to and drain the juice before adding the rice in.
Once you’re done with the pineapple, carefully cut out the remaining flesh, dice and keep for other savoury dishes like Hawaiian-style Pizza and Burgers, Pineapple Salsa, and if you love Malaysian food, perhaps a bowl of Pineapple Curry. And then… keep the skin for making Enzyme Cleaner!
There are those who strongly believe that sweet foods should never be mixed with savoury. As someone who was blessed with the experience of dipping fresh fries into ice cream, I beg to differ! I find that foods take on different characteristics when sweet and savoury combine. It’s a fascinating experience… one that is backed by science!
If ‘sweet meets salty’ is your thing, I do recommend this dish. You can look at it like a room where a bunch of total strangers incidentally get along. I’ve been in a room like that before. It’s satisfying beyond measure.
Pineapple Pumpkin Seed Rice
This variation of the famous Thai-style fried rice uses pumpkin seeds instead of the traditional cashews. Get ready for a surprising match of flavours in every bite!
- 120 grams fresh pineapple, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 300g (2 cups) ‘old’ (refrigerated) cooked rice
- 1/4 cup Organicule Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 medium-sized carrot
- 50g long beans
- 70g cabbage
- 30g raisins
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 small onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp Organicule Turmeric Powder
- A dash of ground pepper
- A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped, to garnish
- 1 red chilli, chopped, to garnish (optional)
- Step 1 Heat cooking oil in a large cooking pan on medium heat.
- Step 2 In the meantime, finely dice the onion and garlic.
- Step 3 Put onion and garlic in pan and fry for a few minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so, for 3-4 minutes to allow it to caramelize. As you wait for this to cook, chop the carrot, cabbage, and long beans into small pieces.
- Step 4 Just as you observe the garlic and onion starting to brown, add the curry powder to the pan, stirring it around the garlic and onion. Allow to fry together for about 30 seconds.
- Step 5 Add in the long beans, carrot and cabbage and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Step 6 Add in the rice and turmeric. Stir around to mix the turmeric into the rice.
- Step 7 Add raisins, pumpkin seeds and pineapple, stir around ingredients until evenly mixed.
- Step 8 Add the soysauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper and lime juice, and turn heat off. Stir in these final ingredients until evenly mixed.
- Step 9 Transfer to meal plates, garnish with coriander and optional chilli and serve immediately.