If you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner recipe that is a delicious and exotic dish, give pineapple chicken fried rice a try! This mouthwatering recipe combines the sweetness of fresh pineapple with the savory goodness of chicken and perfectly cooked rice grains. With a tropical twist and a burst of flavors, this rice dish will surely become your family favorite. I will introduce everything you need to know about this dish in this blog post. Read on for more!
Chicken breast: I use lean chicken breast for this delicious fried rice. You can also use chicken thighs or dark meat if you prefer.
Cooked rice: The choice between long grain and short grain rice for fried rice depends on your preferred texture. I used long grain leftover rice for this recipe. White rice or brown rice both work. Do not use hot rice because using hot or freshly cooked rice for fried rice can lead to a soggy texture. The best kind of rice for this recipe is at least day-old rice.
Cooking oil: Divide the oil between browning the chicken pieces and stir-frying the rice.
Eggs: Scrambled eggs are a classic ingredient for any fried rice.
Chopped onions, green onions, and minced garlic: These three ingredients are fresh and crisp additions to add extra flavors to the overall taste.
Vegetables: I used chopped medium-sized carrots and frozen peas as my choice of vegetables to add to the fried rice.
Fresh pineapple chunks: Sweet pineapple chunks for that burst of tropical flavor.
Light soy sauce: For that umami-rich flavor in this dish.
Lime juice: You can add a few lime juice drops to brighten the dish. It is optional.
Salt and black pepper: To taste.
How to cut fresh pineapple
Cutting a pineapple for fried rice involves a few steps to get to the sweet and juicy fruit. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cut a pineapple for your pineapple chicken fried rice:
Wash the pineapple: Rinse the whole pineapple under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Place a cutting board on a stable surface.
Remove the crown: Lay the pineapple on its side and use a sharp knife to cut off the whole or part of the crown (leafy top). Make sure you remove any tough or woody parts. Trim off about half an inch of the skin of the pineapple. Also, make sure you remove all the spiky "eyes" on the surface.
Cut in half lengthwise: Cut the peeled pineapple in half lengthwise. You now have two long halves. Identify the tough core running along the center of each pineapple half.
Dice into bite-sized chunks: Lay each pineapple half flat on the cutting board and cut it into bite-sized chunks. Scoop the chunks out.
Hollow out the shell (optional): Now, you will have two pineapple halves to use as serving bowls for your pineapple chicken fried rice if you want a nicer presentation.
Detailed cooking instructions
Start by chopping the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, dicing the pineapple into juicy pineapple chunks, and getting everything ready before you start cooking.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in cooking oil until it's no longer pink in the center. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Set it aside in a small bowl.
In the same skillet or a hot wok, sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant. Then add chopped carrot and frozen peas, and continue to stir fry until they're softened.
Push the vegetables to the side of the wok and add the rest of the oil. Pour in the beaten eggs and scramble them until just set.
Mix in the cold cooked rice, cooked chicken, and green onions, and stir fry everything until well combined. Add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste, and stir well to combine.
Lastly, fold in the pineapple chunks for a quick stir for 1-2 minutes. Once everything is heated and well combined, your pineapple chicken fried rice is ready to be served.
Serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple bowl, and squeeze some lime juice over the rice (optional). Enjoy!
Pro tips to make the perfect pineapple chicken fried rice
Here are some tips to help you achieve this fried rice perfection:
Use leftover cooked rice: For the best texture, use leftover rice that has been refrigerated overnight. This helps to reduce moisture in the rice grains, preventing a mushy consistency.
Cook the chicken first: When preparing pineapple chicken fried rice, cook the chicken first to ensure it's fully cooked. Set it aside before adding it back into the wok again later.
Pineapple placement: Add pineapple towards the end of the cooking process. This ensures that the pineapple chunks retain their juiciness and don't become too soft.
Serve in a pineapple bowl: For an extra touch of elegance, serve your fried rice in a hollowed-out pineapple bowl.
Creative variations of pineapple chicken fried rice
Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice is a versatile dish that allows creative variations to suit different tastes. Here are some variations options:
Vegetarian pineapple fried rice: Omit the chicken and add extra vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, or red bell peppers. You can also incorporate tofu for a plant-based protein boost.
Shrimp pineapple fried rice: Replace chicken with shrimp for a seafood twist. Make sure to cook the shrimp until pink before combining them with the fried rice.
Pineapple and coconut fried rice: Infuse a tropical touch by adding coconut milk to provide a creamy and rich flavor.
Spicy pineapple chicken fried rice: Kick up the heat by adding sliced chili peppers, Sriracha, or extra red pepper flakes. This variation is perfect for those who enjoy spicy food.
Storing and reheating
Allow the fried rice to cool to room temperature before storing it. Transfer the pineapple chicken fried rice to an airtight container and refrigerate it within 2 hours of cooking. It is good for up to 3 days for the best quality.
The easiest way to reheat chicken pineapple fried rice is to microwave. You can simply place the desired portion of fried rice into a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a little water over it. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid. Heat the fried rice in the microwave at 1-minute intervals until it reaches your desired warmness. Don't forget to stir between each interval for even heating.
Pineapple chicken fried rice is a delicious main course that appeals to the whole family! The combination of sweet pineapple pieces, savory chicken, and perfectly cooked rice makes this dish a winner. Give it a try. With minimal prep and cooking time, this dish is a perfect choice for a quick, satisfying, easy weeknight meal. Happy cooking!
Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice (Easy Homemade Recipe)
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 5 cups cooked rice
- 3 tablespoons oil divided
- 3 eggs
- ⅔ cup chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium size carrot chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 cups fresh pineapple chunks
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
- a pinch of lime juice optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by chopping the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, dicing the pineapple into juicy pineapple chunks, and getting everything ready before you start cooking.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in cooking oil until it's no longer pink in the center. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Set it aside in a small bowl.
- In the same skillet or a hot wok, sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant. Then add chopped carrot and frozen peas, and continue to stir fry until they're softened.
- Push the vegetables to the side of the wok and add the rest of the oil. Pour in the beaten eggs and scramble them until just set.
- Mix in the cold cooked rice, cooked chicken, and green onions, and stir fry everything until well combined. Add the soy sauce, salt, and pepper to taste, and stir well to combine.
- Lastly, fold in the pineapple chunks for a quick stir for 1-2 minutes. Once everything is heated and well combined, your pineapple chicken fried rice is ready to be served.
- Serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple bowl, and squeeze some lime juice over the rice (optional). Enjoy!