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Thai-Style Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp and Cashews

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 115

This classic Thai dish is full of contrasts: Tender rice is complemented by crunchy cashews; sweet pineapple and raisins bring out the salty backdrop of fish sauce; and fresh cilantro plays up the earthy notes in soy sauce. Be sure to use day-old cooked rice; it’s drier than freshly cooked rice and will maintain a firmer texture.

  • 1/2 lb. extra-large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. grapeseed or other neutral oil, such as canola
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Maui or Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large scallion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. chili-garlic sauce
  • 3 cups day-old unsalted cooked jasmine rice
  • 1-1/2 cups medium-diced fresh pineapple (about half a large pineapple)
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce; more as needed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro; more for garnish
Tip:
See the Test Kitchen post to learn how to prep a pineapple.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season with 1/4 tsp. salt.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the shrimp and cook, flipping once, until pink and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until browned on the edges but not completely soft, about 2 minutes. Add the scallion and cook, stirring, until browned and wilted, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, fish sauce, and chili-garlic sauce and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring to break up any clumps, until the mixture is well combined and heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp and any accumulated juices, the pineapple, cashews, raisins (if using), and soy sauce. Season to taste with more soy sauce or fish sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve garnished with additional cilantro. 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): fat g 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2.5; Protein (g): protein g 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 64; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1470; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 85; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is one of my favorite weeknight meals. It comes together quickly with very little prep work and the flavors are amazing. After making it as written a couple of times with good results, I did decide to add a little more shrimp and a little less soy sauce. This one is definitely a keeper!

Outstanding! My 3.5 year old twins loved the cashews, shrimp, and pineapple. I used about 4 cups of rice and .75 lbs of shrimp but kept the seasoning amounts the same (and used full-salt soy sauce). My husband requested more shrimp next time. Definitely a keeper. I find the fish sauce odor to be off-putting on its own, but have faith: the flavors come together with the soy sauce and are fantastic.

I had everything in the pantry but the pineapple (I thought). Turns out I had no chili garlic sauce, so I threw in some garlicky, spicy Asian dressing left over from a take-out salad, and it hit just the right note.. This was easy to make for a weeknight and my only addition was mung bean sprouts, because I can't have fried rice without them. I always use low sodium soy sauce, so 1/4 cup didn't seem too salty to me.

Would make again, but probably not in regular rotation. I agree that next time I'll use slightly less fish sauce, plus 2TB of soy sauce is probably enough. Perhaps a bit more of the sweet chili suce. I did use the cashews but think it would be fine with the peanuts if you wanted to be economical.

Really tasty. Used peanuts instead of cashews. Maybe a little too much fish sauce for our taste, but still enjoyed it for dinner, and the next day, leftovers made a great lunch.

This is an excellent recipe. I hate it when people review recipes and then list a dozen changes, but since I have a tendency to cook with what I have on hand, here goes. I used basmati rice instead of jasmine, pistachios instead of cashews, and only 2 tablespoons of regular soy sauce. I think that 1/4 cup of soy sauce would have made it too salty. The 1 teaspoon of sambal oleck made the dish only slightly spicy. If you prefer spicy food, you could increase the amount of chili sauce. Since I keep a fairly well-stocked kitchen, the only ingredient that I had to go out and buy was the pineapple. That's a nice kind of dish to have.

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