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Fried Rice is one of my favourite things to make for a quick and delicious dinner, brilliant for it’s leftover using, fridge-clearing comfort food properties. Sometimes I make a Chinese-style egg fried rice, often a Korean Kimchee Fried Rice, but at the moment? At the moment for me it is about this Thai-style Fried Prawn & Pineapple Fried Rice.
Fat, juicy, caramelised chunks of pineapple, tender king prawns, meaty shiitake mushrooms and a generous amount of fish sauce bridge together this delicious, veggie-heavy bowlful that is perfectly customisable and great for weeknights. Honestly, I’ve only just eaten this big bowlful and I already want to tuck into another one!
The key to making a good fried rice of any identity is to get all your ingredients prepped in advance – I like to do this in small bowls so if things have to be cooked, removed from the pan and added again later, you can just put them back in their bowl. As you’ll want your pan as hot as possible, this means everything is already to hand at your cooking station, getting you ready for some delicious fried rice!
Another prep note before we move onto the actual recipe, and it’s about the rice. I’ve always been confused by recipes to use up leftover rice and pasta: yes I sometimes have leftovers if I’ve had a takeaway, but doesn’t everyone weight out their rice and pasta before adding it to the pan?
Regardless if you do it by eye and get it wrong (it’s what a weighing scale is for, I promise you you’ll cut down on food waste if you use one!) or if you cook rice especially, you want the rice to be cold and slightly sticky. I tend to make the rice a few hours before I make this for best results, as I’m always cooking it specially. I just spread it around the sieve to give it as much surface area as possible (I have an electric hob not gas, so trying to cook jasmine rice via the absorption method is just asking for trouble!) and transfer it to the fridge until it is needed.
A bright and vibrant Thai-style Prawn & Pineapple Fried Rice recipe packed with shiitake mushrooms, onions and peas, perfect for busy weeknights.
1 tbsp light oil
200g (7 oz) raw king prawns (see note), patted dry
300g (10 1/2 oz) fresh pineapple chunks
2 large eggs
1 small brown onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 thai birds eye red chillies
120g (4 1/4 oz) shiitake mushrooms
80g (3 oz) frozen petit pois
120g (4 1/4 oz) jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp golden caster (granulated) sugar
2 large spring onions
Heat 1/2 tbsp of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or wok set over a high heat. Add the prawns a cook for a minute or two on each side un til just coloured but not quite cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the pineapple and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to caramelise. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the eggs and add them to the hot pan, stir frying them quickly and breaking them up into rough chunks. Return them to the bowl you used to whisk them in.
Wipe any dried egg out of the pan with a piece of kitchen towel and return it to the heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of the oil and add the onion, peeled and finely chopped. Cook for 3-4 minutes until just starting to turn golden.
Add the garlic and the chillies, all finely chopped and cook for a further minute until aromatic. Add the mushrooms, sliced, and cook for another few minutes until they’re just cooked through.
Add the peas to the pan and sizzle until defrosted.
Add the rice, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar, and return the prawns, pineapple, and the egg. Stir until everything is sizzling and combined, and the prawns have cooked through.
Add the spring onions, finely chopped, and serve immediately.
I prefer frozen prawns as they deteriorate as soon as they’re out the water, and freezing – often done on the boats – helps slow this process.
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