So let's say you made this red curry squash, and had lots of leftover red curry paste. One of the most delicious ways to use it up is in a quick fried rice. Chunks of seared pineapple provide just a bit of sweet counterbalance to the spice.
A few quick bits of housekeeping: this will probably be my only post for Thanksgiving week, as I know lots of folks are traveling and won't be reading blogs. Also, if you have holiday shopping left to do, don't forget to click through this Amazon.com link or one from another of your favorite blogs. When you do, we'll earn a few percent of the purchase price of anything you buy for 24 hours after that. It is a great way to help the bloggers you enjoy cover their expenses.
You can make this dish with Thai jasmine rice, but I really like it with basmati. The long grains fry up beautifully. Day old rice is perfect, but if you don't have that, just make a fresh pot, spread it out on a sheet pan, and let it cool in the refrigerator as long as possible. Steaming-hot rice is too moist on the outside to fry properly.
Commercial curry paste can be good in this too; if it is important to you for it to be vegetarian then read the label carefully, as many of them will contain shrimp paste. You can doctor it up with some fresh ginger to get a livelier taste.
The best way to cut a pineapple is to remove the stem, stand it up, and make vertical cuts along the outside to remove all of the spiky bits. Go ahead and cut deep enough to get all of them, otherwise you'll spend a ton of time picking out all of the "eyes". Then cut in vertical quarters and use your knife like you would when paring an apple to remove the core from each quarter. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes.
Red Curry Fried Rice with Seared Pineapple
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free (double check your curry paste if you buy prepackaged)
Serves 4 as a side dish
- 1.5 cups fresh pineapple, bite sized chunks
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 small white onion, diced
- 2 – 4 tablespoons red curry paste (I like a lot, but suit youself)
- 4 cups cooked and cooled jasmine or basmati rice (day-old is great)
- salt to taste
- cilantro or green onion for garnish
- lime wedges
- Heat a large skillet or wok over a very high flame. Without any oil, sear the pineapple for a few minutes, until it gets at least some brown spots and the flavor intensifies. Remove from pan.
- Add the oil, and a few seconds later the onion. Cook for 30 seconds. Have the rice ready to go. Add the curry paste, and fry for 10 seconds. Add the rice, and break up the chunks, stirring through the curry paste. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. It tastes best if some of the rice is allowed to get brown and crispy.
- Add back in the pineapple, stir through to reheat. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Garnish with cilantro or green onion, serve with lime wedges.