A quick one-bowl meal served in a pineapple shell. Try this easy pineapple fried rice with succulent beef cubes! It has a balanced flavour of savoury and sweet.
This week, pineapples are on sale in several of my local supermarkets. I purchased quite a few the other day. It’s one of my favourite tropical fruits. Apart from enjoying it raw, I also love using it to add sweet flavour to my savoury dishes. Having leftover rice to hand, I made pineapple fried rice with beef and bell pepper (牛肉菠萝炒饭), a very simple one-bowl meal which has a balanced flavour of savoury and sweet.
Use shell as a serving bowl
I was totally fascinated by the look of pineapples when I first saw them at the age of ten. My dad brought some home from a business trip to Guangdong province (Canton). At that time, in the North-west of China where I lived, there wasn’t any tropical fruits available in small towns. Years later in a restaurant, I had a pineapple dish served in its own shell. I thought it was a beautiful presentation and wanted to imitate it in my own kitchen.
Using pineapple shell as a bowl, it’s not only visually appealing, but it also adds extra aroma to the dish. Take today’s beef & pineapple fried rice for example. When freshly fried rice is in contact with the shell (which still has quite a bit of flesh on it), the heat helps to release more fragrance from the pineapple skin.
Make the beef tender and moist
The protein I add to my pineapple fried rice is tender, moist beef cubes. For best result, I suggest you use flank or skirt steak and marinate it with cornstarch to tenderise. Another key is to fry the beef briefly. Prolonged cooking always makes it tougher in texture.
Like the method I explained in my recipe on black pepper beef, firstly you need to quickly fry the marinated beef then dish it out. Add it to other ingredients at the end of the cooking procedure. I also use diced red bell pepper in this dish to add a bit of colour and a crunchy texture.
Keep rice grains in shape
As you may know, you need to use leftover (cooked) rice for Chinese fried rice. Although the rice is being cooked for a second time it should still retain its shape and texture. To avoid mushy rice or sticky lumps of rice, I have a few tips for you:
- Do not use leftover rice which has been overcooked to a very sticky texture.
- Keep the leftover rice refrigerated prior to frying.
- Add a bit of water to the refrigerated rice then gently loosen up the grains with a fork.
Other rice recipes on the blog
Looking for more inspirations for cooking rice? Check out these delicious dishes:
Beef and pineapple fried rice (菠萝炒饭)
For marinating the beef
- 200 g beef, diced - 7oz, see note 1
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
For frying the rice
- 1 ripe pineapple - see note 2
- 2 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- 2 stalk scallions - finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper - diced
- 500 g cooked rice - 4 cups, see note 3
- 4 teaspoon light soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt - or to taste
- Mix beef with cornstarch, sesame oil and rice wine. Leave to marinate for about 10 minutes.
- Halve the pineapple. Take out the flesh and dice it (as shown in images). Keep the shell for later use.
- Heat up a wok (or a deep frying pan) over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in beef. Fry until its colour becomes pale. Dish out and set aside (leave any oil in the wok).
- Put scallions and bell pepper in the wok. Fry for 1 minute or so.
- Add diced pineapple and cooked rice. Fry until the rice is piping hot. Put in the beef, along with light soy sauce and salt. Give everything a final stir to distribute the seasonings.
- Put the fried rice into pineapple shells. Serve immediately.
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