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 stir fry, 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.
Voilà! This is what I’d like to say about my beef & pineapple fried rice. Please refer to the images below to see how to carve a pineapple bowl with a knife and a spoon.
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Have a great day!