Joseph and I have a handful of recipes that we always keep readily available for the weeks when we don’t have any groceries and don’t have time to sit down and actually plan before going to the store. They’re all mostly healthy, quick, easy, and good. We’ve had this fried rice recipe in our arsenal for a while. Well, not quite this recipe. We usually make this recipe vegetarian, using tofu instead of ham, and the pineapple is a new addition. But that’s the beauty of fried rice — it’s so versatile! It’s great because the key components of it are so easy to keep stocked in your kitchen and you can modify it based on what other stuff you have in your kitchen.
Like I said, up to this point we had always made the dish vegetarian. But we had recently made a Hawaiian pizza (more on that later). We had already decided that we were going to make the fried rice and Joseph remembered we still had pineapple and then I remembered that we still had ham. It was just meant to be.
And don’t get me wrong, I love this dish made with tofu. But if you add ham and pineapple, well, it just sings. Joseph’s constant tweaking of the ingredients to the sauce at the end has also really helped it. It’s the perfect mixture that hits all the flavor profiles: you have the acid from the wine, umami from the fish sauce, sweetness from the sugar, salty from the soy sauce and the fish sauce, and spicy from the chili paste. Ok, we don’t have a bitter element, but we don’t want to go overboard, now do we?
Now, just a heads up that I’m having knee surgery and may be a bit MIA for a little while. Joseph and I have been working hard to stockpile some recipes to share with you so that there will be still be updates even if I’m sitting on lying on the couch watching Dirty Dancing on repeat (sometimes you just have to revert back to childhood favorites, plus it doesn’t matter if you fall asleep watching a movie you’ve already memorized) and watching and rewatching Modern Family (sometimes you just need to laugh).
Fried Rice with Ham and Pineapple
Don’t let the ingredient list deter you from trying this. If you don’t have some of the ingredients at the end such as fish sauce or rice cooking wine, etc., just use a little more soy sauce (up to 3 tablespoons soy sauce total).
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, greens included, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup finely diced red pepper
3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions and drained
1/2 cup fresh or frozen, thawed, corn
6-8 ounces ham (or 14 ounces firm tofu)
4 ounces pineapple
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup rice cooking wine (aka shaoxing)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Chili pepper flakes, for garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet until very hot. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn and ham and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add pineapple and stir. Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil, then add the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add soy sauce, fish sauce, rice cooking wine, brown sugar, hoisin sauce, and chili paste and stir to incorporate completely. Serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds and pepper flakes.