I know how much we love one-bowl meals, but what if the bowl is made of food! You know what they say, the best food is the kind served inside other food. The really great part about this pineapple fried rice is when you reach the end of your meal and discover that you can scrape the juicy pineapple flesh off the bowl and eat it. Certainly gives new meaning to licking the bowl clean, doesn't it?
It's always fun to order pineapple fried rice at a Thai restaurant and watch it arrive in a striking pineapple boat. You know what? This impressive experience can actually be recreated at home quite easily. Serve this at your next dinner party and be guaranteed of a memorable meal for your guests.
Wait, there's another twist to this recipe: it uses low-carb cauliflower "rice"!
The dramatic presentation isn't the only thing going for this dish. Dig in and let the delightful fusion of tropical pineapple and a heady turmeric-cumin mix transport you to Southeast Asia. If you make this with rice, be sure to remember the rule of successful fried rice and use leftover rice. But when you need a lighter alternative, you can count on cauliflower "rice" to deliver. Let's get to the recipe, presented here in three easy parts, shall we?
PART I: Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower as a rice alternative is a trending idea because it's brilliant! First of all, it's really easy to make. Remove the greens from the cauliflower, quarter it, cut out the chunky stem in the middle, and roughly chop the florets into smaller pieces. Blitz the cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice. Or use a box grater. I like serving cauliflower rice raw, quickly stir-fried to desired tenderness or microwaved for a short minute for convenience.
Quick tip: Make sure the cauliflower is properly dried before making the rice.
Secondly, and this is important to those avoiding rice for certain health or fitness reasons, it is low in carbs. I don't think I need to list down the many nutritional benefits of cauliflower (low in calories, high in dietary fiber, excellent source of vitamins and minerals; there, I listed some of them anyway!) but I will say that cauliflower "rice" works for me because its mild taste pairs well with the often intensely flavored Asian dishes when served on the side, and it absorbs flavors effectively when used in cooking. Yes, sticky pineapple juice, I'm thinking of you...
PART II: Pineapple Boat
Here's the fun part! You're going to use pineapple flesh for this recipe anyway, so why not make use of the shell too? Don't be intimidated by whole pineapples. It's really as simple as cutting a pineapple in half lengthwise and hollowing it out. To remove the flesh from the halved pineapple, use a small knife to cut around the inside of the pineapple without cutting all the way through. Then cut the flesh inside the pineapple into smaller pieces and scoop them out with a spoon.
Quick tip: It may be easier to half the pineapple a little off centre to keep the crown intact on one side. Depending on the size of your pineapple, this may produce only one pineapple boat as the other part may be too shallow.
Scrape enough of the pineapple flesh out so you have a vessel to carry your delicious fried rice. Don't worry about being thorough with this step. I personally quite like having some pineapple flesh left at the bottom of my bowl to eat. You may want to remove the core, which is lighter in color and harder, from the pineapple flesh before chopping it into cubes for cooking.
PART III: Let's Cook!
Now that you have the cauliflower rice and pineapple boat, it's time to fire up the stove. For a quick stir-fry like this, it's always handy to have all the ingredients ready and within reach. Overcooking the cauliflower rice may result in a soggy dish. I like some bite in my cauliflower rice so I cook it fast. A note about the use of Thai red chili: it's optional but oh-so-good! I can't stress enough how easy it is to make Thai pineapple fried cauliflower rice and serve it in a pineapple boat. Here's a video to show you. Aroy!
Pineapple Boat Fried Cauliflower Rice Video
Pineapple Boat Fried Cauliflower "Rice"
A Thai-style fried rice that's sure to impress with its dramatic presentation and tropical flavors. The use of cauliflower as a rice alternative makes it lighter, and lower in calories and carbs. Serves 2.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small yellow onion or 2 green onions, white part only
1 Thai red chili, sliced thinly (optional)
3 cups cauliflower "rice"*
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup roasted unsalted whole cashews
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup pineapple cubes*
2 green onions, green part only
2 pineapple boats*
Cucumber slices, for garnishing (optional)
Heat oil over medium heat in a pan. Add garlic, onions, and red chili, and sauté until they are soft and aromatic. Then add cauliflower "rice", raisins, and cashews, and mix well. Next, stir in soy sauce, turmeric, cumin, and lime juice. Add pineapple and green onions and give everything a good toss. Scoop into pineapple boats and serve with cucumber slices.
· To make cauliflower rice: Wash and dry cauliflower well. Remove the greens from the cauliflower, quarter it, cut out the chunky stem in the middle, and roughly chop the florets into smaller pieces. Blitz the cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice. Or use a box grater.
· To make pineapple boat: Cut a pineapple in half lengthwise. If the pineapple is small, cut it a little off centre to keep the crown intact on one side. This may produce only one pineapple boat. To remove the flesh from the halved pineapple, use a small knife to cut around the inside of the pineapple without cutting all the way through. Then cut the flesh inside the pineapple into smaller pieces and scoop them out with a spoon.
· Pineapple cubes: After scooping the pineapple flesh out, cut out the core, which is lighter in color and harder, where necessary and chop the rest of the pineapple into cubes.