This may be one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. So good. Allow me to point out that it is not actually “fried” in the traditional sense. No oil was harmed in the making of this recipe.
But it is prepared in a very hot skillet that transforms leftover rice into the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, hot, salty, crunchy, and delicious. It’s my adaptation of a recipe by Chef Del Sroufe, from Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook. My version includes extra rice, pineapple, and cilantro, but less garlic. This truly is a dish special enough for dinner guests, with just a few oh-so-worth-it steps.
Here’s the play-by-play. Onion, garlic, and serrano pepper are sautéed until tender. Cashews toast in the oven while a zesty brown sauce made with tamari, ginger, garlic, and molasses simmers in a saucepan until thickened. The excitement builds when sauce hits the hot skillet along with brown rice, pineapple, green peas, toasted cashews, and fresh cilantro. Ready to serve.
You’ll want to add this to your regular rotation. It’s sensational!
PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE
1 medium onion, diced
1 serrano chili or jalapeño (seeds removed), diced
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 batch of Chinese Brown Sauce (recipe below)
8 cups cooked brown rice (cold, leftover rice works best)
1 1/2 cups crushed canned pineapple (packed in unsweetened juice), drained, with juice reserved
1 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup raw cashews, toasted
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast raw cashews on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, just until the moment you can smell them. Remove cashews from the oven and set aside.
Prepare the Chinese Brown Sauce (below) and set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the onion and chili, and steam sauté with a little water to keep vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add reserved pineapple juice, and cook vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until soft and tender. Add extra water if needed.
Add the fresh garlic and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the rice, and pineapple. Pour the Chinese Brown Sauce into the hot pan, and combine well.
Finally, stir in peas, and cook just until heated through. Top with cashews and cilantro. Remove from heat and serve.
Chinese Brown Sauce
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Combine all ingredients in a small heavy saucepan, and heat until boiling. Cook for about 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
(Adapted from Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook, by Del Sroufe)