Easily one of the best pineapple fried rice you’ll ever have. Made of chicken, vegetables, and slices of pineapple flavored with your favorite Thai seasonings. It’s savory, and fragrant, balanced with the sweetness of pineapples.
Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice
Thai pineapple fried rice is a delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors. The sweetness comes from the chunks of pineapple that are mixed into the rice, while the savory flavors come from the addition of fish sauce and soy sauce. The curry powder adds a mild spice and depth of flavor to the dish.
How is Thai Fried Rice Different from Chinese Fried Rice?
Thai fried rice and Chinese fried rice are similar in that they’re both made with cooked rice, vegetables, and protein. However, Thai fried rice uses a different combination of sauces and spices that give it a distinct flavor profile. Thai fried rice also tends to be spicier than Chinese fried rice and often includes fresh herbs and fruits.
Here’s what you need:
When it comes to fried rice, the best cut of chicken to use is boneless, skinless chicken thighs. It’s juicy, and flavorful, and its firm texture holds up well when cooked in high heat.
Tip: Dice the chicken thighs into small pieces or slice them into thin strips for use in fried rice dishes.
Chicken breast can still work well if it’s cooked properly. Keep in mind that it has less fat and tends to be drier than chicken thighs. To prevent the chicken breast from becoming tough and dry when stir-fried, cut it into small pieces and cook it quickly over high heat.
Day-old white rice is best used for fried rice dishes because it doesn’t easily turn into a mushy and sticky mess. Its texture is perfect for absorbing the flavors and aromas of seasonings, sauces, and vegetables.
The slightly drier texture of the day-old rice also helps to prevent the dish from becoming overly oily or greasy during cooking.
To make things more convenient, we will be using canned pineapple chunks to prepare the pineapple fried rice. These canned pineapple chunks are widely available in most grocery stores. However, when fresh pineapples are in season, they can also be used as an alternative.
Pineapple Fried Rice Sauce and Seasoning
To make the sauce you will need:
- Fish Sauce and Oyster Sauce – are the main seasonings of this Thai rice recipe. You can substitute fish sauce with soy sauce if not available.
- Curry Powder – Adding curry powder to this fried rice is what makes this recipe unique. You can buy this in many Asian grocery stores and online.
- Turmeric Powder – You only need a small amount, enough to give Thai pineapple fried rice its signature yellow color.
- Chicken Powder – The secret to restaurant-style fried rice is chicken powder. Use 1/2 piece of chicken bouillon in hot 1 tablespoon hot water as a substitute.
- Sugar – to balance the savory flavor of the other ingredients.
How to Make It
And here’s how to make Thai-style pineapple chicken fried rice:
Step 1: Marinate slices of chicken thighs in oyster sauce and fish sauce to help tenderize them and add flavor; about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
Step 2: Stir-fry the marinated chicken in hot oil. When it’s no longer pink, add the chopped onions. Continue cooking until fragrant and translucent.
Step 3: When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the frozen vegetables (e.g. green peas, carrots, and corn). Cook until it softens, about 3 minutes.
Step 4: Add day-old rice followed by curry powder, turmeric powder, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Toss and stir all ingredients together for 2 to 3 minutes until the rice grains absorb all the seasonings and turn to yellow color.
Cooking Tip: When stir-frying the rice, make sure to use high heat and constantly stir the rice to prevent it from sticking to the pan. You’ll know the rice is ready when it starts to get slightly crispy and the grains are heated through. If the rice is still sticking together or feels too moist, continue stir-frying for a few more minutes until the desired texture is achieved.
Step 5: Finally, add pineapple chunks and stir until it warms through, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using two wooden spoons will make this step easier.
What to Serve with
Pineapple chicken fried rice can be enjoyed on its own or paired with other complementary dishes.
Here are some ideas for what to serve with pineapple chicken fried rice:
- Spring rolls – Crispy spring rolls filled with vegetables or shrimp make a great appetizer or side dish to this fried rice.
- Salad – A fresh and crunchy salad like Thai papaya salad or green mango salad can be a refreshing and light complement to the rich flavors of pineapple fried rice. Other options are cucumbers and cherry tomato salad.
- Fried wontons – Another tasty appetizer option is fried wontons filled with chicken, pork, or shrimp. These can be served with sweet and sour sauce or soy sauce for dipping.
- Soup – A warm and comforting bowl of coconut soup, such as Tom Kha Gai or Tom Yum soup, can be a great way to start the meal and balance out the savory flavors of the fried rice.
- Fresh fruit – Finish the meal on a sweet note by serving fresh fruit, such as sliced mango or papaya, as a light and refreshing dessert.
Try these next
- Chicken and Potato Curry with Coconut Milk
- Air-fryer Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
- Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
- Chinese Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry
Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice Thai-Style
- 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil I used canola
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen vegetables
- 3 cups cooked rice note 1
- 2 teaspoon curry powder note 2
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder or ½ chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 8 oz canned pineapple chunks drained, note 3
To serve (optional)
- 2 stalks cilantro/coriander stalks and leaves separated
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1-2 pcs Thai chili peppers or jalapenos chopped
- lime juice from 1/2 lime
- Marinate chicken in fish sauce and oyster sauce for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.8 oz chicken breast or thighs, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir fry until no longer pink, but it doesn't have to be cooked through. Add onions and continue cooking until soft and fragrant.8 oz chicken breast or thighs, 2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 medium yellow onion
- Add frozen vegetables, and stir until it slightly softens.1/2 cup frozen vegetables
- Add rice, followed by curry powder, turmeric powder, chicken powder, sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce.3 cups cooked rice, 2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- Add pineapple chunks, and continue cooking for another minute until it warms through. Sprinkle coriander and toss to combine.1 8 oz canned pineapple chunks, 2 stalks cilantro/coriander
- Serve with fish sauce and lime juice dipping sauce with chilies.2 tbsp fish sauce, lime juice from 1/2 lime, 1-2 pcs Thai chili peppers or jalapenos
- Rice – use day-old rice as much as possible. Jasmine rice, short and long-grain rice should work well.
- Curry Powder – use your favorite yellow curry powder, spicy or mildly spicy depending on your preference.
- Pineapple Chunks – fresh pineapples can also be used if preferred, you’ll need about 1 1/2 cup.