This vegan Thai pineapple fried rice isn’t the first time I’ve tried to recreate a vegetarian Thai dish from a certain restaurant in Baltimore. I also played around with replicating their spicy basil noodles to delicious results last year.
Why am I not mentioning the restaurant by name? The food there is greasy greasy greasy. I don’t mind indulging once in a long while, but that’s not generally how I like to eat nor is it the kind of food I like to endorse eating! So they’ll stay nameless for now.
Instead I have bridged the gap by making a vegan Thai pineapple fried rice at home that’s a lot less oily, free of refined sugar, more vegetable-focused, made with brown rice, and whipped up in a snap for an easy weeknight dinner! I’m particularly in need of quick recipes to use up veggies, as this year’s CSA season has begun:
Pictured from left-to-right-ish are cucumbers, radishes + greens, kohlrabi + greens, romaine, garlic scapes, celtuce, spinach, curly kale, and beets + greens (with a pen for scale :)). This was from about two weeks ago – oh how time flies! I was unable to pick up the second week’s shipment because I was running a half marathon during the pickup time, so the broccoli et al. found in this stir-fry are non-CSA.
If I can manage to start posting more regularly then I’ll start providing weekly CSA updates as well, but right now I’m just trying to find the time to eat all of those veggies in a one week timespan. With the above group, I ended up throwing an entire bunch each of beet and kohlrabi greens into a giant green smoothie… which did not taste very good. I did still have some of the kohlrabi itself hanging around when it came to making this fried rice so I went ahead and threw it in. Why not, right? This recipe is beckoning for you to mix and match vegetables. Last time I made it I used snap peas and asparagus. Anything that cooks fairly quickly and/or can be eaten crisp-tender will work.
The key to the deep and unexpected flavor of this fried rice is a good pinch of both Indian curry powder and Chinese five spice. For best results, you’ll also want to allow the cooked rice to sit in the fridge overnight. Okay, one last thing. I served some of this to a friend who said, “looks like you added a little bit of rice to your vegetables!”. Yes, I like my fried rice to have a very high ratio of vegetables to rice. Feel free to increase the ratio of rice according to your preference – you may also want to increase the amount of the stir-fry sauce if you do that. P.S. this dish would also be fantastic served with cauliflower rice! See my recipe notes for suggestions.
Hope everyone (in the northern hemisphere) is having a fabulous start to their summer!
- 2 and ½ tb. freshly-squeezed lime juice
- 3 tb. low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ tb. sriracha (or other chili sauce)
- 2 tb. coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- ½ tb. Indian curry powder
- ½ tb. Chinese five spice
- 1 tb. neutral oil (I used refined coconut oil)
- ½ of a medium red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- about 1" ginger, minced
- ½ small head of purple cabbage or ¼ large head, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced into disks
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets, stem peeled and cubed
- ½ c. pineapple chunks (I used frozen & thawed)
- about 2 and ½ c. cooked rice (white or brown; starchy varieties are best - or try cauliflower rice; see the notes!)
- stir-fry sauce (see above)
- sliced green onion or scallion, for serving
- chopped toasted peanuts or cashews, for serving
- In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the stir-fry sauce to dissolve the coconut sugar, and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook, continuing to stir, just until the onion becomes translucent, about 1 more minute.
- Add the cabbage, carrot, and broccoli, and continue to cook while stirring frequently, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes (or until the broccoli and carrot are cooked to your liking).
- Add the pineapple, rice, and stir-fry sauce to the skillet, and stir to combine. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the rice and vegetables, about 1 minute.
- Add more soy sauce or hot sauce to taste. Serve garnished with green onion and chopped nuts.
For this recipe you should have your mise en place ready to go before you start cooking, as everything comes together in a snap!
For variations, use fast-cooking vegetables of choice.