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Fried Rice with Seared Cumin Pineapple

Fried Rice with Seared Cumin Pineapple

Renée Robinson

Garlic Chips, Garlic Oil, Cumin Seeds, and Curry Leaves are a Few of the Flavors in This Fried Rice.

While using classic cooking techniques for preparing fried rice, I played very loosely with the flavorings in this recipe. I began by cooking up a batch of crispy garlic chips. I always enjoy having these on hand and decided I wanted to use a lot of them in this dish. They’re very simple to make – fry sliced garlic in plenty of oil until it’s golden brown and you’re done. The flavored oil is fantastic in many dishes and I used some of it in this fried rice.

I had leftover ham I wanted to use, so I thought pineapple would be a good addition. I didn’t want it stirred into the rice, preferring it be seared, seasoned and kept separate to use as a topping for the rest of the dish. Seeing as I chose cumin seeds and fresh hot pepper as the seasoning for the pineapple, I decided to use black mustard seeds and curry leaves to flavor the rice. 

As you can obviously see, I don’t think in terms of sticking to specific cuisine types when I cook. I simply think of what will taste good and use whatever spices and flavorings I feel will enhance the ingredients. It’s common for me to combine spices which aren’t normally seen used in the same dish. As I said, I only think about what I want the dish to taste like and go with it.

Ingredients for Fried Rice

After stirring in a half cup of crispy garlic chips, I topped the fried rice with the seared pineapple, plenty of sliced scallions and then some floral pink peppercorns. It may not be typical, but it was exactly what I had in mind and I loved it. 

Fried Rice with Seared Cumin Pineapple

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Pineapple, Ham, Cumin, Mustard Seeds, and Curry Leaves Combine in Fried Rice

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  • 1 cup thinly sliced garlic cloves

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

  • 1 whole pineapple, trimmed, cut into chunks

  • 1/4 teaspoon minced ghost pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • kosher salt

  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

  • 2 tablespoons tiny dried shrimp, optional

  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • 20 - 30 small curry leaves

  • 2 cups diced ham

  • 6 cups cold, day old jasmine rice

  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced

  • Pink peppercorns, crushed


  • Heat 1 cup vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic cloves and cook, stirring until they become golden brown, being careful not to let them get too brown. Remove the garlic to drain on paper towels, reserving the oil.
  • Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to very hot wok, add half the pineapple and half the cumin seeds. Cook until the pineapple starts to brown, adding half the ghost pepper for the last 30 seconds of cooking time. Remove from the wok, place in a bowl and repeat with the remaining oil, pineapple, cumin and ghost pepper. Remove from the wok and add to the bowl of cooked pineapple. Sprinkle with salt. Reserve.
  • Add 2 tablespoons reserved garlic oil to hot wok, toss in carrots, cook for 2 mins, add dried shrimp and black mustard seeds, cook for a minute or two until shrimp are crisp and mustard seeds have popped. Stir in the onion and cook for a couple minutes. Add curry leaves, cook for a minute. Stir in the ham, 2 more tablespoons garlic oil, and add rice. Stir fry until heated through and all the rice is separated. Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Toss and taste. Add more soy sauce if necessary. Stir in 1/2 cup reserved garlic chips. Put the rice on a platter, top with pineapple, scallions and pink peppercorns. Enjoy!

6 Responses

  1. I have no idea where I’d get curry leaves on Vancouver Island and ghost pepper and my husband – don’t think so! But I made sure I had everything else to recreate this dish last night (well, no shrimp, but another time I will try them as well). Imagine us sitting in our comfy clothes, watching “The Great Race” and clutching our fragrant warm bowls of rice, pineapple and ham as close to our mouths (for easy shovelling) as we can, in between laughing at Peter Falk and Jack Lemmon. That was the happy scene last night at our house. Another winner Renee!

    1. Oh, Elizabeth, this all sounds so delicious!! And isn’t that buttermilk brine an eye opener? I don’t even consider roasting a chicken without first brining it in that mixture. I’m so glad you’ve given it a go. And that panzanella must have been remarkably good! You’re so very welcome, my dear.

    2. I couldn’t love this more if I tried. It has been a very long time since I’ve seen that movie, but I can so easily conjure this scene in my mind and you’re right. It is so cozy and happy. So glad you enjoyed that warm bowl.😊

  2. Wow Renee! The moment I saw this I knew I had to make it. In order to do so, I had to do some subbing. Shrimp instead of ham, and jalapenos in place of ghost peppers. Though I am sure it is amazing as written, it was incredibly delicious with my substitutions. Thank you, it was just what I was looking for!



    1. Well, this is fantastic!! And with this kind of recipe, substitutions are perfectly fine. I’ve made it with shrimp and it’s great, isn’t it? Im so happy you enjoyed it.

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