April 14, 2011

Supreme Pineapple-ginger Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftovers: rice, vegetables, meats, everything. Have some roasted asparagus in the fridge? Chop them up and toss them in. Got a few shrimps left over from Monday? Into the skillet they go. Usually I round it out with some scrambled eggs, or throw in some shredded cabbage, or carrots. Or chopped celery.

But recently I did not want any use-up-the-leftovers fried rice. I wanted in particular something with pineapples and ginger in it. And I wanted to add the half-bag of shrimps I still have in the freezer. And luckily, I saw this fried rice video put out by Whole Foods and found the idea of adding a miso "slurry" in the end simply brilliant. And that chopped seaweed topping? Yummy. Reminded me of a seaweed fried rice I used to make often, I'll have to dig that recipe out and make it again! But back to this recipe, using miso in place of soy sauce adds a more nuanced flavor, depth and sweetness (that is not cloying) to the fried rice. It balanced out whatever bite or sourness from the pineapples perfectly. There is also just something in the flavor of miso that is hard to lay one's finger on- the mysterious umami. Try making this for friends and family without disclosing the secret ingredient and have fun watching them trying to figure out that special taste!

Pineapple-ginger fried rice, topped with seaweed (sliced nori sheets
 This recipe is based on one I found in Gourmet several years ago, and further inspired by the video-with-the-miso. I am not including instructions for cooking the long-grain white rice as I have learned that it is better to follow the instructions on your rice package (the rice-to-water ratio can vary quite a bit!). It is best to use rice that have sat in the fridge at least overnight, as this makes them dry out a little and absorb the flavors better, but I've also used rice cooked earlier in the afternoon with good results. You can also use brown rice if you want but I prefer white rice for this recipe.

Supreme Pineapple-ginger Fried Rice
serves about 6
  • 5 cups cooked long-grain white rice
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 5 scallions (white and pale green parts separated from the greens), finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound shrimps
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup diced (1/4-inch) cored peeled fresh pineapple
  • miso slurry: 2 Tbsp white miso paste "dissolved" in 1/4 cup hot (NOT boiling) water 
  • sliced seaweed (optional but recommended)
  1. Have your cooked rice ready. Prepare the shrimps if necessary: shell and de-vein. Place in a small bowl and sprinkle some ground white pepper and toss with a tablespoon of soy sauce.
  2. Heat a wok or 12-inch skillet over moderate heat until a drop of water vaporizes instantly. Pour oil around side of wok, then tilt wok to swirl oil, coating side. When oil just begins to smoke, stir-fry ginger, white and pale green parts of scallions, and salt until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Remove shrimps with a slotted spoon and add to the wok, and stir-fry till cooked through and pink.
  4. Crumble rice into wok and stir-fry, mixing all ingredients thoroughly. Have the miso slurry ready.
  5.  Turn off heat, then add scallion greens, diced pineapples, and toss quickly a few times. Then drizzle miso slurry over the entire mixture, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
  6. If desired, top with sliced seaweed (toasted nori sheets).

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