Piña Colada Fried Rice
Scented jasmine rice adds extra flavor to any fried-rice recipe. You can turn up the heat in this Thai-inspired dish by increasing the number of red chili peppers.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 3 to 4
- ½ cup raw shrimp, shelled, deveined
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ½ cup unsalted cashews
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2–3 red Serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits
- 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- Salt or black pepper to taste
- 1–2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, fish sauce, and coconut extract. Set aside.
Roast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan continuously so that the nuts do not burn. Roast until the cashews are browned (about 5 minutes). Remove the cashews from the pan to cool.
Turn the heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons oil, rotating the pan so that it coats the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and chopped chilies. Stir-fry quickly until they are fragrant, then add the shrimp. Stir-fry the shrimp, moving them quickly around the pan until they turn pink. Add the red bell pepper and the pineapple and continue stir-frying.
Add the rice and stir-fry for a minute, continually stirring the rice and turning it over. Add the curry powder mixture. Stir in the sugar. Stir in the green onions. Stir-fry for a minute more to mix the ingredients together. Do a taste test and add salt or black pepper if desired.
Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top and garnish with the roasted cashews before serving.
The Science of Rice
The main difference between long-, medium-, and short-grain rice isn't the length of the individual grains. It all comes down to two types of starch: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose produces a fluffier rice, while amylopectin makes the rice more sticky. Fluffy long-grain rice is rich in amylose, while short-grain rice (also called “sticky rice”) contains more amylopectin.