I first encountered Thai-style pineapple fried rice one Autumn evening in Suwana’s Thai Orchid Restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina.
My girlfriend and I had spent the day hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so our appetites were healthy. The Pineapple Fried Rice was a last minute addition to an already extensive order, but I didn’t think twice about it; a plate of rice mixed with some pineapple chunks seemed like pretty standard fare for a Thai place.
Several glasses of plum wine later, my jaw hit the ground when the waiter placed a football-sized pineapple shell overflowing with fried rice, cashews, and raisins on the table. Perhaps my slight inebriation made the presentation that much more impressive, but, nevertheless, it was a sight to behold.
We couldn’t finish the Pineapple Fried Rice that night, but I made a personal commitment to recreate it Paleo-style when I returned home. Today, I honor that commitment.
Presentation purposes aside, the pineapple shell in this recipe imparts a wonderful flavor to a mixture of riced cauliflower, chicken, eggs, cashews, and raisins (even if you think the raisins seem a bit odd, they are my favorite part of this dish. I implore that you at least give them a try). With the spices of coriander and turmeric added to the mix, Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice is truly a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.
Start by splitting a large pineapple in half vertically.
Carefully carve out the middle of each pineapple half. Discard the core and dice the removed pineapple, reserving about two cups.
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet or wok. Add 1/2 pound of cubed chicken breast and cook until it’s no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
Wipe out the wok, then add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Pour in two beaten eggs and cook, undisturbed, until firm, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the egg over and cook the other side for a minute or two, then remove it from the wok and slice into strips.
Add the last remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the wok and toss in some diced red pepper and green onions. Sauteé them for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add in some minced garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
Add in about 2 1/2 cups of grated cauliflower, two tablespoons of coconut milk, one tablespoon of coconut aminos, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower starts to get tender, then mix in the chicken, pineapple, and eggs along with some roasted cashews and raisins.
Stuff the mixture into the pineapple shells and cover the greens with foil to prevent them from burning. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes.
Garnish with some green onion tops and enjoy!
Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice
- 1 large pineapple
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil divided
- 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast cubed
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
- 1 bunch green onions whites and greens separated and sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 2 1/2 cups grated cauliflower (about half a head)
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut amnios
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup roasted cashews
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut the pineapple in half vertically, then carefully hollow out each half. Remove the core and dice the removed pineapple, reserving 2 cups.
- Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add the chicken breast and cook until it is brown and no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the wok and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet and pour in the eggs. Allow them to cook undisturbed for a few minutes until firm, then flip over and cook the other side. Remove from the wok and slice into strips.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil in the wok. Add in the diced red pepper and green onion whites and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the grated cauliflower, coconut milk, coconut aminos, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook until the cauliflower starts to soften, about five minutes.
- Mix in the chicken, pineapple, eggs, cashews, and raisins and remove the wok from the heat.
- Stuff the mixture into the pineapple shells and place them on a baking sheet. Cover the pineapple greens with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pineapples are soft and the cauliflower is completely tender. Garnish with the sliced green onion tops before serving.
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