Thursday, June 30

Susan's Polynesian shrimp fried rice


  • 1 cup small cooked shrimp (prawns)*
  • 8 rings canned pineapple, drained and retaining juice
  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 white, sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 green/spring onion, white and green sections
  • 2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon minced/crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger**
  • 3-4 cups cold cooked rice, scented jasmine or basmati if possible
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or sweet soy sauce***
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste (Indian curry powders, such as Madras, are also good for a kick)
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh small peas
  • 1/2 cup cubed, cooked ham
  • Sugar, to taste (omit if using sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped (optional)****
  • Garnish as desired (see the recipe directions for suggestions)
  • small amount of toasted, shredded coconut for garnish
  • small amount of toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste


Day ahead:
  1. The day ahead, I pre-cooked the long grain rice and put it in the refrigerator in a sealed bowl over night. Cold rice is easier to cook in the wok later and gets less sticky.
  2. I also quickly pan-fried the shrimp (about 2 minutes)
  3. I lightly toasted 1/4 cup shredded coconut (cool, then store in a sealed bowl)
  4. I lightly toasted 1/4 cup sliced almonds (cool, then store in a sealed bowl)

Day of:
  1. Peel and chop the onion. Put in small bowl to the side.
  2. Mince/press 2-3 cloves of garlic and put in a small bowl.
  3. Grate the fresh ginger and add to the bowl with the garlic. Put to the side.
  4. Cut the shrimp in half if desired and put into a bowl to the side.
  5. Cube ham and add to the shrimp bowl.
  6. Cut the pineapple rings into small wedges. Add to shrimp/ham bowl and put to the side.
  7. Wash/dry and grate the carrot and put into a medium sized bowl.
  8. Wash/dry the bell pepper, remove the seeds and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add to the bowl with the carrots and put to the side.
  9. Wash and finely slice the green onion. Put in a small bowl.
  10. Add the curry powder to the green onion bowl and put to the side.
  11. Next, arrange your small bowls in the order of which you will add them to the wok. This makes life much easier.
  12. Heat a wok or large, deep frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil, rotating the pan so that it coats the bottom and sides.
  13. When the oil is hot and shimmers, add the onion. Stir-fry for 1 minute. The onions will soften and begin to look opaque.
  14. Add the garlic& ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds only. You do not want to burn the garlic.
  15. Add the saved pineapple juice.
  16. Immediately after juice, Add the red bell pepper, peas, and carrots. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. The vegetables will start to cook.
  17. Add the pineapple, ham, and the shrimp. Stir-fry briefly.
  18. Add the rice, and cook for about 2 minutes, continually stirring and tossing until it becomes shiny.
  19. Stir in the soy sauce.
  20. Stir in the green onion, curry powder and sugar. Taste and adjust the seasoning and salt/pepper to taste, if desired.
  21. Serve hot.

*Use whatever size shrimp/prawns that you like. Make sure that they are deveined and shelled. If large, cut into pieces.

**Freshly grated ginger really works the best. I keep a ginger root in a freezer bag and grate directly while frozen.

*** Depending on where you live, different types of soy sauce are available and still can be used. If you are using a light soy sauce (ie Kikkoman type) then omit extra salt. If using a sweet soy sauce, omit the sugar. If you are using a mid-sweet/salty soy sauce season to taste.

**** The jalapeno is completely optional. Also, you can substitute any chile that you want. If you want it hotter, you a hotter chile and keep the seeds. If you don't want it spicy, omit the chile.

Garnish Suggestions: toasted coconut, crushed peanuts, and/or fresh mint sprigs or cilantro. While the coconut and almonds may sound a bit odd to some, they really do work in the dish and add another layer of texture and flavor.


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