BY DARLENE SCHMIDT
ACTIVE: 35 minutes
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
3 to 4 cups cooked rice, preferably several days old (if fresh, leave for an hour or more in the refrigerator uncovered)
3 tablespoons soy sauce (substitute fish sauce if non-vegetarian)
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red or green chili, thinly sliced, or 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
1/4 cup vegetable or faux chicken stock (or regular chicken stock if non-vegetarian)
1 egg (vegans can omit)
1 small carrot, grated (about 1/4 cup), optional
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small can pineapple chunks, drained, or 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 cup currants or raisins
1/2 cup roasted unsalted whole cashews
Freshly squeezed lime juice, optional
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1. Mix 1 tablespoon oil with the rice, using your fingers to separate any chunks into grains. Set aside.
2. In a cup, stir the soy sauce or fish sauce together with the curry powder.
3. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and chili, stir-frying until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whenever the pan becomes dry, add a little stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep ingredients sizzling.
4. Crack the egg (if using) into wok and stir quickly to cook (like you are making scrambled eggs).
5. Add the carrot, if using, and peas. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, adding more stock if needed.
6. Now add the rice, pineapple chunks, currants and cashews.
7. Drizzle the fish/soy sauce mixture over and gently stir-fry to combine over medium-high to high heat until the rice "dances" (makes popping sounds), about 5 to 8 minutes, or until desired lightness is achieved. (Avoid adding any more stock from here on, or your rice will turn out heavy and/or soggy. If desired, you can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the pan to give your rice that special "shine" you see in restaurant fried rice.)
8. Remove from heat. Do a taste-test for salt and flavour, adding a few shakes of salt or a little more soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste, add a squeeze or two of lime juice.
9. To serve, scoop rice onto a serving platter (or in a carved-out pineapple). Top with spring onions and coriander.
10. Vegans may omit the egg without losing the flavour or nutrients of this great dish as tasty cashews provide the main protein source.
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