This recipe is part of the Taste of Thai cooking classes (BLOCK 1: Sense of Cuisine. Introduction to Thai flavors, curry pastes, nam phrik kaeng). Pineapple rice is simple to make either for 2-3 people, or for a big crowd. It can be plated or beautifully served in halved pineapple boats. It’s a good way to use cooked long grain rice leftovers, as well as cooked lean meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. Personally, I cook all the ingredients for this dish form scratch. There are recipes that use only fish sauce and white pepper for seasoning. They are good for those who can’t tolerate any heat. I prefer variations with Thai green, red, and yellow curry pastes, adding more or less of them depending to my guests requests for the level of heat. I tried many ways to cook and serve this dish — all of them are delicious!
As we know, pineapples don’t grow in Texas, as well as in many other parts of world. They are harvested unripe to be delivered all over the world. When shopping for a pineapple, look for those that at least started turning yellow and have no bruises. (If you find one with beautiful green top, lucky you. If not, see my instructions below how to make it attractive anyway.) You can bring it to almost perfect ripeness at home by placing it in a bucket with apples for a day or two and keeping it surrounded with apples in room temperature.
The best rice to use for this recipe is Thai Jasmine rice. If unavailable, use another long-grain rice. Follow cooking instructions on its packaging.
If making seafood version of this recipe, use the best available local ingredients. In case on Austin, it’s Gulf brown shrimp and red snapper. I also like adding scallops. For the best tasting juicy result, they should not be fully cooked before being mixed with cooked rice.
My favorite brands: Red Boat for fish sauce, Maesri for Thai curry pastes (recognized in Thailand as a high quality export product with rich taste and authentic flavor), Savoy for coconut cream (I add water to make it coconut milk). When choosing coconut milk or cream, read labels — there shouldn’t be any other ingredients besides coconut and water. Any preservatives and stabilizers often cause coconut milk curdling. To make coconut emulsion stable, follow my cooking instructions for this recipe.