I just got sucked into the cyber vortex that is holiday shopping. Or should I say, holiday searching? Yeah. No purchases made, but a lot of time completely vanished, into cyber air.
I have almost everyone’s gifts figured out, but cannot believe Christmas + Hanukah are coming so soon. While I have a lot of gifts figured out, that doesn’t mean they’re complete! Oh me + my DIYness. It was just Dec. 1st. Like…yesterday…right?
We’re both headed back to Ohio next weekend, on Christmas Eve. We’ll be in Ohio for 1.5 days, then driving 5hrs to PA to visit Chris’s family for 2.5 days, then back to Cleveland for 1 day, and then we’re back to Colorado. I feel like it’s already over and we haven’t even left yet. I hate short trips when visiting the family. Never enough time.
If we were going to be home longer, I would gift the family FOOD. I love cooking for the family, but this trip is so short, I’ll be surprised if I make it to Trader Joe’s! Actually, I somehow have to make it to TJ’s. It will happen!
My grandpa’s birthday is on Christmas Eve, the day we fly in. That side of my family is also Jewish [mom’s]. That being said, every year on Christmas Eve, you will catch our family our for Chinese food. It’s a tradition I never want to end, but maybe one year we’ll stay home and I’ll cook. If that ever happens, this will surely be on the menu.
Not really authentic Chinese fried rice, but I don’t think anyone would mind.
The key to this is letting the pineapple fully caramelize. This meal may seem like a long process, but that’s really because of the cook time on the rice. I like to cook my rice a day or two ahead of time, then store it in the fridge until I’m ready to cook with it. I always make more plain cooked rice than I need, and eat throughout the week with any meal. For example, I might make vanilla bean brown rice for breakfast. Refrigerating also helps the stickiness factor with fried rice. A win-win.
This was based off of my original fried rice recipe from a few months back. I made a couple of changes and added this savory + sweet, pineapple topping, which compliments the flavors + textures so well.
And now for a completely non-traditional and optional topping. Crumbled nori [dried seaweed] sheets. Typically used as a sushi wrapper, I absolutely love to crumble this over fried rice. It adds a lovely, subtle flavor.
But this is merely optional! I’m sure I would be the only one sprinkling this over a bowl of rice, at the dinner table with my fam.
Now back to the pineapple.
Pineapple Fried Rice [serves 6-8] adapted from my Veggie Fried Rice
- 2c short or long grain brown rice + 4c water
- 3/4lb/12oz sugar snap peas
- 1c carrots, thinly sliced
- 2c bell pepper, sliced
- 1c bean sprouts
- 1, 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1/2T toasted sesame oil
- 2.5-3T tamari/Bragg’s/soy sauce
- 2T water
- 2T apple cider vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2T ginger, minced
- 3-4T sunflower oil
- 2 eggs
- hot sauce, like sriracha [optional]
- In a large pot, add 1T oil over medium heat. Once heated, add brown rice and brown for 5-7min, stirring a few times, until just starting to brown. Add 4c of water, bring to a boil, stir once, reduce heat to simmer + cover for 50min. DO NOT stir or uncover while cooking. After 50min, take the rice off the burner [still covered!] and let sit for 10min, then fluff with a fork.
- Over med-high heat, add 1T oil to a large pan. Once hot, add sugar snap peas, peppers, + bean sprouts. Stir every few minutes, until crisp + lightly browned. ~6-8min
- Reduce heat to med-low, add ginger, garlic, water chestnuts + carrots, stir for 1-2min and empty into a large bowl.
- In the same pan that you cooked the veggies in, add 1-2T oil and heat over medium.
- Add the rice, tamari [or soy sauce], water and vinegar. Let cook for about 5-7min, stirring every minute or so.
- If cooking eggs, whisk 2 in a bowl. Create a well in the middle of the rice, add the egg in and cook like scrambled eggs.
- Fold the rice and eggs together.
- Combine the rice + veggies together, in a large bowl, with the toasted sesame oil.
- Taste and add more tamari + sesame oil if needed.
- Top individual portions with the pineapple sauce, sesame seeds, green onion, nori, etc.
- 4c chopped pineapple
- 2t tamari/Bragg’s/soy sauce
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 1.5T coconut oil
- Right after emptying the veggies into a bowl, in step 3, add the coconut oil to a cast iron skillet [or pan/pot] over med-high heat.
- Once hot, add pineapple, tamari + vinegar, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple is golden brown. ~6-10min
- Top on rice.
tips/substitutions: If using frozen vegetables, make sure you allow them to thaw completely and pat dry with a towel. If the veggies seem too wet in the pan + aren’t browning, sprinkle a tiny amount [1/4-1/2t] of arrowroot or corn starch in the pan and stir together. Leave the egg out if you want this to be vegan. Also, check out my first recipe if you want to include crispy broiled tofu. The coconut oil is idea for the pineapple sauce, but you can sub another high heat oil instead. You can also use coconut oil for the fried rice instead of sunflower if you want. Feel free to sub almost any other another grain instead of brown rice. To freeze, let the rice cool completely and portion out into freezer bags. Flatten the rice gently [for easier stacking] and let all of the air out before sealing shut.
Per usual, I highly recommend making double and freezing portions for quick weeknight meals, or to take to work for lunch.
Now, back to the shopping.
Are you done yet? Have you started? Who is the hardest person you have to shop for?
My parents are always the hardest!