NYC grocery shopping is a major pain. Like many New Yorkers, I don’t have a car. Although even if I did, most of the stores around me don’t have a parking lot. So the days of full carts and stocking up are gone (unless I order online; which has its own challenges).
The nearest grocery store is a few blocks away from my apartment, which is convenient, but I still can’t handle more than two bags at one time. This means that I generally make multiple trips to the store every week. Did I mention that I never liked grocery shopping to begin with?
All this also means that sometimes I get super lazy. That’s exactly what happened to me last week. I’d been avoiding the store for a few days, and my cupboards were pretty bare. I had a few scraps of this and that, and I was trying to come up with something to make.
That’s how I came up with this Pineapple Fried Brown Rice!
Fried rice is one of the best way to use up the odds and ends in your refrigerator. This pineapple version just so happens to be one of my favorite meals, too!
Let’s start by talking about the rice. To make good fried rice, you need to start with leftover (cold) rice. If you’re in a pinch, you can use freshly cooked rice, but the texture will be a soft and mushy. So use up those takeout leftovers, or simply make a batch of rice the night before and refrigerate it overnight (that’s what I usually do).
The rice is important, but it’s everything else that goes in the dish that makes it taste so good! My Pineapple Fried Brown Rice is full of vegetables, tofu (sub your favorite protein), crunchy cashews, and sweet pineapple. It’s a little sweet, a touch spicy, a bit salty, and oh so good!
Clean out your fridge and make this fried rice tonight!
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 tsp. + 1 tbsp. olive oil, separated
- 3 cups cooked brown rice, cold (see note)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
- 3 cups chopped cabbage (about 1/4 of a small head)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 1 large green onion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (8 oz.) package baked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add cashews and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Return pan to stove, add 2 tsp. olive oil, and set burner to medium-high.
- Add onion and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until edges start to brown.
- Stir cabbage into onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, until cabbage begins to wilt.
- Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, white part of green onions, and crushed red pepper flakes to pan.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds to 1 minutes).
- Run a fork through the brown rice to separate the grains. Add to vegetables.
- Cook until rice is hot and then reduce to medium.
- Add tofu and pineapple to pan. Cook until heated through.
- Push rice mixture to one side of pan.
- Pour eggs into pan and scramble.
- When eggs are almost cooked through, mix them in with the rice. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan, making sure to get all the eggs.
- Stir in the green onions and cashews.
- Drizzle rice with soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir well.
- Season with additional soy sauce, if desired, and remove from heat.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- - To prepare 3 cups cooked rice, combine 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until tender and water is absorbed (about 35-45 minutes). Refrigerate until ready to use.
- - When cooking over high temperatures, make sure to stir the ingredients frequently. This will help avoid burning.
- - If you like spicy food, add additional crushed red pepper flakes or serve with sriracha or rooster sauce.
P.S. If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my Spicy Tomato Basil Fried Rice, too!