Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Phad Saparod): This one-wok crowd-pleaser boasts a plethora of flavours and textures ranging from sweet, savoury, spicy, crunchy to fluffy! Made using fresh pineapple and served in a beautiful pineapple boat.
Disclosure: This recipe is proudly brought to you by Kong Que Foodstuff.
My husband worked in Thailand for about 8 years. During our stay there, we often ate at the eateries patronised by local Thais, as we wanted to ensure that we were having authentic Thai cuisine and paying local price for it! One dish that was a MUST for us is Thai fried rice, because its taste is very different from other types of fried rice. Thai cuisine requires a special touch, and its not easy to replicate that authentic taste.
There are so many varieties of fried rice offered in Thailand that we were simply spoilt for choice: Khao Phad Talay (Seafood Fried Rice), Khao Phad Poo (Crab Fried Rice), Khao Phad Goong (Prawn Fried Rice), Khao Phad Nahm Liap Dum (Black Olive Fried Rice), Khao Phad Gai (Chicken Fried Rice with Lychees and Longan), and the list goes on.
So I was very happy to be approached by Kong Que Foodstuff to collaborate on a rice recipe that is close to my heart – Khao Phad Saparod (Pineapple Fried Rice) – featuring their signature Lon Sen Peacock Brand Thai Hom Mali Rice.
Convenient Grocery Essentials for Less
If you haven’t heard of Kong Que before, it is a new local online grocery service that offers a simple but powerful proposition: bulky grocery essentials at affordable everyday prices delivered straight to your doorstep. Kong Que’s basic set includes Thai Hom Mali Jasmine rice, vegetable oil, eggs and sugar, and we were told it’s priced 10% cheaper than elsewhere. Not convinced, we did some homework to compare prices. Here’s what we found:
Screenshots of alternative shopping carts as of 6 Oct 2017
Wow, we were actually quite surprised at the significant savings (10-22%) of the Kong Que sets compared to other retailers, especially since we deliberately chose the cheapest alternatives (think housebrands and bulk quantities) for the price comparison. The savings would have been even more if we had chosen to compare with mid-tier to higher end brands.
If you think that’s a good deal, there’s more good news: From now until 31 Oct 2017, Kong Que is offering ADDITIONAL 20% OFF all sets for new email subscribers. (Update 1 Nov 2017: This offer is now over. You can still subscribe here to keep updated on Kong Que’s latest promotions.)
What’s the Catch?
We wondered the same thing: how is a newcomer like Kong Que able to undercut the market with its low price + free delivery model, and is it sustainable? As we probed further, we found out that Kong Que’s young entrepreneur-founder George Lee has a backer – his father owns Lon Sen Food Trading, a b2b grocery specialist that has been supplying rice and essentials to restaurants and hawkers in Singapore for the last 10 years.
Lon Sen’s signature Peacock Brand Thai Hom Mali rice is personally sourced by the elder Lee from the Ubon Ratchathani province in Thailand, a region known for cultivating the best quality Jasmine rice. It then undergoes meticulous drying and polishing processes to produce Thai jasmine rice that is aromatic, soft and light. Lon Sen’s loyal customers seem to appreciate the attention to quality, with people willing to travel all the way to Lon Sen’s factory in Jurong West month after month without fail to stock up on household essentials.
Bulk Discounts + Online Model = Lower Prices + Everyday Savings
Yet, it was this very situation that led George to set up Kong Que with the slogan ‘Convenience Made Affordable’ when he was roped in to help his father expand the family business to reach out into the retail market. How do they achieve this goal of affordable convenience? Through a strong cost-efficiency focus that is core to the company’s DNA, and specifically in three ways:
- Sharing the wholesaler bulk discount Lon Sen receives as an established rice trading business with Kong Que’s retail customers
- Exclusive focus on online retail to keep operating costs low by eliminating the distribution costs involved in selling in brick-and-mortar stores.
- Leveraging Lon Sen’s existing b2b logistics infrastructure to fulfill orders from Kong Que’s retail customers.
All this translates into greater cost savings which Kong Que passes on to customers through affordable everyday prices and discounts. That’s why you won’t be seeing Kong Que’s products on your supermarket aisles anytime soon. Yet at such affordable pricing, even if you are already loyal to a particular rice brand, there’s no harm in giving Kong Que a try as the cumulative savings over time can be sizeable!
Update 1 Nov 2017: This offer is now over. For a limited time, Kong Que is offering 20% discount off its Thai Hom Mali Rice (15kg) at $30 (usual $38) + FREE DELIVERY. Grab a bag to try it before the offer ends on 31 Oct 2017!
Our Thai Pineapple Fried Rice Final Result!
To prepare the Thai Pineapple fried rice, we had to first cook the rice a day. Usually I use 1:1 water-to-rice ratio when cooking rice, but this time I followed the recommended 1.3:1 water-to-rice ratio for the Lon Sen rice, and it turned out soft and fluffy. (If you prefer firmer grains, you can experiment with the amount of water to get to your preferred texture). We then left it overnight in the fridge to harden so the grains wouldn’t break up during frying.
The next day, all we had to do was prepare the other ingredients, and then fry the pineapple rice. The pineapple fried rice turned out nice and grainy and did not easily break apart during the frying process. And it was very yummy too because it absorbed all the flavours and aromas of the ingredients! We served the rice in a fresh pineapple boat (see photo collage below!) for a more appetising and beautiful presentation. Adding a bit of chilli padi to the dish gave it an extra oomph which the adults loved, while the kids enjoyed their pineapple fried rice topped with delicious fluffy pork floss. Everyone was happy!
How does our pineapple fried rice look? Are you tempted to try out this recipe? Tell us your thoughts, or any questions related to this recipe in the comments box below!
THAI PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE (KHAO PHAD SAPAROD)
This one-pan crowd-pleaser boosts a plethora of flavours and textures ranging from sweet, savoury, spicy, crunchy to fluffy! Made using fresh pineapple and served in a beautiful pineapple boat.
- 1/2 Fresh Pineapple
- 3 Cups Rice
- 3 - 3 1/2 Cup Water For cooking rice; Check the recommended water:rice ratio for your rice brand
- 2 1/2 TBsp Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 TBsp Thai Fish Sauce
- 350 gm Small Prawns
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Red Onion (small) You can also use Yellow Onion
- 1 1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic
- 1/2 cup Roasted Cashew Nut (Unsalted)
- 4 TBsp Pork Floss (Soft)
- 1/4 tsp Tumeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Curry Powder Optional
- 1/2 tsp Paprika Powder Optional
- A Dash Pepper Optional
- 1-2 Red Chilli Optional
- 2 Sprig Spring Onion Optional
- 1 Stalk Parsley Optional
- 1 small Cucumber Optional
- 3 TBsp Crispy Shallots Optional
PREPARATION FOR THAI PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE (20 Min + 30 Min to cook rice the day before)
Wash the 3 cups rice and add 3 - 3.5 cups of water to cook the rice. The rice should be cooked one day before and left in the fridge overnight.
Deshell and devein the prawns and wash and pat dry (see video demonstration here). Marinate the prawn with a little egg white, salt and a little pepper.
Cut the pineapple into half lengthwise, while leave the full stalk of leaves intact. Then use a knife and make a deep cut around the perimeter of the pineapple without cutting through to the bottom. Make sure to slant your knife inwards to follow the shape of the pineapple.
Then cut across the pineapple into 5-6 sections. Use a spoon to scoop out the slices of pineapple and transfer to a plate.
Make sure to scoop out all the flesh from the pineapple boat. Drain and pat dry and set aside for later use.
Remove the 'eye's of the pineapple as well as the hard core and discard. Then cut the pineapple into smaller cubes or triangles.
Crack the eggs and beat them lightly. Next, add a pinch of salt and set aside.
Toast the cashew nuts in the toaster for a few minutes until golden brown, then take them out to cool. Once completely cooled, store in an air tight jar.
Remove the skin from the garlic and chop it coarsely.
Remove the skin from the onion and cut it into small squares.
Mix all the spices in a bowl and set aside.
(Optional) Wash the spring onion, chilli and parsley and cut into small pieces.
(Optional) Cut off both ends of the cucumber and using the cut portion to rub against the both ends until the white color substance oozes out. Wash the cucumber and cut into slices cross-sectionally. Chill in the fridge until serving time.
COOKING METHOD FOR THAI PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE (20 Min)
In a wok, add 1 TBsp of oil and heat up over medium high heat. Add in the prawns and stir fry for a few seconds until just cooked. Remove and transfer to a plate.
In the same wok, add 1/2 TBsp more oil. Add in chopped garlic and cubed onions and fry till aromatic.
Push onions and garlic to the side of the wok and add 1 TBsp of oil. Pour the eggs in and fry till half cooked. Quickly add the cooked rice over the egg, onions and garlic, and toss well.
Pour the spices over the rice and mix well.
Add in 1 1/2 TBsp fish sauce and 1/2 tsp salt and mix well.
Next, add in the pineapple cubes, prawns and half of the cashew nuts to the rice mixture and mix well. Continue to cook until the pineapple turns a bit darker coloured and the rice grains separate. If the rice is too dry, a little water can be added to it.
Lastly add in the spring onion and turn off the heat and toss to mix well (optional). Taste and adjust the salt level according to your preference.
Transfer the pineapple rice into the boat. Garnish it with pork floss, remaining cashew nuts, parsley, spring onion and red cut chilli. Serve with chilled cucumber (optional)
- It is important that the rice must be cooked the day before otherwise it will be sticky. In fact all kinds of fried rice, be it Chinese or Thai, must be overnight cooked rice in order to achieve the perfect grainy and shiny look.
- Before frying the rice, first wet your hands and break up the lumpy rice otherwise the rice will be lumpy after being fried.
- When frying the rice, use a scooping motion to get under the rice, and then flip it over to avoid breaking up the rice grains.
- Be careful not overcook the prawns so that it will be tender and moist.
- The egg should be half cooked before adding the rice so that the rice grain gets coated wth the egg during frying. That give the rice a very nice eggy taste.
- Red Onion is preferred because it has a spicy flavor whereas yellow onion tends to be on the sweet side.
- The pineapple should be ripe to give the rice a sweet and tangy fragrant.
- Do not cook the pineapple for too long as it will turn watery causing the rice to be too soggy at the end of it.
- Ensure that the pineapple boat is dry otherwise the rice gets soaked up in the juices and becomes too soggy.
- Do not discard the juices and the remainder of the pineapple. You can add some water to cook pineapple together with the juice and add a little sugar to it and there you have a pineapple drink that goes well with the pineapple rice.
- You can replace the prawns with chicken breast or you can use both.
- Instead of using fresh pineapple, you can also use canned pineapple but they are super sweet. You should wash and pat dry the pineapple to reduce the sweetness as well as the water content in it.
- You can also replace the pork floss with fish or chicken floss.
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: Skip the paprika and curry powder
- Egg-Free: Skip the eggs
- Gluten-Free: Ensure that the sauces are gluten free versions