One of my favorite Thai dishes is Pineapple Rice. But sometimes I just don’t want to get dressed up and go out to a restaurant. I wanted to create a recipe to mimic the flavors I love and add some shrimp to make it a main course dish.
If you are looking for recipes that are loaded with protein, quick to make, and easy to get on the table in no time, start with shrimp. They cook fast (always leave them to the last minute so they don’t overcook!) and if you buy them already peeled and deveined, there is no prep time except a quick rinse. These days there are so many prepared sauces available for purchase that you can use them as foundations for dozens of recipes saving you even more time.
Gourmet Garden’s Thai Seasoning mix already has the primary flavors combined to make it super easy for you to get a delicious meal on the table in no time. It is packed with chopped lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, and chili pepper to pump up the flavor of any dish. And being able to keep the tubes in the freezer means I always have fresh herbs on hand.
This literally took less than 30 minutes to make. I used frozen par-cooked rice to save even more time – added the Gourmet Garden seasonings to it before heating in the microwave, then tossed them all together before serving. So easy! The sauce is a simple sauté of onions with the Thai Seasoning mix and garlic plus coconut milk. It thickened almost immediately, creating a luscious sauce that gently cooked the shrimp to perfection.
I added peas for color and hopefully to make it easier to get your children to eat their vegetables. When veggies are coated in a sauce the kids like, they’re much more likely to try them. If you have little ones who won’t touch anything green, you can easily skip them. The Artist and I like spicy foods, so I added extra chili flakes to the rice along with the sauce. If you prefer dishes more on the mild side, feel free to leave them out or cut back on the amount you use.
When pineapples are in season, the fresh fruits chunks would be fabulous, but I love the convenience of using canned. It saves me a bunch of work and means I can make this pineapple rice all year long. Depending on the manufacturer, sometimes the chunks can be kind of large. So, if you want, just quickly cut them in half or quarter the larger pieces to make them easier to eat. And since you only use half the can, you can serve the leftover pineapple as a side dish or use as part of your dessert for a tropical themed meal.
So, grab some shrimp and herbs plus a few vegetables and start chopping. You will have this pineapple rice, a dinner fit for any dinner party, on the table in no time!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When you are cooking shrimp, pull them off the heat before you think they are done. They are so delicate and cook so quickly, that they will finish cooking with the residual heat of the sauce.
This dish is naturally gluten-free! All Gourmet Garden herbs and seasoning blends are gluten-free so you can feel safe using them to boost the flavors in your recipes.
- 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
- 1-3/4 cup water (or according to package directions)
- 3/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger, or to taste
- 2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 to 3 tsp red chile flakes, to taste
- 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces
Thai Pineapple Shrimp Sauce
- 1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks in juice (not syrup), drained and juices reserved
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Thai Seasoning Stir-in-Paste
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk, vigorously shaken to blend
- 3 tbsp reserved pineapple juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lb medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, (about 20 pieces)
- 1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tbsp sliced green onions
- 2 tbsp finely minced red bell peppers
- Finely chopped cilantro
- Additional cashews, if desired
- Prepare the Rice: Fill a large bowl with clean, cool water and add the rice. Stir it, releasing the starch and making the water cloudy. Pour off the water, refill, and stir again. Continue rinsing the rice until there is no more starch being released, about 4 to 5 rounds of rinsing should do it. Add enough clean water to cover the rice and set it aside to soak for 30 minutes.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, add 1-3/4 cups clean water and the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the ginger, cilantro, garlic, and chile flakes.
- Meanwhile, drain the rice through a fine wire sieve, discarding the soaking liquid, and add to the saucepan. Bring the water back to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or according to package directions. Move off the heat and let it sit undisturbed, still covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Use two forks to rake the rice, breaking up clumps and separating the grains. Sprinkle with the oil and toss to coat the grains (this helps reduce clumping). Cover and keep warm on the back of the stove.
- You can also make the rice a day or two in advance. While still warm add Reheat over low heat before making the sauce and serving.
- Make the Thai Pineapple Shrimp Sauce: Set a wire sieve over a bowl and drain the pineapple, reserving the juices. Set the pineapple aside.
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Thai Seasoning paste and garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the coconut milk, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper. Cook about 1 minute until the sauce has reduced and thickens a bit.
- Stir in the shrimp and peas. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until the shrimp just turn pink and opaque, stirring often and flipping to cook both sides. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half the pineapple chunks (reserve the rest to eat later or for garnishing). Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings if needed.
- To Serve: Add the cashews to the rice. Toss until evenly combined. Scoop a serving of the rice into each serving bowl. Use the back of the spoon to create an indentation in the center and pour in a ladle of the pineapple shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle the top of each bowl with some of the green onions, red bell peppers and cilantro. Add a few more cashews if you like. Serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 411 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 71mg Sodium: 3979mg Carbohydrates: 51g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 28g Protein: 13g
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