Let me assure you, this Hawaiian fried rice is no joke. I was thinking about doing a practical joke post today (hello, April Fool’s!) and posting chocolate covered broccoli or something, but chances are, 49.9% of you would think I was serious and although I love chocolate, my reputation is on the line here (and surprisingly, even I have my limits when it comes to chocolate).
This simple, quick, easy and delicious fried rice (four very, very important qualities, I’d say) is perfect for those ham leftovers if you have some hanging around from Easter. Yesterday. Even if you don’t have leftover ham to use, good quality deli ham works wonders, too.
Here’s what you get if/when you make this: a bit of nutty sesame oil, kicking hot sauce (adjust to your own wimpy or powerhouse tastebuds), savory soy sauce, bites of fresh vegetables and the delightful contrast of sweet, juicy pineapple and tender ham.
I made this in a 100% effort to use up ham (read: low expectations in an effort to get dinner on the table quickly) and I ended up rushing to my computer to post about it. So you see? Definitely worth putting on the dinner docket. And if that’s not enough, it’s really pretty to look at. So go ahead, treat yourself to an easy dinner night and whip this up. You’ll be happy you did.
A simple green salad (or a really awesome green salad like this Spinach Strawberry Salad)
Storebought flatbread or pita chips (or for homemade flatbread this Naan)
Cut up pineapple or mandarin oranges
Increase or decrease the sesame oil and hot sauce to taste based on how you like things. Also, if you don't have leftover cooked ham, you could definitely use deli ham for this recipe. It really does make a difference in fried rice recipes to use rice that is cold from the refrigerator, so make this recipe when you have leftover, chilled rice or plan ahead and make the rice the day before. This recipe is completely outstanding with fresh pineapple and the only way we've eaten it, but canned would make an acceptable substitute if you don't have fresh - just drain well.
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tapatio or Sriracha), more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or peanut oil
- 2 cups cooked, chopped ham
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 6 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 5 cups cooked rice, white or brown, cold
- 3 large eggs
- 1-2 cups pineapple pieces
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet or electric frying pan (which is what I use), heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until rippling and hot. Add the ham, red bell pepper, and the chopped white parts of the green onions. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and the red pepper is tender (but not mushy), about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and set aside.
- Heat another teaspoon of oil in the skillet until hot. Add the cold rice and cook, breaking up large clumps, until the rice is heated through, 5-6 minutes.
- Push the rice to one side of the skillet and heat the last teaspoon of oil on the empty side of the skillet. Crack the eggs into the hot oil and stir lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon, cooking until the eggs are lightly scrambled and set. Stir the eggs and the ham mixture into the rice. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the rice and cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined and hot.
- Off the heat, stir in the pineapple and green parts of the onions. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: adapted from Cook’s Country (reduced the oil, sesame oil, hot sauce, eliminated a few ingredients and increased the amounts to serve 6 instead of 4)