Hawaiian Fried Rice

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.

Hawaiian Fried Rice

What To ServeA 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

One Year Ago: Paprika Chicken Stroganoff
Two Years Ago: Naan – Indian Flatbread
Three Years Ago: Citrus Water Punch

Hawaiian Fried Rice

Yield: Serves 6

Hawaiian Fried Rice

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

59 Responses to Hawaiian Fried Rice

  1. Rebekah says:

    I know I am a few years behind this post, but I just discovered it recently when I was trying to find a way to use leftover ham. Truthfully it sounded weird to me but I went ahead and tried it. I am so glad I did! I am making it for the 3rd time tomorrow and my whole family enjoys it (a feat to be sure!). It is like nothing I have had before but so good. I am going to make your naan recipe with it. Thanks for another dinner idea!

  2. Jessica says:

    Oops! I thought it was 1 Tbls of Sriracha instead of 1 tsp. The Hubby and I can handle the heat and liked it, but the kids ended up having toast and fruit for dinner. I need to read more closely when it comes to hot sauce, I guess!! It had great flavor but I look forward to tasting more of the flavor next time. 🙂

  3. Mia says:

    I made this tonight, only had canned chunk pineapple and I used pre-cooked ham from the store. This came out great! I never knew how easy fried rice was until tonight, thanks!

  4. Ami says:

    I’ve never commented on a recipe before but had to on this one. The flavors are fantastic! I made this for my diabetic uncle hoping that the other flavors would make up for the shredded cauliflower I used for the rice. First, it made my kitchen smell wonderful, enough to perk everyone up and get them in the kitchen asking about it. Then the flavors of the sauce, ginger, garlic and onions – it was so savory and yummy that every one of my very picky, vegetable-hating family went back for seconds and thirds. Thank you SO MUCH for a tasty and healthy way to get more veggies into my family! When I make it again, I will add more sauce and a little more heat to make up for the blandness of the cauliflower, but I wouldn’t change anything else. I think I’ll be making lots of ham in the future since we will be eating this meal often! Thank you, thank you!

  5. don says:

    people from hawaii would use spam instead of ham, and pineapple is rare. more likely found at a chinese restaurant than in a person’s home. nice recipe otherwise, though…

  6. Jessica says:

    Made this for dinner last night with the leftover ham (your recipe for that too of course). We LOVED it! Making this fried rice from now on!

  7. Sarah says:

    This was delicious! I made it for my family tonight and we all enjoyed it. Not a grain of rice leftover. Great recipe!!

  8. Dreama says:

    I would love to get your recipe for Hawaian salad
    Thank you

  9. Alicia Q. says:

    I loved it, my husband added more spice. I thought the flavor was fantastic, but I did add a bit more soy sauce to my serving. The littles weren’t fans, but they are weird about rice sometimes. I’ll be making this again. Used carrots and onions chopped super small and no pineapple. Perfect for me! Thanks Mel!

  10. alyssa says:

    so yummy! made with leftover bbq pork tenderloin. also didn’t put pineapple in because the boys wanted it on the side. boys didn’t love it, but 2 yr old ate it, and I loved it. new school year, new foods!

  11. Erin says:

    What else would you recommend serving with this dish? I’m planning on making it this week when we have a some missionaries coming over for dinner. Thanks! I love your blog.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Erin, this is a great dish to serve with a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. A green salad would work great and so would a bit of cottage cheese or something like that. I’m pretty simple when it comes to side dishes.

  12. My husband just said you are amazing for this recipe…we make this on a monthly basis for work-week lunches. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Pigtails and Froglegs (Susie’s Weekly Mix) | Recipe Connoisseur says:

    […] Hawaiian Fried Rice (Mel’s Kitchen)  This fried rice looks easy and delicious, I can’t wait to give it a try! […]

  14. I got this site from my pal who informed me regarding this website and now
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  15. Sandee says:

    Mel, I’ll be honest, nothing about the thought of this recipe thrilled me but I had leftover easter ham AND a fresh pineapple sitting on my counter. Couple that with no motivation for my pregnant body to fix dinner and it seemed like a no-brainer that this was what was for dinner. Turns out, the pineapple was too ripe–almost fermented-tasting so that got left out, but this was a total homerun with hubby and kids.

  16. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  17. Mary says:

    Made this for dinner today. So good! I made it with shrimp instead of ham. It was amazing!

  18. carrian says:

    this looks delicious, M!

  19. Mary says:

    Tasty and fast! I love that I only used one pan and it literally came together in 10 minutes. AWESOME recipe!

  20. Emily Marie says:

    Yummy!!! My husband and I made this tonight, and we both really loved it. We both thought it was a tad too oily, we’ll probably cut back on the sesame oil next time, and maybe add some carrots (to replace the red bell pepper that we left out, nobody likes red bell pepper at our house). Thank you so much for this recipe, we’ll definitely be making this again!

  21. Val from PA says:

    I made this last night for dinner and everyone loved it! It was a great use of my leftover Easter ham and the whole dish was so pretty and colorful. Served it with some roasted asparagus with lemon vinaigrette on the side. Thanks for the recipe, Mel!

  22. Beth says:

    Looks delicious. I plan to double the recipe and take it to a church potluck luau.

  23. […] Hawaiian Fried Rice    My son will go absolutely CRAZY over […]

  24. Jessica says:

    Totally loved this! Thanks for another yummy dinner!

  25. Gen says:

    This was great! I loved it. Perfect amount of heat and sesame flavor. And not too greasy. I hate overly greasy fried rice. Shrimp would also be nice as well. Thank you!

  26. Nancy says:

    I made this for dinner the same day you posted it and everyone loved it! My daughter asked me to make it again before she had finished her first serving and my son was disappointed the next day when he found out we didn’t have any leftovers. Can’t wait to make again! Thanks for a great website. I love it!

  27. Kelley says:

    I made this for company this week, and it was a hit. I didn’t have ginger, but it was still good without it. The fresh pineapple… mmmm…. fantastic.

  28. Jennifer says:

    I made this with leftover Easter ham earlier this week and it was a huge hit! I wasn’t sure how pineapple would be in the fried rice, but it was really delicious. Thanks for a new “keeper” in my recipe rotation!

  29. Sally says:

    This is what’s for dinner tonight. It does remind me of spam fried rice. It also reminds me that it’s been years since I made ham hash (potatoes, onion, maybe carrots and/or bell pepper and, naturally, ham).

  30. Jen says:

    I saw a recipe very similar to this a few months ago. The recipe I have doesn’t have red bell pepper, but it sounds like a good addition to me. I have also added a few dashes of fish sauce and red pepper curry paste to my ham and pineapple fried rice. We LOVE it!

  31. grace says:

    to make this truly hawaiian, i think some spam is in order. 🙂

  32. I just wanted to let you know I sprinkled a little coconut into the mixture, and it kicked it up a notch!

  33. Allyson says:

    Is Sesame Oil pretty important to use? Would it be possible to sub a different kind (coconut oil?), as that is not an oil I have on hand and use in other recipes. Or how about using peanut oil in both areas of the recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Allyson – sesame oil has such a distinct and delicious flavor that if you want that true Asian/stir-fry taste, you probably don’t want to leave it out. However, it would probably be worth a try if you absolutely don’t want to buy it. I don’t know that I’d substitute with another type of oil…too oily…I’d just leave it out.

  34. teresa says:

    mmm, i would eat this up like a salad!

  35. Wizzy says:

    Love the simplicity of this and that its a complete meal by it self. Great idea for a busy weeknight dinner.

  36. Nym says:

    This looks delicious, however I would probably trade out the ham for either chicken or maybe steak.

  37. Judy says:

    I am making this tonight. I definately have to try what Renee suggested … BACON!

  38. Sieglinde says:

    ummm….YUM! This looks AHHH-mazing! Perfect way to use up some of that spectacular leftover Sweet Ham (from your recipe), which btw, was just unfair to all the other hams, scrumptious! You amaze me lady! xo

  39. Michelle says:

    I made this tonight and it was FABULOUS! It lived up to the high expectations I had for it! 🙂 I loved how colorful it was, plus it was healthy, yummy, and easy! Score!

  40. This is a great idea for leftover ham! I’ll have to let my mom know, since she had a bowl full of pineapple left from Easter dinner to go with it. I just made veggie fried rice for dinner tonight… apparently that was on several minds for dinner. 🙂

  41. Cry says:

    Oh yum, I am definitely going to be trying this one out! Thanks for sharing!

  42. Julia says:

    I was going to do ham fried rice tonight for dinner since I had a lot left over. However, I am trying your recipe tonight. I have a pineapple sitting on the counter that I need to cut, and the rest of the ingredients in my refrigerator. Thanks!

  43. What a great recipe! I could definitely see myself serving this over the summer with some grilled chicken. Thanks, Mel!

  44. Tiffany says:

    For a more authentically Hawaiian experience, shouldn’t you use Spam? I had never eaten Spam until I went to Hawaii and find that the ways they cook it are pretty stinking delicious.

  45. Sara says:

    Looks yummy!

  46. Lacee says:

    Chocolate covered broccoli next April Fools for sure! I would’ve LOVED to read that one!

  47. Jess in ND says:

    This is a masterpiece of beauty and flavors. Can’t wait to put this on my table!

  48. Michelle says:

    Thank you for reading my mind! 🙂 I was planning to make fried rice tonight with my leftover ham (since you had mentioned that in the ham post), but had no idea how. I even have all these ingredients! Thanks!

  49. This needs to happen at my house like, yesterday.

  50. Jen T says:

    Yum! Love ham and pineapple anything, and that left over ham is calling for this! Thanks!!

  51. Fried rice and pineapple, that´s what gets my attention in this dish. Love the combo with sesame oil and some hot sauce too! Hope you had a great Easter Mel!

  52. Judith says:

    I prepared the Sweet Baked Ham for Easter – you were right, the best ham I’ve ever eaten…my husband “dittos” this as well. Prepared it on Saturday and didn’t cook it outside on my camp stove as originally planned; looked like rain was coming. As the ham was just a little over 7 lbs. I boiled it the entire 3 hours and the meat was falling off the bone. The house did smell like vinegar but not as strong as I anticipated – didn’t turn on the stove vent nor open a window. It is a long process but well worth the effort. We tasted the ham when it first came out of the vinegar water and thought it was very good – a little tangy. After baking for an hour with the brown sugar/mustard mixture, we tasted again and thought it was “out of this world” good. Thanks again for sharing this fantastic recipe!

  53. Brinestone says:

    This sounds so yummy! My husband doesn’t care for soy sauce, so I’m already planning on making this the first night he has a dinner engagement somewhere else. It may be months away, but I’m patient. 🙂

  54. Renee says:

    This looks delicious Mel! My sister in law is from Taiwan and she has showed me a few times how to make really yummy fried rice. We use ham but bacon is also really good. Once you brown the bacon, just sauté the veggies in the bacon fat. It adds a ton of flavor. I have also found if you use a rice cooker and let the rice sit in cooker for 20 minutes or so after it is done, the rice can be used right away for fried rice. I am bad about thinking ahead of time to make rice so that works for us. I order pineapple fried rice from a local Thai restaurant and I have tried to duplicate it at home but can’t ever get it just right. My sister in law said it is the insane amount of heat they use when cooking. Their woks are really well seasoned too. I will definitely try this again. You have inspired me. We lave LOTS of ham. Thanks Mel!

  55. Christy says:

    Can’t wait to try this with our leftover ham! Sounds perfect, thanks!

  56. StephenC says:

    Your reputation is safe with me (April Fool!!!).

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