Chef Shuai Wang’s Singapore Fried Rice holds a well-deserved place on the menu of Jackrabbit Filly, an award-winning restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, that offers a bounty of New Chinese American delicacies. This particular dish boasts a satisfying mix of textures and flavors, with the chewy, sticky fried rice serving as a canvas for stir-fried shrimp, salty bacon, and sweet canned (never fresh) pineapple. Ideally, prepare the curry buttermilk aioli a day early so the flavors can blend.
Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice
Starring a canned version of the fruit that takes this comforting dish over the top
photo: Corrie Wang
Singapore Fried Rice (Yield: 2 Servings)
FOR THE FRIED RICE
2 cups day-old jasmine rice, crumbled so there are no large chunks
6 to 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 oz. diced bacon lardons (can substitute thick-cut bacon)
¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
¼ cup green peas
6 to 8 pieces of canned pineapple in heavy syrup (Dole brand preferred)
1 oz. light soy sauce
Vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil)
FOR THE CURRY BUTTERMILK AIOLI
½ cup Duke’s mayo
⅛ cup buttermilk
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. Madras curry powder
Juice of one large lemon (approx. 2 tbsp.)
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
⅛ cup thinly sliced scallion
¼ cup Thai basil
¼ cup tempura crunch (available at some Asian groceries; plain Rice Krispies are a great substitute)
Make the curry buttermilk aioli: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set in the fridge. It’s a good idea to make this a day ahead so the flavors can meld.
Prepare your fried rice ingredients: Prepare the rice, shrimp, bacon, onion, peas, pineapple, and soy sauce ahead of time and place them in separate bowls, ready to be stir-fried. Chinese cooking is always about getting all your ingredients ready (even your garnishes) because things move fast once you start cooking.
Make the fried rice: Make sure you have a long wooden or metal spoon to stir with, then preheat a heavy-bottom pan on the largest burner on your stove on high heat. Once the pan is hot, pour in about 2 oz. oil.
Once the oil starts to smoke lightly, gently add your bacon and shrimp, giving a few shakes of the pan to stir them while cooking.
When the shrimp turns pink all around, add the onions, peas, and pineapple. Now really shake the pan back and forth, and stir-fry your ingredients with your spoon counter-clockwise. Be careful: This might create some flames that will shoot up, but you want that flavor! Cook for about 15 seconds, then toss in your jasmine rice.
Continue to shake the pan back and forth while stirring your spoon in a counter-clockwise motion. This is the proper motion of stir frying; make sure you’re really scraping the bottom while you’re stirring so nothing sticks and everything cooks evenly. Cook the fried rice for about 2 to 3 minutes depending on the heat level of your stove.
Add 1 oz. of soy sauce, or more if you like more salt. Stir quickly to combine, and immediately take the rice mixture out of the pan into a serving bowl. You don’t want to cook much longer after the soy has hit the pan, as it will develop a bitter flavor.
Garnish the top with a generous amount of curry buttermilk aioli, fresh herbs, and crunchies. Enjoy while hot.
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