Pineapple Rice Recipe

A nice platter of greens and brown rice doused in a spicy-salty-sweet pineapple dressing flecked with seitan. It's good hot or at room temperature.

Pineapple Rice

I've been to Hawaii two times. Once when I was sixteen, and again when I was twenty. Once to Maui, once to Kona. I remember it being lush and vibrant, achingly beautiful. The more miles you put between yourself and the resort areas, the better it got. I think I'd like to go back at some point, so when I realized there was an Edible Hawaiian Islands publication I subscribed to it with the hope that I'd discover farms, producers, markets and restaurants to seek out when we finally get around to going. The latest issue arrived in the mail the other night, and while flipping through it, I came across a recipe for a pineapple rice salad. I rarely cook with Hawaiian flavor profiles, but this looked too good to pass up. I had a good number of the ingredients on-hand, and ended up building on the basic concept to make a meal of it. No canned water chestnuts or peas, but I had a single can of organic canned pineapple at the back of one of my cupboards - I must have bought it with some baking endeavor in mind? Not sure. Anyhow, I'm glad I had it. In the end I had a nice platter of spicy greens and brown rice doused in a spicy-salty-sweet pineapple dressing flecked with seitan. It's good hot or at room temperature.

I used canned pineapple here along with the juice from the can, if you have access to good, fresh pineapple I encourage you to use that in the dressing. Like all fruit, pineapples have varying degrees of sweetness, so keep that in mind as you are making the dressing. Tweak it a bit here and there until it is to your liking. I like dressings for starchy salads to have a bit of strength and assertiveness - they get absorbed, and you don't want their flavors to get lost in the rice (or say, pasta).

If you're looking for alternate ways to play with these ingredients, I should also mention I did an egg-fried rice version of this with the leftovers that really hit the spot. Whipped up an extra thin two-egg omelette, chopped and added it to the skillet of pineapple rice that was re-heating. My kind of lunch.

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Pineapple Rice Recipe

You can use extra-virgin coconut oil in the dressing instead of the macadamia, olive or sunflower oils if you like. In fact, it's a great choice, particularly if you'll be serving the rice hot. It solidifies at room temperature. Follow the same instructions, just don't be alarmed by the white flecks in the dressing after you puree it. They will disappear upon heating.

1/3 cup macadamia oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup (fresh or canned) all-natural 100% pineapple juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or shoyu)
1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

4 handfuls of mizuna, watercress, or arugula

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cashews, roasted/toasted and chopped
1/2 small serrano chile, seeded and deveined, and minced (optional)
4 ounces seitan, cut into little bits and pan-fried (optional)

Start by making the dressing. Combine the oil, sesame oil, pineapple juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, fresh pineapple, ginger, and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, and gently warm just before serving, don't simmer or boil.

In an extra-large bowl toss the mizuna with a generous splash of the dressing. Arrange it on a platter (as a bed for the rice)

You can serve the rice portion of this recipe room temperature or hot - Wayne really loved the hot version, and so did I. In the same bowl you used to toss the greens, or in an extra large skillet over medium heat, combine the rice, most of the onions, shallots, cashews and serrano chile, and seitan. Add about half of the dressing and toss well. If you are serving the rice hot, saute it in the pan until it is heated throughout. Taste, and adjust with more dressing if needed. Spoon the rice over the greens and finish with any remaining onions, shallots, cashews, and seitan.

Serves 2- 4, main vs. side.

Inspired by and (heavily) adapted from a recipe in the Summer 2009 Edible Hawaiian Islands publication.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Pineapple rice aye? It sure sounds absolutely amazing! I'm always trying to find new... unique ingredients to add to my meals and you just gave me another one :)

Food Man

This may be my new go-to comfort food: sweet and salty, with all of that lovely belly-settling that rice can offer. I love the idea of putting some cashews in there. Thank you!


Very nice indeed. Sweet and tangy...pineapples are a perfect addition and with the onion, peppers and cashew mixed in...whewie that sounds good!


Hi Heidi - A friend and fellow foodie let me know you were coming to Paris - I'm not sure if you are still in town - I wanted to recommend a market visit for you. Wed and Sat morning on the Boulevard de la Vilette - Metro Belleville. It's off the tourist track and full of wonderful products and colorful vendeurs. I'm a Paris based author and cook - relatively new to the blogosphere "Lunch in Paris"- if you have a moment: Take care and enjoy Paris!

Lunch in Paris

what an unusual dish! i think i have to give it a shot...


Thanks for sharing - this looks refreshing and so tasty!


I just came across edible Boston. I had no idea how many other places there were! I would love to see Hawaii. I the meantime, I will certainly make this salad!


Our favorite Thai place does a pineapple rice that is VERY similar and I'm kind of obsessed with it. So this recipe makes me very happy indeed. And the fried rice variation? You're really speaking my food language there....

chatty cricket

Thank you Heidi. I loved traveling to Hawaii, and when I was right out of college, my husband and I spent winters in Kaui at the edge of the Napali Coast. I love the islands, and have traveled to all of them. Because I love the contrast between steep mountains and sea, I prefer the big island Hawaii with its black sand beaches and Kaui, (Hanalei in particular, and the Napali coast where we lived). I have not seen the Edible Hawaii issue, but I am very fond of the Edibles in general, (including Edible Green Mountains and Edible Boston). I will try this recipe because it looks fantastic and, more important, you have brought back some lovely memories. Thank you so much for leaving us with this great post. -Michaela

The Gardener's Eden

Heidi - that looks amazing. I love pineapple in savory dishes and Hawaii so the marriage of the two is a dream. As far as local producers in Hawaii go, everything I have seen and experienced suggests there is a real renissance going on and that local traditions and ingredients are more valued than ever. One of my favorites was a plate lunch we had. Delicious.


I never really got the pineapple on pizza thing (but I liked it). This sounds just as great! Anything with pineapple, a fruit loaded with digestion aiding wonderful enzymes- well it works for me!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

I adore tropical flavors, so this pineapple rice really appeals to me. Hawaii is high up on my "10 places to visit" list, as I envision breathtaking vistas, scenic hikes, endless beaches, and of course delicious food!


Heidi! - I love your one-dish recipes! They are perfect for week-nights and in the past have ALWAYS been spectacular. This looks like another great recipe - thanks!


Hello Heidi, This instantly reminded me of Thai pineapple fried rice. I'm not a biggest fan of pineapple, especially in savory dishes - but I do love that particular Thai dish. And reading the list of ingredients and your descriptions, I don't see why I shouldn't like this one! I hope you'll get a chance to go back to Hawaii sometime soon. I do miss the islands sometimes.


Thanks for sharing! I love rice and everything that is above it! =)

organic furniture

Oh my what a delicious looking dish! This is a great take on pineapple fried rice, one of my favorite Thai foods. I'll be sure and give this a try, thanks for sharing this recipe with us!


I like the plate and the recipe. I love your blog too, Heidi. Very neat but informative :) hugs, joanie xxx

The Artist Chef

A foodie friend of mine introduced me to your site, and ever since i've been hooked. Your recipes have such diverse flavour and use such interesting ingredients, that I can't help but be inspired. But it's not only the food, your photography is stunning and adds to the overall site. Thank you for keeping me excited for your recipes, and helping me feel that instead of hating food, I can now love it.


great recipe, i love cashews in rice, my favorite! cashews are definitely my most favorite nut....and so healthy, nuts in rice are like my go to meal so easy to prepare, and so enjoyable and healthful...i am definitely making your recipe soon! xo Eliza


I love the recipe, simple but with ingredients that sure will play along great together. Can´t wait to try it! Thanks Heidi!


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