Quest for the Best Pineapple Fried Rice

My search for the best pineapple fried rice began a few years ago when our favorite Thai restaurant in Manoa closed for good. They had, hands-down, the best pineapple fried rice in Hawaii because it never skimped on the “goodies” and always had the perfect blend of sweet and saltiness. Definitely one of my comfort foods and a dish we’d default to whenever we couldn’t figure out what to eat.

Many Hawaii households could say that same about pineapple fried rice; it’s become a local favorite and can be found on the menu of almost every Thai restaurant here. This dish adds a tropical fruit to a classic Asian concoction of rice, veggies and meats (what I call, “the goodies”), giving it a sweet kick. The better dishes will not only be generous with those ingredients but with the sauce as well.

So far, my quest for the best fried rice hasn’t been very successful. (I know, I’m a pineapple fried rice snob!) The restaurants I’ve checked out were either lacking in “goodies” or used canned veggies and pineapples instead of fresh ones. The color of the rice will also indicate just how flavorful it’ll be. The paler the dish, the less sauce was used and therefore, the less taste it’ll have.

Siam Palace in Kaimuki had a pretty yummy version of pineapple fried rice. Most of the ingredients were fresh, except for the star of the show, the pineapple. I was a little disappointed that they came from a can and that there were only five pineapple chunks in the entire dish.

I’m still not giving up on finding a pineapple fried rice that meets the same standards as our favorite Manoa restaurant. Perhaps I’ll find it on another island or another part of town. Until then, I’ll keep you posted on my quest.

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