We interrupt your regularly scheduled holiday programming for a tropical breath of fresh air.
Let’s be honest: Who hasn’t dreamed of escaping from this so-called winter wonderland in search of greener pastures? Feeling the warm sunshine beat down on bare skin, palm trees gently swaying in the wind, can instantly undo weeks of built up stress. Since jumping on an airplane isn’t an option for most of us, I have the next best thing: Mango-Pineapple Fried Rice.
Purely fusion cuisine that exists in no authentic culinary tradition, there are elements of many southeast cultures mashed up into one hot bowl of whole grains.
- Chinese sweet and sour sauce comes through from the combination of tangy pineapple and salty soy sauce.
- Thai inspiration is found in juicy bites of mango, in sharp contrast to hot fresh chilies.
- Indonesian elements like coconut oil and peanuts add body, depth, and richness.
The secret to creating such a harmonious yet complex balance of disparate flavors is to start with salsa.
Yes, you heard me right! Sam’s Fresh Mango Pineapple Salsa is a perfect companion to chips and guacamole, of course, but also a brilliant meal starter. Instead of shopping and chopping each individual component, this intensely flavorful base is ready to go right away. You can purchase Sam’s Fresh Salsa at ShopRite, Acme, and Safeway. If they are not in your local store, ask them to carry Sam’s Fresh Salsa products!
It’s easy to make the best fried rice with a few quick tips:
- Most American or Americanized recipes use long grain white rice for stir fries. There’s nothing wrong with this, and you’re welcome to substitute your favorite, but I prefer medium or short grain, such as arborio or sushi rice. I find it stays chewier without drying out, and forms very satisfying little clumps that are easy to pick up with chopsticks.
- Ideally, cook the rice a day or a few hours in advance to make sure it’s completely cool, if not downright cold. You want the starch to congeal a bit, which is what browns so nicely on the outside when you saute it.
- Use very, very high heat. The cooking process is very fast since you just want to sear the rice that’s already fully cooked and otherwise ready to eat.
Wish me luck, because this fiery little entree is my entry Sam’s Fresh Salsa Blogger Recipe Challenge! Contest aside, I can already tell you this recipe is a real winner.