Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Did you know that the Dragon Noodle sauce also makes a great stir fry sauce? Truth. So when I saw that I still had a half pound of shrimp left over from my last Dragon Noodle remix, Lime Shrimp Dragon Noodles, I decided to remix it yet again. This time I turned it into a fried rice with pineapple and toasted coconut. And let me tell you, that toasted coconut totally makes the dish. OMG, it adds a final touch of special flavor and texture that makes this Shrimp Fried Rice extraordinary. So good, in fact, that despite messing up one of the most important parts of the fried rice process, this Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut was still SO delicious that I’m posting it anyway. So, just do as I say and not as I did, K? Keep reading to see where I made my mistake…

There are a few keys to making good fried rice: use long grain rice, use day old/chilled rice, and fry the ingredients separately before combining them all at the end. Using day old long grain rice ensures that you get those nice individual grains in the final product instead of one big sticky, mushy mess. Well, as it turns out, the brand of jasmine rice that I bought recently was actually medium grain (my usual brand is long grain), and I forgot. So, I used a medium grain rice and kind of had a sticky, clumpy mess, BUT that sticky clumpy mess still tasted awesome, so c’est la vie. I wasn’t about to waste all that food just because I used the wrong kind of rice. Anyway, this is what you should do: rinse your long grain rice before cooking and let it chill overnight after cooking to keep the grains from sticking and clumping together. If you do that, you’ll have a really nice texture to your fried rice. Do as I say, not as I did.

If you can’t get shrimp for a decent price in your area (I know, I’m lucky here in Louisiana), you can make this with chicken or just do a vegetarian version. If I were making this vegetarian, I’d probably add in a diced red bell pepper for a little extra color and texture.

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com

Another note about fried rice: Using a well seasoned wok, cast iron, or some other non-stick surface is best because it will help prevent the rice and other ingredients from sticking and gives you the option to use less oil if desired.

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Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. Vegetarian options provided. 

Total Cost $7.58 recipe / $1.90 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp sriracha $0.10
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
  • 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in juice $1.95
  • 1/2 bunch green onions
  • 4 large eggs $1.08
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds* $0.20
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil** $0.12
  • 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (51/70 count) $3.00
  • 4 cups day-old cooked jasmine rice $0.40 $0.40
  • Handful fresh cilantro (optional) $0.16

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by stirring together the soy sauce, sriracha, and brown sugar. Drain the pineapple well. Slice the green onions. Crack the eggs into a bowl and then whisk until smooth.
  2. Add the unsweetened coconut shreds to a large skillet (do not add oil) and heat over a medium flame. Stir and cook the coconut continuously until it begins to turn golden brown and fragrant. Once golden brown, transfer the toasted coconut from the skillet to a clean bowl and set it aside until ready to use.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil to the hot skillet and swirl it around to coat the surface. Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp becomes pink and opaque. Remove the shrimp to a clean bowl.
  4. Add another tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and swirl again to coat the surface. Pour in the whisked eggs and gently scramble the eggs as they cook. Cook the eggs just until they are set, yet still moist, then transfer them from the skillet to the bowl where the shrimp is being held.
  5. Add the drained pineapple and the lower half of the green onions (the white ends and some of the green) to the skillet. Stir and cook just until warmed through, then transfer to the bowl with the eggs and shrimp.
  6. Add one more tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet, swirl to coat, then add the cold cooked rice. Let the rice cook in the skillet until you hear it begin to sizzle and crackle, then sir and let it continue to cook some more. Avoid over stirring the rice as it cooks to prevent it from becoming sticky and gummy. Continue to cook the rice until it is heated through and slightly golden.
  7. Finally, add the cooked shrimp, eggs, pineapple, and green onion back to the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over top, and stir until everything is coated in sauce. Allow the mixture to heat through.
  8. Top the fried rice with the toasted coconut, the remaining green onion, and some fresh cilantro leaves just before serving.

Recipe Notes

*I found my unsweetened coconut shreds in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.

**Use any high heat neutral cooking oil, like canola, peanut, sesame, safflower, etc. Or, try using coconut oil for even more coconutty flavor!

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com

Step by Step Photos

Frozen Shrimp

Start with 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, 51/70 size. Those numbers mean that there will be between 51-70 shrimp per pound, so the smaller the number, the larger the shrimp. I like to use shrimp that is on the smaller side for dishes like this so that you get more shrimp per plate instead of just a few large pieces.

Thaw Shrimp

My shrimp was frozen, so I had to thaw it first. You can quickly thaw frozen shrimp by placing it in a colander and letting cool water run over it. It will thaw in about a minute or so.

Fried Rice Ingredients

Collect and prepare the rest of the ingredients so they’re ready to go when you need them. Fried rice is a fast paced dish, so it’s best to have everything prepared ahead of time. Prepare the sauce by stirring together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp sriracha, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Drain a 20oz. can of pineapple chunks in juice (you can save the juice for smoothies or cocktails!). Slice 1/2 bunch green onions, get a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, and measure about 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds.

Beat Eggs

Also, beat together 4 large eggs until smooth.

Toasted Coconut

Add the unsweetened coconut to a large skillet (no added oil) and turn the heat on to medium. Stir and cook the coconut until it begins to turn golden brown and fragrant. Once golden brown, transfer the coconut to a bowl and set it aside until you’re ready to use it. 

Cooked Shrimp and Eggs

The next few steps happen so quickly that I was unable to capture them in the skillet, so I’ll just describe them here. Add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the hot skillet, swirl to coat the surface, then add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp just until it’s pink and opaque, then transfer it to a clean bowl. Add a little more oil, then pour in the eggs. Lightly scramble the eggs in the hot skillet just until they’re set, but still moist. Transfer the cooked eggs to the bowl.

Cooked Green Onion and Pineapple

Lastly, add the pineapple and lower half of the sliced green onions (the white ends and some of the green) to the skillet and cook until they’re heated through. Once hot, transfer them to the bowl as well.

Stir Fry Rice

Finally, add a bit more oil to the skillet and swirl to coat again. Add 4 cups of cooked and cooled rice (day old, preferably). Let the rice cook in the skillet until it begins to sizzle and crackle, then give it a stir and let it cook some more. Continue to cook the rice in this fashion until it’s hot and some of it is golden and crispy. (This is where a well seasoned wok or other non-stick surface really comes in handy. Starchy foods, like rice, like to stick a bit more in stainless steel.)

Add Cooked Ingredients and Sauce

Once the rice is “fried”, add the cooked ingredients (shrimp, egg, pineapple, green onion) back to the skillet with the rice and pour the prepared sauce over top.

Stir to Combine and Heat Through

Stir the contents of the skillet until everything is coated in the sauce and heated through.

Top with Green Onion and Coconut

Top the fried rice with the toasted coconut, the remaining green onion, and a fresh cilantro leaves just before serving.

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com

That toasted coconut gives the most wonderful flavor AND texture to the fried rice.

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com

😍  Sticky rice or not, this Shrimp Stir Fried Rice is the bomb! 💣

Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut is a fast and easy meal with tropical flare. BudgetBytes.com