Thursday, April 10, 2014

Steamed rice with pineapple (菠萝饭)

There was once an elderly couple living in the city of Xishuangbann in the Yunnan Province They tended the land for the feudal lord by gardening on a small island. One summer there came a severe storm that flooded the island. Even though the island had many fruits and vegetables, they were running out, and only had a small amount of rice as well. To stretch the rice, they decided to mix it with bananas, and mangoes. This didn't taste very good, nor did they like the texture, so they decided to try pineapple. At first they chopped up the pineapple and mixed it with the rice.The pineapple tasted good, they had it several times. One day the old man carved out a pineapple first, and then filled it with rice. This was a perfect combination, so they continued with this preparation even after the floods subsided. These people called the Dai people were a hidden Chinese minority all the way up until the late19 century. Today this has become a popular dish throughout China with only a few improvements. The newer version of the recipe follows.

Sam had this for the first time in a restaurant when he was a young boy, and traveling with his mother to another town. He enjoyed it so much he wanted to have it again, but it was not available at any restaurants in his small town. His mother knew how much he enjoyed it, so she looked high and low until she found this recipe, and made it for him. He said when he eats it, it reminds him of when his mom first made it for him. He took it to school to eat at lunch. All of his class mates were amazed at the preparation, and the container as well, and wanted to try it. After all the rice was gone, one small boy from the countryside asked him if he could have the pineapple shell to chew on, because it was so tasty.


1 whole pineapple

1 Cup of glutinous rice

1/3 tsp of salt

1 Tbsp of sugar

1 Tbsp of honey


1.Soak glutinous rice in the water for one whole day, so it absorbs some water.

2.Clean the inside of the pineapple and cut into two parts horizontally, then remove the pulp.

3.Put the pre soaked rice in a bowl with the pulp, juice, sugar, honey and mix them together thoroughly.

4.Stuff the pineapple "bowl" with the pineapple, and rice mixture, and fully reassembled the two parts into one whole pineapple again.

5. Steam for 1 hour, remove lid, and serve as is.

Cooks Helpful Hints:

This is the original recipe, raisins, cashews, shrimp, and eggs can be added after the rice is fully cooked as well, and it makes for a lovely presentation as well.

Be careful when carving out the "meat" of the pineapple, so you don't rupture the shell in any way, or it won't steam properly.

Make sure when you carve out the inside, you separate the meat from the core.

The amount of rice needed depends on the size of the pineapple. Keep this in mind when soaking the rice.


1 comment:

  1. it is a favourite dish in thailand as well as north-eastern part of india who are known as ahom too.