A few months ago, my husband Jay sent me an Instagram post from a restaurant he wanted to visit. The post consisted of steaming fried rice heaped into a pineapple boat. It looked delicious! However, the Yelp reviews were not as favorable, and neither of us wanted to be disappointed by lackluster food. When Jay’s birthday rolled around this week, I wanted to cook him something special–and that fried rice pineapple boat came to mind. I decided to make this Spicy Fried Rice with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage. And it was a hit!
Interestingly enough, the first meal Jay made me was fried rice! To be quite honest, I had never been a fan of the dish and always substituted extra chow mein in my Panda Express platters. However, his version of fried rice was amazing. It had a twist: instead of soy sauce, he coated the rice in shito, a Ghanian black pepper sauce. This resulted in a fragrant, flavor-packed, spicy fried rice.
A Unique Spicy Fried Rice Recipe
From my American perspective, I had always associated fried rice with Asian cuisine. Afia Amoako, the Ghanaian food blogger behind The Canadian African, talks about the popularity of fried rice in both Ghanaian restaurants and homes. Unfortunately, the origins of fried rice in the West African country appear to be unknown. Regardless of how and when fried rice came to be part of Ghanaian cuisine, it is certainly a beloved meal.
As I entered the grocery store to purchase ingredients for Jay’s birthday dinner, I decided to put my own twist on fried rice. Yes, I had been taught the Ghanaian way. However, I wanted to make the dish my own. I decided to marry the flavors of Ghana with Creole cuisine.
I knew that I would be using Ghanaian mainstays: ginger, scotch bonnet pepper, and shito. I was also inspired by the ingredients found in jambalaya, and chose to substitute the typical mixed vegetables in fried rice for okra. That is how I ended up with this Spicy Fried Rice with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage served in a pineapple boat. The heavy spice and flavors of the fried rice are awakened by the pineapple juice that comes from the serving vessel. It’s definitely the perfect balance of salt, fat, acid, and heat!Print
Spicy Fried Rice with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage
A delicious one pot fried rice dish.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Weeknight
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American Fusion
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 maggi cube
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 ounces beef kielbasa, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of jasmine rice, cooked and chilled (preferably overnight)
- 3 tbsp shito (see note 1)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 5 okra pods, sliced vertically
- 1/2 pound of shrimp, cleaned and peeled
- 1/2 tsp adobo powder
- 1 pineapple, halved with flesh removed
- 1 lime
- Fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, maggi and 2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, ginger, and thyme. Toss with olive oil to coat.
- Heat pan over medium high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in the oven. Bake it until nearly done, about 15 minutes. See note 2.
- Meanwhile, sauté the kielbasa in the pan and remove once browned. See note 3.
- Sauté the onion, ginger, scotch bonnet pepper for a few minutes, then add the garlic.
- Move the vegetables to the side of the pan and crack the eggs on the other side. Season with salt and pepper and scramble them.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, chop it roughly, and add it to the pan along with the sausage.
- Add the rice to the pan. Season with 1/2 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, ginger, and thyme.
- Allow the rice to sit untouched for a moment so that the grains can begin to toast. From time to time, gently toss the rice.
- Stir in the shito and soy sauce. Allow the rice to continue to toast and all of the flavors to meld.
- Meanwhile, season the shrimp with 1/2 tsp each adobo powder, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, ginger, and thyme.
- Once the rice is almost done, add the okra and shrimp into the pan.
- Scoop the rice into the pineapple boat. Garnish with lime zest, lime, and parsley.
- You can find shito in West African grocery stores.
- Keep an eye on the chicken. It will blacken from the spice mix, but you don’t want it to burn.
- Be careful with how much salt you add to this dish while cooking, because the sausage is quite salty. You can always add more salt at the end!
Keywords: fried rice, one pot meal, weeknight, fusion
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Jaya Avendel says
In a pineapple boat, this dish does indeed truly sound like a match in flavors! Pineapple melds so well with the herbs you have married into the fried rice with chicken, and offers a cooler contrast to the spice.
Cooking allows for freedom of expression and the mixing of cuisine to create a unique dish flavored, most of all, with the essence of the cook.
Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe!
The pineapple boat definitely adds to both the flavors and aesthetic of this dish. Thank you for your consistent and thoughtful comments Jaya!
Jaya Avendel says
Always a joy!
This looks great! Have to try it out soon! Thank you for sharing!
Of course! Thank you for reading 🙂