Adventures in Cooking: Hawaiian-ish Fried Rice

In recent months, one side of Mister Tea’s family has started a new tradition.  We attempt a family dinner once a week, usually on Saturday.

For the first weeks this was going on, I could not attend, because puppy training class and the way I had to operate to actually make it to the class meant that I had nothing left once it was done.

However, as both Raubahn and Dulce passed their advanced course with flying colours, the second weekend in June I could actually go.

On the left is a mostly black great dane, sitting happily, graduation cap on his head. In the middle is a line of vertical text that says "Graduation Day!" On the right side is an image of a dignified Irish Wolfhound, also with a graduation cap.

Which meant I could assist with the providing of food.  Mister Tea’s sister (a lovely lady) had unequivocally stated that if I wasn’t going to be able to be there, she didn’t want me to put the work in on providing food.

The main course was going to be skewers, and she asked if we could provide some sort of rice dish on the side.

I am a wee bit compulsive about matching main course and sides, so asked what the general flavour set was going to be so that I could make something that would complement the main dish.


New to me as a food genre.

So I turned to the web for data and a recipe to muck about with.  (No recipe really survives my kitchen unscathed, except for baking. Because chemistry.  And even then I will often fiddle with the spices.)

Found one that seemed a decent starting point, though as it was to be a side, I knew I’d be skipping the chicken part.

Eliminating the chicken left me with this:

1 egg

2 cups cooked rice, cold

2 green onions, diced

1/4 cup carrot, finely diced

1/4 cup pineapple, drained and diced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon seasame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Cook the egg with a little salt and pepper, slice into strips, set aside.

Heat oils, add rice, onions, and carrots.  Stir-fry until hot.  Add rice and continue to cook until the rice starts turning a light gold colour.  Add the cooked egg and continue stirring while cooking, adding soy sauce and pepper to taste.  Add pineapple and stir-fry for thirty more seconds.  (Pineapple gets flavourless if stir fried too much.)

We knew we would need a lot more than this recipe called for.  It was supposed to feed two people as a full meal (with the chicken), but we were looking for a side that would feed in the general vicinity of 14.

We tripled it.  And then some.  Not entirely intentionally.  A combination of being really tired and the eye-chaos being caused by damaged glasses made me not quite process the “cooked” indication for the rice.

So I made 4 cups dried.  Which…  well…  if you’ve ever cooked rice you know that it expands.  A lot.

We started with 3 or 4 cups – and around double the amounts of the rest of the ingredients listed.  We also decided that it needed garlic.  Because Mister Tea and I are of the opinion that most things involving onions should also have garlic.

Scribbled image of someone at a stove, frying pan heating, smells wafting over to another person. Text is "Happiness is the smell of frying garlic."

We worked on it steadily, adding the flavour parts to the rice as we went, expanding the amount slowly until it looked like it would be enough food.

We ended up using a full bundle of green onions, most of a pineapple, three eggs, and at least 3 tablespoons of minced garlic.  There seemed to be something missing, so we also added a teaspoon or two of cayenne powder, to give it just a bit of a bite.  I’m not honestly certain how much tamari or pepper ended up in it.  I just sort of shook the tamari in at random until each stage looked and tasted right, and pepper was ground fresh directly into it in similar I-don’t-generally-measure-flavour-components fashion.

The suggestion for how to deal with the eggs was a bit of a eureka moment, as it made adding eggs to rice much easier than the way I had dealt with it prior.  (Scrambling them in the pan with the rice and seasoning.)  This method also required less oil.

The carrots took a bit to get the right processing method for – Mister Tea and Teasla took that over, and their peeling-carrots-into-oblivion methods worked quite well.

Pile of thinly peeled/grated carrot

Additionally, we changed out the soy for tamari, as Mister Tea’s sister has gluten intolerance, and we went with sesame oil entire, rather than part that and part vegetable.  (It tastes better, and I’m weird about combining oils.)

We didn’t stir fry this on the stove in a wok.  One of the things I have fallen in love with about our rice cooker is that it has a saute setting.  So the cooked rice came out, and we compiled the concoction in the rice cooker.  Among other things, it made it easier to transport, and it was still warm when we arrived.

It turned out rather well.  By the time we were done with it, I did not feel I would be embarrassed to claim it as a product of my kitchen, and it was well enjoyed at the meal.

The family dinner itself was a fairly glorious experience.  I got cornered by a small human during the cooking of the skewers, and she introduced me to a game, and we spun a little story together about mice and cats and giant spiders and the realms they came from.  I was also staggered by the lengths to which Mister Tea’s sister went to make absolutely sure I would be able to eat.  I am not used to that level of consideration regarding the MCAS, and it was wonderful to have someone be so considerate and understanding.

Text over a background of misty trees: "We are storytelling creatures, and as children we acquire language to tell the stories that we have inside. Jerome Bruner."

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