Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What I did with my Leftovers: Spam & Pineapple Curry Fried Rice

I have always been good about leftovers. As a child, leftovers were never something to be feared or ignored. We rarely had mysterious tubs of creepy leftovers lurking forgotten in the back corners of the fridge or frightening foil wrapped packets of scary old frost-bitten meat in the freezer. Both of my parents are really good cooks and either the food was gone the first night it was served, or it was used up promptly over the next few days. Finding a leftover bit of meatloaf was a joy, a treasure to be savored. We wanted to eat our leftovers, and they were gobbled up fast.

As a result, my approach to leftovers has never been negative. I don't dread them, I reuse them, reforming them into something new and often completely different from their original form. In fact, I often intentionally make extra just so I can have leftovers to work with later in the week. Such was the case yesterday, when I made the rice for my Onigiri. I made sure I had extra steamed rice so that I could use up the rest of my spam in fried rice the next day. Fried rice is a wonderful way to use up small amounts of leftover meats and vegetables and usually pleases everyone who eats it.

Recently, I had been reading some posts over at My Kitchen Snippets, in particular her recipe for Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. Taking inspiration from her version, I altered my usual fried rice and here is what I came up with:

Spam & Pineapple Curry Fried Rice
(serves 4)

1 Tbsp sunflower oil (or other flavorless oil)
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp mined fresh ginger
3 slices spam, diced (or about a cup or so of any leftover meat you prefer)
1/2 cup frozen peas, rinsed briefly in warm water and drained
1 Tbsp mild curry powder
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
white pepper, to taste
about 3 cups cooked short grain rice, chilled overnight (measured after cooking)
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained or about 1 1/2-2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
sesame oil, to taste
hot sauce, to taste

Heat a wok or large skillet with deep sides. Add a little oil to the pan over about medium heat and allow to get hot. Add garlic, ginger, and onions and stir fry until fragrant, just a minute or two. Add the spam and peas and sitr fry until the meat begins to brown a bit, just a few minutes. Add the curry powder, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and a hearty dash of white pepper, stirring to combine.

Add the rice and break up chunks using your spoon, tossing to coat evenly. Make a well in the center and add the drained pineapple chunks. Let them warm up and brown a bit, tosssing them over to brown evenly and stirring the rice a bit as well so it doesn't burn. Mix together. Drizzle with a small amount of sesame oil. Taste and adjust seasonings (I added another dash of white pepper). Serve, adding a few drops of hot sauce to individual servings if preferred.

NOTE: If your chilled rice is being difficult and insists on clumping up, use a potato masher to gently press the lumps apart. Just don't be over eager or you will end up with mush.

*In case any of you were wondering, I used a US measuring spoon today to carefully measure out the seasonings. I know a lot of people have trouble eyeballing the seasonings for fried rice, ending up with overly salty, soy-saucey rice. I used Usukuchi soy sauce (Japanese light colored soy).

Fried Rice on Foodista


  1. This looks really good!I'll definitely make this one 'cause I'm crazy about pineapples!Hope you wont mind but I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site, just add this little widget here to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks! - Alisa@Foodista

  2. Ohh Heather, it's good to see some other people here! I have been playing catch up here this morning. Work commitments have reduced my blog time. Everything looks delicious as usual and very thrifty! Can you believe I have never eaten Spam?

  3. Heather, I really like the three-column format of your blog. I use blogspot and cannot seem to find a template for this layout. Can you help me please?