Can you believe this is the last few days of summer? Where did the time go? It’s been great, but if I were to be honest, I’ve been waiting for fall since July. In Iowa it’s always so incredibly humid when it’s hot and my curly frizzy hair can’t take anymore! I work in an office all day so I really shouldn’t complain, but I’m ready to kiss the mugginess goodbye. But first as a farewell, I have a tropical-esque recipe to match the Iowa weather. This Hawaiian fried rice is sweet, a little spicy, and is the perfect way to close out summer.

This recipe is so easy and truly more assembly than cooking. Essentially it’s very hard to mess up. Once you have the basics down of cooking the rice and adding the seasonings you have a great base to build from. You can take it in a more savory direction and make it with steak and bell peppers. Or you can really get creative and make a breakfast version with spam, eggs, and potatoes. The limit is your imagination!


For the meat preparation see Sunny Anderson’s pork kebab recipe. I substituted for chicken and it was tasty too!


  • 1 can pineapple chunks drained
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cup dry jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • cashews and cilantro to garnish


Prepare the rice according to package. Or, if you’re like me and have a rice cooker, prepare per the instructions. Once the rice is cooked and fluffy spread it out on a sheet pan to cool. Once cooled, run a fork through the rice to break up any big chunks.

In a skillet warm 1 tbsp of the sesame oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 mins.  Next add the rice with the remainder of the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, pineapple chunks, and raisins. Give it a good mix, then add the chicken. Stir until everything is evenly distributed and cook the mixture until the rice is heated through.

Serve with chopped cashews and cilantro.



(P.S. when reheating fried rice put a drizzle of water in the leftovers otherwise it’ll get really crunchy– unless you’re into that….)