#19 teriyaki pineapple bowls

What a lovely idea: using your pineapple shells as bowls for a yummy tropical-inspired dinner tonight!  The term ‘teriyaki’ however is far from tropical.  A cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine for broiled foods with a sweet glaze, the term itself derives from a word that refers to the shine given to the food by the sugar content in the glaze.  In western cultures, teriyaki sauce is generally sweet and sometimes spicy, used as a marinade, glaze, or dipping sauce.  Since pineapple juice is often used for sweetness – and also because it provides enzymes that help tenderize the meat – the use of pineapple bowls is an appropriate way of getting creative with this dish!

This particular time, I experimented with white sugar in the recipe – not recommending that at all.  As you can tell in the picture, the chicken has a paler aspect to it, not the dark & thick teriyaki shine we all know & love.  The taste was relatively the same, but the touch of the dark brown sugar is essential in achieving the thick & deep aspect – think molasses glaze – of the traditional teriyaki sauce.

For Serving

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 cups of white rice, cooked

For the Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts (600g), cubed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50g) of packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of pineapple pulp
  • 1/4 cup (28g) of cornstarch
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

In a medium sized bowl, add the cubed chicken with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.  Mix well to coat the chicken and seal.  Let marinate for about an hour.  You can use this time to carve the pineapple and prepare the white rice.

To carve the pineapple, cut vertically in half, in cross-section form.  With a large sharp knife, make a grid on the pineapple flesh and carve out gently, without damaging the shell or the leaves.  You can set the flesh aside for snacking later, but be sure to reserve 1/4 cup of juicy pulp and add it to the marinating chicken.  Wash the pineapple bowls thoroughly and set aside to dry.

Heat a large pan to medium heat.  Add the entire contents of the marinated chicken bowl and slowly bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce has thickened.  If the chicken seems to dry up too much, simply add water until the sauce has attained its distinct dark rich color and keep it as juicy as you’d like!

To serve, delicately add rice to one side of the pineapple bowl; compact is best.  Add chicken to the other half of the bowl, and garnish with chives.  Place on a ceramic surface for joint-eating or on a large serving dish in order to beautifully display the lovely pineapple bowl!

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