Learn how to carve a pineapple bowl.
One of my favorite recipes is Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice, a Thai inspired dish also known as Khau Pad Sapparot. It’s usually served in a carved pineapple bowl and so spectacularly pretty and festive. I decided to try making Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice and serving it in a carved pineapple bowl, can’t be that hard right? Here’s a photo of my first attempt.
Tips for Pineapple Bowl Happiness
Selecting a pineapple:
Look for a nice fresh pineapple that feels firm, has vibrant color, and has fresh green leaves. It should smell fragrant. Be sure to check the bottom and avoid any pineapples that are brownish/orange, soft, have a little bit of moldiness around the core.
Storing a pineapple:
If you plan to eat the pineapple within a day or two, storing it at room temperature is fine otherwise refrigerate it so that it stays fresh longer.
The first time I tried carving a pineapple bowl, I used an electric knife and it struggled to cut through the crown (the leafy top). I don’t recommend using an electric knife. I had an easier time using a chef’s knife to cut the pineapple in half and a paring knife to carve the fruit out. You will also need a sturdy spoon to help you scoop out the pineapple. A serrated grapefruit spoon will be even more effective if you have one (affiliate link: save this for when you need a low cost item to qualify for free shipping).
Rinse your pineapple thoroughly. Pat the pineapple dry with a towel.
You have two choices depending on what purpose you have for the pineapple bowls:
1) If you want two smaller bowls either for personal use or in two locations, then cut the pineapple down the middle and through the crown. The cross section of the leaves is so pretty!
2) If you want one large bowl for serving or to use as a centerpiece, then lay the pineapple on it’s side and cut 1/3 of the pineapple off the side. You can cut that piece into 3 pieces lengthwise, use your knife to slide in between the flesh and the rind, and you’ll end up with spears, which you can chop into bite sized pieces.
Switch to a paring knife and run it around the top of the pineapple, leaving about 1/2 inch rind. Cut lengthwise along the hard core. Cut across the pineapple, about 1 inch apart. You’ll end up with a pineapple with crisscrossed cuts.
Slide your paring knife along the core at a 30 degree angle on both sides. Use a spoon to scoop out the cut pineapple into a large bowl. Use a paring knife to go around the pineapple again cutting the flesh from the rind, slide the paring knife along the core again at a 60 degree angle and scoop out the cut pineapple. Use a paring knife to go around again to release the pineapple from the rind and the core, scoop it out.
You are now left with the hard core and a nice layer of delicious pineapple underneath it. Use your paring knife and cut off the top inch and discard the core pieces. Use the paring knife to cut out the remaining pineapple pieces from both sides.
You can avoid a soggy mess in your pineapple bowl by using a spoon to scrape any small chunks of pineapple remaining and turning the pineapple bowl upside down to drain in a bowl for 5-10 minutes. Drink or save the juice for other purposes.
Now you can fill your pineapple bowl with cut pineapples, a fruit salad, Chicken Pineapple Fried Rice, or if your pineapple bowls are small enough, individual servings of rice, Broiled Chicken Teriyaki Thighs, and veggies. Mmmm, yummy food to fill tummies with a fun presentation to fill hearts.