This is a recipe that can be taken in multitutindous directions. Serve it with fish, prawns or squid. Add some shredded poached chicken; a great accompaniment for barbecue ribs. Don’t get stuck on having the precise ingredients as long as you have the mainstays; kaffir lime  leaves, lemon grass, chilli and especially Megachef fish or anchovy sauce.

AO 27 JUNE 2021

no brainer

1 large green chilli seeded, cleaned and very finely julienned

1 stem of lemon grass peeled back to the inner soft white part
2 Thai chillies
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
200g red onion p/w very finely sliced
4 spring onions, cleaned and finely sliced at an angle
4 Kaffir lime leaves very finely shredded
40g pickled ginger drained weight, finely julienned
1 kaffir lime, finely grated rind half, strained juice
400g very ripe pineapple peeled, cored and cleaned weight
1 pomelo peeled; either chunks or segmented
1/2 small bunch coriander, leaves only washed
1/2 small bunch mint, leafed
50g Megachef fish or anchovy sauce
some drained glacé chilli for garnish…click here

Very finely chop the seeded green chilli, lemon grass, Thai chillies and garlic. Finely slice the pineapple. Just before serving, put everything but the glacé chilli in a bowl and toss together. Plate and garnish with the glacé chilli.

If you are serving as a salad we add rice vermicelli to bulk the salad out a bit.

Delicious quite alone as an entrée salad, absolutely fab with grilled pepper or chilli quail or fish.

Below,the Bethonga pineapple…the best if you can find them; most often at your Asian grocer. They are our variety pick for any pineapple dish…they are sweeter, but perfectly balanced with just the right amount of acidity. They also are less frequently bruised from machine picking. It’s not just the gorgeous sweetness that goes so brilliantly with chilli but they are also more nutritious.


pineapple histoy

did you know

Pineapples not treated with care can appear to be sound on the outside and when cut will have dark bruised patches inside.    They are a difficult fruit to judge for ripeness and external colour is not always an indication.  Nor is plucking a leaf a test of ripeness and probably just as well since many seem to come without tops these days.  It is that rich fragrant pineapple aroma and the condition of their bases that are the best ripeness indicators.  South American by origin, interestingly nana, part of their native name, which means perfumed, has remained with the French and German Ananas.  Our English (and Spanish piña) pineapple is of course quite self explanatory, as they indeed resemble a pinecone. Pineapples do not continue to ripen once they are picked but they do continue to colour. They do not enjoy cold temperatures and are best stored in a cool place rather than the fridge.

Columbus found pineapples in Guadeloupe in1493 but it was not until 1642 that the first pineapple was grown in the Duchess of Cleveland’s hot-house.  Presented as a gift to France’s Charles II he had the gift immortalised by the court artist and immediately commanded his gardener La Quintinie to grow them.  The difficulty and expense of growing them compounded by the fact that they did not travel well meant they were a luxury item; another reason why they appear on so many court and state dinner menus.

As a fresh fruit they remained a luxury item until well after the second world war, when chiller and refrigerated transport meant they could be enjoyed almost anywhere in the world.  This in some way answers the rapid popularly of it as a canned fruit immediately after the second world war.  Few cooks and housewives would have been able to afford to purchase the fresh fruit. Those endless recipes for canned pineapple found in the cooking pages of newspapers and magazines of the day were dictated as much by the newness of its availability as anything else.

Like paw paw, it is thought that pineapple is the slimmers aid and in the sixties there were a number of pineapple diets claiming great success.  There may be some truth in this as pineapples do contain enzymes, called bromelin that can digest a thousand times its own weight in protein.  It is just this enzyme that eats gelatine and uncooked pineapple will never jelly, no matter how much gelatine you may try to use.  If you want to make a sixties pineapple jelly without using a can, make sure that you thoroughly boil it first to kill the enzymes.