Crispy Tempura Pineapple Chunks

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I’m still slurping my way through some juicy pineapple-with lots of help from Quinn-we have a tiny piece left which will probably disappear at breakfast tomorrow. In the past year I’ve really seen a huge rise in Quinn’s fruit intake, he’ll easily finish whole containers of berries, melon or whatever he spots in the fridge.

Crispy tempura pineapple chunks

But he’s not so keen on hard fruits like apples or pears, today I caught him shoving strawberries in his mouth green leaves and all. The kids middle name should be Dyson.

I took him to get some famous Leonard’s  malasadas, a fluffy Portugese hole-less donut yesterday. Okay maybe it was me who really wanted to go but he can’t drive so I’m in charge. They have three signature fillings- custard, chocolate and haupia, which is a a thick coconut pudding usually served at Luaus. I came away with chocolate and some original sugar malasadas but I was kicking myself for not getting some haupia. I guess we’ll be making a second trip back to Leonard’s…score!

Pineapple chunks in a crispy tempura batter

How I connected donuts to tempura is beyond me (fried?) weird things go through my mind when I’m stuck in traffic but it happened and I ain’t complaining. Sweet ripe pineapple fried in crispy tempura batter and dipped in a thin version of haupia! The batter sealed in all of the juices and the crunchy coconutty finish was pretty dang tasty. Sometimes frying anything can be messy, lot’s of work and some say unhealthy? but the taste…the taste totally makes up for it. Besides once in a while is fine and this only uses about two inches of oil in the pan. This dip would also be amazing with coconut shrimp!

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Pineapple Tempura
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
For the haupia dip
  1. 1 cup coconut milk
  2. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. 3 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 cup whole milk
For the pineapple tempura
  1. 2 cups pineapple cut into small 1 inch cubes
  2. Canola oil, enough to fill a small pot about two inches from the bottom
  3. 1 small box tempura batter made per the instructions on the box
Instructions
  1. In a small pot combine the coconut milk, sugar and cornstarch.
  2. Heat until it starts to boil, add the milk.
  3. Bring back to a boil and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  4. Once it's thickened, transfer it to another container and place in the fridge to cool.
  5. Heat the canola oil until it reads 375 degrees on a thermometer.
  6. As it's heating, prepare the batter as per the instructions on the box.
  7. Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, dip a piece of pineapple in the batter and let the residue run off.
  8. Carefully drop the pineapple into the hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes turning once or twice.
  9. Scoop the chunks from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
  10. Dust lightly with some Li Hing Mui spice if you have it and serve warm with the haupia dip.
Notes
  1. Don't overcrowd the pot as it'll cool the oil down and the tempura will be soggy.
  2. Keep your oven on low and store the already fried chunks on a cookie sheet while the others cook.
  3. Li Hing Mui powder is ground dried plum skins and tastes a little salty.Great for seasoning but not required.
  4. Serve the tempura as fast as you can or it will get soft and start to lose it's crunch.
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23 comments


  • This sounds INSANELY good! I love pineapple…I put it on pizzas, I make cookies with it, I bake it into bread, I use it as much as possible but have never though of tempura’ing it! And that sauce. Coconut milk and sugar, sign me up!

    May 06, 2013
  • This looks amazing. I just happen to have a beautiful pineapple sitting on my counter. hmmmm……

    May 06, 2013
  • This must be very delicious! I can only imagine how GOOD when you sink your teeth into these fruit tempura!

    May 06, 2013
  • Do you care if I just blog all your recipes? You are so creative, obviously driving around in traffic agrees with you. My husband would beg for these little fried pineapples and the sauce sounds perfect. Yum! You and Quinn are having too much fun!

    May 06, 2013
  • Pineapple tempura is pure brilliance!

    May 06, 2013
  • I love-love-love pineapple, and really don’t buy it enough… now I have a rock solid reason to swipe one up ASAP!!!

    May 06, 2013
  • nessa

    So creative!

    May 06, 2013
  • Dude. This looks insanely good!! And I totally forgot to mention to get the malasadas with the haupia custard. You have to go back now. Totally worth the wait in line again!! ha ha

    May 06, 2013
  • Pineapple tempura, I love this!!

    May 06, 2013
  • Where has this been all my life????? holy moly, I need this.

    May 07, 2013
  • Just found your blog… Your a keeper

    May 07, 2013
  • Our family loves pineapple! What a great idea to use tempura batter to make this. And I do like the sound of pineapple tempura. I think my kids will be thrilled to hear that too. :D Pinned!

    May 07, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Thanks Nami!

      May 07, 2013
  • This is definitely something I would love to have on my table! I guess you are still on Hawaii mood right?

    May 07, 2013
  • Erin R.

    Ooh, nice! We’ve had grilled pineapple a million times but I never thought to fry it either. Looks smashing.

    Also, I’m glad you’ve had some malasadas and some haupia, as those are kind of the only Hawaii things I know about. Except for Spam! Are you going to be brave and try some Spam?

    May 07, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Hey Erin, I grew up eating Spam. I’d make Spam toasties so I’ll probably give it a miss while here :)

      May 07, 2013
  • Leaves and all! At least he’s getting is greens (along with his reds). GREG

    May 07, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      “like” :)

      May 07, 2013
    • foodnessgracious

      Colors=fun :)

      May 07, 2013
  • Val

    This is so creative…I love pineapple and I will be making this soon.

    May 07, 2013
  • That is brilliant! And I’m very jealous of you Hawaiian vacation right now :)

    May 08, 2013
  • Remember my previous comment? Same thing!

    May 09, 2013
  • I love Tempura but never tried one with pineapple before. Seems like I’m missing out! The haupia dip sounds just as wonderful too.

    May 10, 2013

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