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4.84 from 6 votes

Hawaiian Luau Rice

Hawaiian Luau Rice is a little sweet, a little savory and little bit tropical and the perfect cure for the dog days of summer.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 256kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • 1 cups basmati rice
    or 2 cups cooked leftover rice of choice
  • 1.5 cups water
    skip this ingredient if you already have cooked rice.
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
    (your rice will really soak up the coconut oil quickly so use a non-stick pan)
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
    freshly grated ginger (or can substitute with ¼ teaspoon dried ground)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup ham
    sliced thinly ( I used deli ham but you can exchange with spam or fresh ham)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut shredded (Can use fresh coconut shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon chicken powder
    (gluten free) 1-2 teaspoons to taste (this is chicken bouillon in the powdered form) - you can also use chicken bouillon cubes and just crush into a powder and you can add to taste.
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
    or to taste
  • 1 cup pineapple
    chopped fresh (can exchange with canned)
  • macadamia nuts -
    toasted crushed garnish - optional
  • 2 tablespoon green onions - 2 tablespoons chopped for garnish - optional


  • The day or two before, wash your rice thoroughly. Add 1 cup of basmati rice and 1.5 cups of water to your pan and cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. One cup of basmati rice when cooked will yield about 2 and ¾ cup rice. Allow rice to completely cool and place in the refrigerator over night. (You can use other leftover rice as well like Jasmine or short grain rice.)
  • Toast your coconut in a non-stick skillet until in is toasty brown. Set aside.
  • Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry pan until toasty. Chop coarsely. Set aside. (optional)
  • Place your coconut oil, onions, garlic, ginger in the pan until aromatic. Add the ham and cook quickly until lightly golden.
  • Add your cooked basmati rice, chicken powder and white pepper and mix quickly in your pan until all of the rice is covered evenly with the coconut oil and seasoning. Add the pineapple, green onions and toasted coconut back into the pan and continue stirring quickly, just until warmed. Reserve a little toasted coconut and green onions on the side for garnishing.
  • Serve on plate and garnish with toasted crushed macademia nuts, toasted coconut and green onions. Enjoy!



Feel free to use any kind of left over rice you desire for this recipe. Cold leftover rice works best for making fried rice so that the rice does not stick together. 
We used chicken powder whilst living in Hong Kong as that is what is generally available. However, you can use a chicken bouillon that has been crushed so that it easily mixes with the rice. If you are following a gluten free diet , make sure your chicken bouillon is gluten-free.  
We used unsweetened desiccated coconut for this recipe. Toasting the coconut in a dry pan really adds loads of flavor to this recipe. 
In addition, we also toasted macadamia nuts and then crushed them and garnished our recipe with it. However, this is an optional item. 
Feel free to use either fresh or canned pineapple for this Hawaiian Luau Recipe. 
We used leftover spiral ham. However, feel free to use ham lunchmeat or even spam in a pinch. After all, they would be using spam in Hawaii. 
If you like to use a fresh pineapple, be sure to check out our post How to Cut a Fresh Pineapple to learn how to do this in under 5 minutes with minimal waste. However, you can use canned pineapple chunks as well. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg