Cauliflower is a nice alternative to rice when making fried rice if your objective is something on the lighter side that incorporates more vegetables. Since rice is full of starches, it can get filling quick. This fried rice is flavorful and light, just perfect for the coming of spring.
The days are getting longer, and just barely starting to thaw, we can feel like turn of the season is upon us. Fresh young buds begin to peak their heads out while the birds are singing their songs. Among all the critters waking up, our chickens too can feel the change. Overnight it seems they are laying loads of eggs. So naturally we are constantly finding any way we can to use up these golden treasures.
With a hint of traditional fried rice, plus lots of new and refreshing flavors, this particular cauliflower fried rice is kind of an off-shoot to Thai cooking. I used garlic, ginger, jalapenos, and onions as the base flavor here, and finished it off with toasted cashews and cilantro. All these ingredients are used in traditional Thai (and Indian) cooking, and have become normal additions to the meals made in this house. The blend of spice, tang, and just straight up deliciousness in those ingredients make this fried rice worth all the prep.
You can decide to add some or replace the veggies as you wish. Snow peas or green beans would be great, as would some mushrooms or peppers. Here I added chopped carrot and peas. Since our base is made up of cauliflower, and I knew I’d have some fresh things to add on top, I didn’t want to go too crazy with the vegetable variety. But also because this is just what I had in my fridge. In addition, feel free to throw in some chicken, beef, or pork for added protein. This time, I went simple without it.
In any case, you came here for the recipe. Shall we get to it?
What You Need:
About 1 cup cauliflower, blended in a food processor until small to resemble rice
few cauliflower stems, chopped
1 carrot, chopped into small cubes
1/4 frozen green peas
1/2 small onion (about 1/2 cup chopped), diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
nub ginger, minced
1 jalapeno (seeds removed), diced*
1-2 T tamari/soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
pinch of salt
butter or oil for frying (coconut oil could be fun to give it that true Thai flavor)
1 radish, diced small
scant 1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
squeeze of lemon or lime
kimchi on the side
*If you have a hot jalapeno, feel free to only use half. The one I had was very mild.
What to Do:
1. Prep all your vegetables so you are ready to go.
2. Melt butter or heat up oil in cooking pan. Add onions and sautee for a minute or two until it just barely starts to get soft.
3. Add minced garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and mix to incorporate.
4. Add chopped carrots, cauliflower stems, and peas. Cook for a few minutes, adding more oil or butter if your pan starts to dry out.
5. Once your veggies are getting a bit soft, add cauliflower rice and mix. Let cook for a minute or two.
6. In a separate small pan, add chopped cashews and turn to medium low. Toast until golden brown and remove from heat.
7. Back to your cauliflower mixture, add in soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Cook for another minute.
8. Push the rice to the outsides of the pan, so you have space in the middle to cook your egg. You will want to cook your egg in this spot for a few minutes until it resembles scrambled egg. Once this happens, you can mix it into the rest of your fried rice.
9. Turn off heat and drizzle some lemon juice throughout.
10. Serve topped with toasted cashews, chopped radishes, cilantro, and a side of kimchi.
Makes 2-3 servings