Recipe: Fried Cauliflower Rice

Weeknight Dinner Recipes from The Kitchn

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I have been fairly obsessed with cauliflower "rice" ever since discovering it earlier this year. This finely chopped cauliflower is one of those cheater ingredients that actually tastes legit. No joke.

It's also brought Chinese fried rice, once relegated to the "comfort food" category, squarely into my weeknight meal rotation.

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This recipe is a pretty direct riff off of our ultimate How To Make Fried Rice with the stir fry queen Grace Young. The biggest difference here is that you need to cover the pan and let the cauliflower rice steam for a few minutes before the dish is ready to be served. I also usually throw some thick-cut bacon into my stir fry (and use the bacon grease for cooking!), though you could really use any leftover bits of chicken or pork you may have — or keep it vegetarian and add crispy pan-fried tofu instead.

As a fried rice look-alike, this dish can hold its own. The cauliflower is chewy and nubbly in all the right rice-like ways. Bits of egg and tender vegetables also make it a satisfying meal on its own. This still feels like comfort food to me — just comfort food that's sneaking a few more vegetables into my day!

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Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

Serves 4 to 6

1 head cauliflower
1/2 pound (8 slices) thick-sliced bacon, optional
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cashews, almonds or other nut
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. You should have 5 to 6 cups of cauliflower "rice."

→ For step-by-step instructions, see How To Make Couscous Out of Cauliflower.

Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, roughly chop into pieces. Drain off all but a teaspoon of bacon grease (or use 1 teaspoon vegetable oil), reserving the grease.

Place the pan back over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs and pour them into the skillet. Quickly scramble the eggs or make an omelet. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board and roughly chop into pieces.

Wipe the skillet clean and warm 1 tablespoon of bacon grease or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the carrots and sauté until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, peas, and the cauliflower "rice" into the pan, mixing the ingredients thoroughly.

Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the bacon, eggs, green onions, cashes, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for about a week.

Per serving, based on 4 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
450
Fat
32.8 g (50.5%)
Saturated
10.2 g (51%)
Trans
0 g
Carbs
24.7 g (8.2%)
Fiber
6.3 g (25.1%)
Sugars
8.1 g
Protein
18.3 g (36.5%)
Cholesterol
131.6 mg (43.9%)
Sodium
1142.4 mg (47.6%)

(Image credits: Emma Christensen)

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