Want a fun twist on cauliflower? Try this quick and easy cauliflower “rice” stir-fry. First, raw cauliflower gets pulsed into tiny rice-sized pieces. Sauté with diced veggies plus Chinese inspired flavorings, and you have this cauliflower rice stir-fry – a different take on an old favorite – minus the rice.
You may have noticed that I love cauliflower. It features into recipes in my kitchen all the time… always in interesting ways. So, recently, when I heard about cauliflower rice, that new style of preparation, I had to give it a try and see what all of the excitement is about.
It seems that cauliflower is getting a lot of attention because it is being promoted as a replacement for rice in various recipes. I’m not really into cauliflower as a replacement for rice because the texture is not the same and it doesn’t have the same nutritive values… but no matter, I like cauliflower, as it is very versatile, so I decided to try it out.
If you have read any of my other recipe posts, you’ll already know that Jay is a most willing and kind taste tester for my cooking experiments. He happily eats whatever I cook, and has done for over 30 years! Although he might have his favorites, he rarely requests anything special and doesn’t mind being surprised by what gets presented at the table – he says it’s like going to a restaurant every day (isn’t that sweet?).
He’s enjoyed most of my cauliflower recipes over the years. I’ve made numerous Indian vegetable dishes that included cauliflower, plus roasted veggies and lots of other creations… so I figured he’ll probably be on board for this one, too.
I decided to go with an Oriental version of cauliflower rice, because when the cauliflower is all grated up, it does resemble little grains of rice and reminds me of the mainstay of Chinese restaurants, that is, fried rice.
Making the Cauliflower Rice
So, for this cauliflower rice you’ll first get the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. Most people pulse it in their food processor, but I don’t have a food processor, so I just used a hand grater.
Then you prep all your veggies that will accompany the cauliflower.
To make this dish as close to Chinese fried rice as possible, I added garlic, onion, ginger, red bell pepper, cabbage and some green leafies.
You sauté the cauliflower until it is almost tender and getting just a little crispy brown, then add the chopped veggies and continue cooking until they are also tender. Then add some soy sauce and voilà! You now have a pan full of cauliflower rice!
It’s so easy and quite fun to make. You can change it up as much as you want. You could do a Mexican-theme and add in fresh corn, tomato, green hot chili peppers, cumin, paprika… or maybe a curry dish, with some diced potato, red peppers, spinach, ginger, curry powder… even little chunks of paneer.
Oh, yes, the wheels are turning! Whatever you want to call it, these grated cauliflower pieces are very tasty… if you like cauliflower, do give it a try! The texture is different and a nice change from big cauliflower florets… unless you are eating General Tso’s Cauliflower, also known as Gobi Manchurian. Nothing comes even close to that! I have a true love for those big crunchy balls of yumminess… however, not everyday. General Tso’s Cauliflower is a special dish that you might save for that time when you really want to cook an something outstanding, to show your non-vegetarian friends that vegetarian food doesn’t have to be boring.
But, for everyday, sometimes you’re just looking for a light and easy cauliflower dish and that’s when you can whip up this cauliflower rice.
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At any rate, I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!
Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry
- ½-¾ smallish head of cauliflower, grated or pulsed to rice-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- additional oil for sautéing (I use sunflower oil)
- ¼ small onion, chopped
- 1 small knob fresh ginger, julienne
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ¼-½ small red bell pepper, chopped
- 2-3 green veggie leaves, chopped – collard greens, chard or kale
- ¼ cup cabbage, finely chopped
- soy sauce, to taste
- Cut cauliflower into florets and pulse in food processor until they approximate rice-sized pieces. I just grated mine and they were not as uniform as if done in a food processor, but resembled rice 🙂
- In a large, non-stick skillet, heat sesame oil and additional oil for stir-frying (as per your preference)
- Fry onion and garlic on medium-low heat until almost tender, then add cauliflower and begin frying
- When the cauliflower is getting soft, and just starting to brown, add additional veggies and saute until all are tender and slightly browned.
- Add black pepper and soy sauce and mix thoroughly to finish.