Cauliflower rice is one of the most common sides of low carb cooking. All Asian cuisines serve rice as their main staple. Curries, Stir-fries, even soups are served there with a plate or bowl of hot steamed rice. The same is true for many meals across the world. So, lowcarbies had a problem – until some unknown genius had the idea of blending cauliflower into tiny pieces, creating the ultimate rice replacement.
And while Asian cooking has a perceived five million ingredients and involves a lot of chopping, cauli rice requires just cauliflower, a food processor, a pan, oil and a little sea salt. It’s definitely too simple to call this a recipe, so you can find it in the HOW TO MAKE category for your ultimate low carb basics.
We all know cauliflower rice is not exactly rice – but it is the best rice alternative out there. The texture is surprisingly similar, and cauliflower itself has a fairly neutral taste which can superbly soak up sauces and spices – just like rice grains! Especially when served with mains carrying a strong, intense and tangy flavor, be they a spicy Thai curry, rich and generously spiced Indian cream sauces or spicy Chinese Tofu. It’s also delicious accompanying meat balls with cream sauce.
This fluffy yet chewy rice alternative is also an essential part of the paleo diet whose followers mainly eat foods presumed to have been available during the Paleolithic era when humans still lived as hunter-gatherers. Rice – as all grains or legumes – became available only after the advent of settled agriculture. But cauliflower had been there all along.
You decide on how much crunch
So how do you make the best cauliflower rice? Super easy. Chop your cauliflower into small chunks, using the stem as well. Put them into a food processor and blend until you have fine pieces roughly the size of rice grains. These steps are best done before you start cooking, as the cauli rice can sit for a while without losing its freshness.
Frying the cauli rice is so quick that you can do it just before or even after you finish cooking your mains. You simply heat a non-stick pan, add your cauliflower rice, and a pinch or two of sea salt, and stir constantly. It’s ready when you feel it is. Taste it regularly to find out the perfect texture for yourself. In general, cauliflower rice is best when it doesn’t carry a raw taste anymore, but is still almost as chewy as if raw.
A quick remark about salt: Rice served with Asian dishes is usually unsalted as the meals are very flavorful which is complemented by the rice. In the West, people usually cook rice with a bit of salt. So feel free to do the same when making cauli rice. Personally, I always add a pinch of salt even for Asian meals – but a bit more when cooking Western food.
You can make “fried rice” too
Fried rice in Asia means putting your steamed rice into a pan together with a few additional ingredients. That way, the rice becomes a more interesting side, or even a main dish. One typical fried rice side contains garlic and/or egg.
To make it, whisk one egg per person in a small bowl and add a little salt. Chop up one garlic clove per serving. Cut a few spring onion sprigs into small pieces, setting the green parts aside. Now, pour the eggs into a hot pan with a little oil, have the mix sit for a moment before turning it over and stirring carefully. It’s basically like how you’d fry an omelette. Take it out, cut it into small pieces – and wipe the pan if necessary. Then add a little more oil, the garlic and the white spring onion pieces. Stir for a minute, and add the raw cauli rice, mixing well. Add the egg, as well as salt and pepper or some chili flakes. Almost as easy as the plain version, right?
Enjoy cauliflower rice with
Made in minutes as perfect side for Asian cuisine: quickly fried cauliflower rice – plain or with eggs and garlic
serving 4-6 people
1 midsize cauliflower
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil for frying
sea salt to taste
For FRIED RICE VERSION, add:
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 sprig of spring onion, chopped and separated into white and green parts
pinch of salt and pepper
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets – you can use the chunk as well! Then blend to fine pieces in a food processor.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once it is hot, add the cauliflower rice and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring, while adding some salt and a little pepper to taste. The rice should be ready after 2-3 minutes – still a bit crunchy but no longer raw. Serve immediately with your mains.
- Whisk eggs in a small bowl with a little sea salt and fry in a non-stick pan like an omelette. Cut into pieces and set aside
- Clean the pan and add a little more oil. Quickly stir-fry the garlic and the white parts of the spring onion. Oncet they emit scent, add the cauliflower rice, and keep stirring.
- After a few minutes, the rice is ready. Now, mix in the egg pieces. Serve immediately with your mains.
To add even more crunch, you can add a few cucumber sticks and/or salad leaves to the cauli rice which makes the combo even better and even healthier. These raw nibbles are served in many South East Asian countries in just the same way. So it’s actually a pretty authentic addition.
In a tightly sealed container, you can keep raw cauliflower rice in the fridge for an extra day or two. The same is true for rice already fried. Just quickly re-fry it when you plan to eat it.
- Category: Basics
- Method: stir-fry
- Cuisine: Asian
- Serving Size: 100g cauli rice
- Calories: 65
- Fat: 4.8g
- Carbohydrates: 3g net carbs
- Protein: 1.9g