Basil Thai Chicken over {Cauliflower} Rice

The other day I was trying to get creative about sneakily adding more vegetables into my dinner so I began researching how I could do so with cauliflower. Trader Joe’s sells “riced” cauliflower that I’ve been eyeing up for a while. So I looked up recipes for fried (cauliflower) rice and the ilk and stumbled upon a recipe for Thai Chicken with Basil and Cauliflower Rice at I Breathe I’m Hungry.

The recipe sounded good to me. Really good. But I have this thing with cauliflower masquerading as other foods. Like Cauliflower Pizza Crust? Grosser! Does not taste anything like real pizza crust. Yes – it’s decent if you’re trying to have a “healthy” pizza, but really if you’re eating pizza why are you trying to make it healthy? Gobs of cheese isn’t the healthiest thing to eat whether it’s over bread or cauliflower! That being said, I was nervous about this dish because I was thinking the cauliflower wouldn’t make a good rice substitute. My main concerns were the taste and the texture.

While the texture of the “rice” turned out to be a bit on the mushy side, the signature cauliflower taste was completely hidden by the fish sauce and sesame oil. I was super pleased to discover this! This dish is a bit on the spicy side thanks to the hot sesame oil and Habanero pepper. When I cook with peppers, I don’t remove all the seeds because the seeds give the dish kick but you can remove the seeds if you see fit.


“rice” ingredients.

  • 1 tsp. (hot) sesame oil
  • 2 T. avocado (or other lightly flavored) oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 16 oz or 4 c. finely chopped (riced) cauliflower
  • 2 T. fish sauce

chicken ingredients.

  • 2 T. avocado (or other lightly flavored) oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 2 T. Habanero pepper, minced (about three small)
  • 2 c. chopped, raw, chicken breast
  • 2 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. sugar or sugar substitute
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, Julienned
  • 3 c. fresh spinach leaves
  • fried eggs for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 T. avocado (or other) oil in a medium-sized pan.
  2. Add the 4 cloves garlic, ginger, and chilis and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and sizzling.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan and stir occasionally – cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Add the fish sauce, sugar, fresh basil and spinach – stir and cook until the chicken is coated and the basil and spinach are wilted – about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. When you first add the chicken to the pan, begin cooking your “rice” in a separate large saute pan. Add 2 T. avocado oil, 1 tsp. sesame oil and pinch of ginger to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Add the two cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  6. Add the cauliflower and fry over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the fish sauce and stir well, cooking for another 3 minutes. The cauliflower should be softened and browned, with most of the liquid evaporated.
  8. Remove from the heat and transfer the cauliflower rice to a serving dishes. Top with the chicken and a fried egg.


This dish is AMAZING and sounds relatively simple but takes a bit of juggling to pull off. I would suggest having EVERYTHING prepped so you can just throw everything into the pan when required. As stated in the above directions, I suggest cooking the chicken, rice and eggs simultaneously (it will require some good timing on your part) so that all the ingredients are hot when you’re plating the food.

This recipe made about three servings.

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