The first time I tried substituting “cauliflower” for rice in an Asian dish, I liked it enough but didn’t love it. There was something about the texture that didn’t thrill me. It was a great substitute and a great way to make a dish healthier but it was missing something.
About a week or so I bought a bunch of veggies intending to veggie-it-up a bit in life and a week went by and I realized most my veggies were still in my fridge! I hate, hate, hate wasting food so tonight I stepped to it and began prepping for some veggie dishes for tonight’s dinner and the next few days.
I continue to buy riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s with no real concept of what I want to do with it. It basically just seems like a good idea at the time and then it sits in my fridge staring at me. About a month or so I actually tossed out a package that had gone bad. I would not let that happen to this new package So I found a recipe that looked somewhat intriguing that I thought would pair well with the last ahi tuna steak in my fridge: fried “rice.” The recipe called for bacon (bacon makes everything better, right?) and several other recipes I have on tap also called for bacon, so I decided to fry up all the bacon in my fridge (approximately 1 1/2 pounds) in an effort to motivate myself to eat all the veggies that are slowly dying in my fridge.
- 1 16-oz package of riced cauliflower (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 2 oz bacon ends and pieces chopped into large chunks (or regular bacon will work too)
- 1 extra-large egg
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 3 to 6 T. bacon grease
- 1 T. fish sauce
- 1 T. soy sauce
- 1 ½ tsp. garlic, minced
- Spread cauliflower out onto a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees until cauliflower starts to turn brown and crisp. Stir occasionally. This took me at least 30 minutes. May have been closer to 60. I wasn’t paying oodles of attention to the time.
- Fry bacon until very crisp. Drain grease if there is a ton but try to keep around 3 tablespoons, if possible. I can’t remember how much bacon grease I used. I had my grease in a mug and began pouring more into the pan when I thought I needed it. Add baked cauliflower and stir into the bacon and grease. Let fry for a few minutes as you slice the scallions and get your egg and sauces prepared.
- Add garlic and scallions to the pan and stir to combine. Add sauces and let the rice cook through a bit.
- After a few minutes, push your cauliflower to one side of the pan, adding your slightly beaten egg and allow the mixture to cook.
- Mix everything in well, chopping the egg up to form smaller pieces as you mix.
- Top with your favorite protein. I used Ahi Tuna but that’s because I had it on hand. It was delicious though!
I actually think this recipe could make one big bowl of fried rice but I could not power through the whole thing. There’s so much fat in this dish I got full about less than half-way through. I ate about half the dish though because it was so freaking good! I don’t know if baking the cauliflower helped my case or not (I was trying to avoid mushy “rice”) but I believe that cooking the rice in bacon grease at least helped to cover up that skunky cauliflower taste that clings to cauliflower no matter how you try to hide it.
I had intended to cook the rice in a hot sesame oil but was disappointed to learn that I’d used all my sesame oil the last time I’d made cauliflower “rice” when I went to make this dish tonight. That being said, the bacon grease probably worked out as good if not better. I’d like to try a mixture of bacon grease and sesame oil next time, maybe.