Servings: 6 Prep: 10 min Cook: 5 min Total: 15 min
When going to a low carb way of eating, one of the very first things to go is “rice”. I love rice. It’s delicious and comforting! What now?!
Cauli-Rice is a rice substitute, made out of cauliflower. When I first read about Cauli-Rice, I thought, “That’s silly. It won’t taste like rice!” I avoided it for the longest time, simply because I didn’t believe it could be a good substitute. Many months later, I had some leftover Indian Curry, from a friend. This seemed like a good opportunity to try it. So, I did. It was great! It COMPLETELY hit the spot. What I didn’t realize what that the rice is so much about the texture and to serve more as a vehicle for the “stuff” on top. Cauliflower is such a light taste, you can’t taste it. You just get that pleasing rice texture, some good nutrients, a little fiber and … you get rice back!
It’s so easy to make, it’s great with curries, in soups, as fried rice, with jambalaya, etc. Anywhere you’d use rice, you can use this!
(ok, not sushi, not risotto, but … you should get the point) em>
- 1 head large cauliflower
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the leaves and core from the cauliflower.
- With a cheese grater, grate the cauliflower over the largest grate section. This should give you grated cauliflower. (an alternative is to put it into a food processor and "pulse" the cauliflower, until it's small grains ... you don't want to puree it, which is why I like the cheese grater method)
- Place the grated cauliflower into microwaveable container season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a lid, or plastic wrap. If you use a lid, do not clamp it down. Simply place it on top, to allow some breathing. If plastic wrap is used, poke a few holes in the top. Steam needs to escape.
- Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and let sit for 1 more minute. (I don't have a microwave, so I usually use a Teflon pan, with a small amount of coconut oil in the pan. Over high heat, I sauté the cauli-rice for about 4 minutes, constantly tossing it around, to cook it evenly. The end result is the same!)
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14 thoughts on “Cauli-Rice”
If someone (like a husband) is really opposed to cauliflower, but loves fried rice dishes, but also desperately needs to be on a more low-carb diet — could he be fooled by this if I didn’t tell him that there is actually no ‘rice’ in the recipe? (Hate to do this to him, and probably would never do it in actuality, but I was just wondering. In other words, does it taste so much like fried rice that it’s not noticeable that it’s really cauliflower?)
The cauliflower rice is pretty obviously not rice, when you eat it. The smell is definitely cauliflower. It would be hard to hide what it is. However, when it’s used WITHIN something, or stir fried as a fried rice, it really does become much harder to detect. What I’ve been doing lately is combining about 1/2 of something called "Miracle Rice" (Google it). I wash it, then saute it with a little coconut oil, for about 5 minutes. This dries it out, firms it up and gets rid of the funny odor that the Miracle Rice has. After about 5 minutes, I add my raw grated cauliflower to the saute pan, and continue sauteeing, with a little salt and pepper, for a further 5 minutes. This has less carbs and is even MORE like rice! If asked, you could say something to the effect of, "It’s like an Israeli Cous Cous", rather than rice. This, stir fried as a bed under a curry, for example, is near impossible to detect as cauliflower. It’s very neutral, the texture is very good and it’s a GREAT substitute. I hope this helps!
Don’t grate it, it makes an awful mess, just bung the florets in a food processor and whizz up. You can use the stalk too.
It’s obviously not rice when you eat it but try frying it in butter until it is golden and nutty. Delicious and I used to HATE cauliflower.
Hi Wiflib, yep! There are many ways to do this. I’ve seen videos of people putting them in a blender with water and "pulsing" the blender to get the "rice", then straining out the water. My food processor is fairly small, so it’s not really very efficient for ricing a head of cauliflower and I’m stubborn and don’t trust the blender method (even though I’ve seen the videos). Realistically, this could even be done with a knife … just chop it until they are small bits. With a large food processor, or a grater attachment … this is probably the best way to go. I just don’t have that equipment. Thanks for the tips and the added info!
Thanks for having a vegetarian section. I am new to LCHF and struggling. Shoot me if I have to eat more cream or coconut… ok for a little while:) Having some basics like caulirice and crepes are an enormous help. PS: you are ahh-mahzing at photography! Every picture is gorgeous. Thanks for your time and effort, it is very much appreciated.
Thanks for the kind words, Keisha! I actually wish I had a more fully developed vegetarian section. While I’ve got LOADS of recipes, they’re all kind of … like salads and sides. It’s a decent enough of a list, but I really should dedicate some more time to "main dishes". It’s honestly always been a challenge for me, even when I was deep in the restaurant world. I seem to have writer’s block when it comes to that particular topic, sad to say. Out of curiosity, why are you struggling? Limited options? Too many cravings? Tell me a bit more and I’ll see if I’ve got any thoughts. Feel free to email me. Happy to help! 🙂
DJ…another low carb author recommends putting caul florets in a blender and then filling with water. Pulse and you have perfect caul rice in seconds. Pour through colander to remove water. Less mess, super fast, no purée issues. I tried it, really works. Thx for your Asian ideas…something new to try.
Hey, Frank. Yep, there’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW6UA90bnIo" target="_blank">a popular video</a> showing this. I’ve never tried it for a few reasons. 1. I’m chicken. 2. I have a small trashy blender. 3. Something about adding all that extra water to the surface of the cauliflower tidnibblets seems excessive. That said … perhaps the ease and lack of a mess is worth it. I HAVE heard good things and the video does make it look like a snap! … maybe some day. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂
A fantastic recipe is cilantro lime riced cauliflower. I cooked the cauliflower in some vegetable broth until tender, added fresh cilantro and lime juice. Tasted as good, if not better, than the cilantro lime rice at Chipolte.
I haven’t tried to rice cauliflower yet, but prep time is precious in my house. I would like to try it with the Miracle Rice, I think that’s a great idea. My question is will this keep in the fridge at all? If I could pre-make this and have it usable for 2 – 3 days that would be ideal. Ever tried?
Tracey … I do it all the time! I’ve never let it go more than about 4 days, but I’ve never had any kind of an issue with it. It’s been wonderful every time!
Could a ricer be used for this?
Hi Tracie, sorry for the delay. I moved. In any event … no. Not really, anyway. The cauliflower is raw when it’s "riced" and it would be too tough for any ricer that I’ve ever seen. It "may" work when it’s cooked, but … I’m honestly not sure what it would do. I fear it would more or less puree it … It "might" be worth trying, but mostly I think … no. Probably not. If you try and it works, please return to correct me!
Hi DJ, FYI, I wandered across a website that blended cauli-rice and cream cheese, cooled to firm up, then used to replace “sticky” rice in sushi rolls. Hm…. I wonder what else could be used to create that consistency? BTW, cooking fried cauli-rice with bok choy and left-over cooked chicken for supper tonight 🙂
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
Sure, you could do that, but … cream cheese and raw tuna belly … just makes me go all mushy in my brain. I mean … if you’re happy, I’m happy, but I just can’t help but think that pushes the boundaries too far into a weird area. At some point, I think it’s fair to say … just agree that once a month is sushi day and go out and enjoy some sushi, for real, rice, copious amounts of wasabi, green tea ice cream and a sake bomb, but … just be extra good the next day, plus do 100 jump squats. My mind rests a little easier than trying to smoosh balls of cream cheese coated cauliflower pearls into some fresh uni or fugu … Some of the time, it’s hard to unlearn near 30 years of chefs yelling their various opinions at you. It’s just a challenge for me to shake that off. Again, if you’re happy I’m happy! 🙂