Crispy Bacon Fried Cauliflower ‘Rice’

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Before you think I’ve turned Paleo, hear me out. I like rice, I really do. It’s essential for making risotto and all of the puddings at that Rice to Riches place in Soho. I’m pretty sure it’s the most commonly eaten food in the world. I don’t know. But sometimes, it’s good to mix it up. When you grate or pulse cauliflower in a food processor, it makes it…rice-like. It kind of blew my mind.

I’ve been teaching quite a few classes in Asian cuisine at work. It’s a nice break from Date Night Italian Cafe Romance (not a real class, but close).  There’s something admirable about showing up for a cooking class to learn how to make, say, Korean beef bulgogi, when just about every New Yorker has a #1 Asian Kitchen menu at their fingertips ready for delivery. Nothing makes me more happy than inspiring people to break their Seamless addiction. My job is funny sometimes.

This rendition on classic friend rice has two change-ups: that cauliflower ‘rice’ I mentioned and BACON. Yeah, bacon’s good. It’s played out, but whatever. It belongs in this fried rice. Everything else is pretty much business as normal. So if you HAVE to have rice, just sub in a few cups (leftover works best) for the cauliflower.

Kind of makes me reconsider Paleo. Except not.

 

Crispy Bacon Fried Cauliflower ‘Rice’

Makes 2 main course servings

  • 2 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
  • 1″ piece ginger, peeled minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, thick stem removed, grated or pulsed*
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or more, to taste)
  • 1 large organic egg, beaten
  • Sesame oil, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Sriracha, for garnish (optional)

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and render, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon onto a paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet. Add white bits of scallion and ginger and saute, stirring occasionally, until scallion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add carrot and saute a few minutes more. Add ginger and saute for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the cauliflower ‘rice’ and increase heat to high. Cook cauliflower, stirring occasionally until tender and a bit crispy, about 5-10 minutes. You may add a swirl of oil (such as grapeseed or coconut) if it starts to get dry. You want some crispy bits of cauliflower.

Stir in peas and tamari. Add egg and stir vigorously to scramble the egg. Taste and add more tamari if you’d like. Serve hot topped with crispy bacon, sesame oil, sesame seeds and green scallion. And sriracha. Always sriracha

*Making cauliflower rice is easy. Pull out your big food processor and pulse the florets until small and rice-like. Or, go old school and grate it on the medium holes of a box grater. Either works.

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