After trying and tasting multiple cauliflower rice recipes, finally I have arrived at my holy grail recipe of cauliflower rice which is hundred percent fail-proof and guarantee the fluffiest cauliflower rice every time!
Cauliflower rice is everywhere! Don’t you feel so? I do! So today I am joining the bandwagon too with my fail-proof recipe of cauliflower rice! Trust me, you need this trendy thing in your life! And when it’s coming from a cauliflower hater, you gotta believe me! After trying and ending up with mushy cauliflower mess multiple times, finally I have arrived at the ultimate cauliflower rice recipe which will let you achieve the fluffiest cauliflower rice every time you make it, that’s a guarantee from me! I would suggest you to take note of even the smallest of details to turn your cauliflower rice a success and not a lump of cauliflower mess like I did first few times. Once you get the hang of it, trust me, you would fall for it so badly that there would be no looking back. I had literally lost all hope of making the perfect cauliflower rice by myself and was trying to convince myself that it’s all a gimmick. On my hub’s request, I agreed to give it one final try after watching hundreds of videos and reading thousands of blogs and yes! Finally, I could do it!
Cauliflower is a very common, I would say over-used, vegetable in Indian cooking and I was never fond of it. But this cauliflower rice is completely a different ball game and I bet you too would get hooked to it just like me! The florets of cauliflower, when pulsed into smaller bits, resemble rice grains so closely that I must admit whoever discovered this dish couldn’t have named it any better. Once you serve the all decked up stir fried cauliflower rice on your dinner table, I can assure you that no one will be able to guess that it’s not the traditional fried rice but the trendy cauliflower fried rice until they take their very first bite! If you are looking for low-carb recipes or on some special diet like Keto, then this stir fired cauliflower rice is just the ideal option for you when you are craving for some fried rice. This is not only tasty but quite filling and pairs beautifully with some stir fried chicken. But, one disclaimer which I must add here! Even though I honestly loved this cauliflower rice with all its veggies and scrambled eggs, I would never say that this would replace a traditional fried rice; not at least for me! I am a rice-loving soul and would always crave for some; but for those days when you want to cut on your carbs by eating something trendy, then there could be no better option than this stir fried cauliflower rice! I guarantee that!
Okay, now let’s talk about few important stuffs in order to churn out the perfect cauliflower rice which would look like that perfect pin you saved last week. First thing first, you need a very fresh cauliflower. The fresher the cauliflower is, the firmer it would be and firm cauliflower is equal to best cauliflower rice. Cauliflower turns soft very quickly, so when you are picking a very fresh one keeping cauliflower rice on your mind, make sure to make it within a day or two, no later than that! While choosing a cauliflower, look for the large heads with tightly packed florets. So, now you are sorted with the right cauliflower for your cauliflower rice. Next is making the rice out of your perfect cauliflower. Here you will need an equipment, the best one being a food processor. I tried using a blender but only to end up with mushed cauliflower; if any of you succeeded in ricing cauliflower using a blender, do let me know; I would love to know that. Coming back to food processor, you will have to use your chopping blade and pulse function to convert cauliflower florets into cauliflower rice. Also do not over crowd your food processor; since the chopping blade usually rotates at the bottom of any traditional food processor, florets at the bottom get chopped up too finely leaving the top ones un-pulsed. Pulse 6 to 7 medium sized florets at a time; once they resemble rice grain, transfer them to a plate and repeat the ricing process with remaining florets.
Before your start pulsing your cauliflower florets, another very important thing to ensure is to keep the florets very dry and don’t even think of washing the riced cauliflower, if you do then that’s the end of story! After I chop up the cauliflower head into florets, I rinse them thoroughly in tap water, then place them in a colander to let the excess water drip off for about 30 minutes. Since I already had couple of failed attempts in making cauliflower rice, I wanted to be extra sure about making the florets super dry. Hence, after letting the excess water drip off through the colander, I popped the florets inside the freezer for another 30 minutes. This really did the trick and I got really fluffy and best ever crispy cauliflower rice this time. You can try this too and let me know if it worked for you. You don’t even need to change the bowl; just pop the colander with florets inside the freezer and wait for 30 minutes; but no longer than that as ice crystals will start forming and you will again end up with excess moisture once thawed which is exactly what you don’t want. The final 2 important points to take note of are – firstly to use a large skillet, preferably non-stick, and not stock pot or pans with high side as they will hold the moisture inside as opposed to a skillet which will help quickly evaporate the water released from cauliflower while cooking. Secondly, while cooking your cauliflower rice, never ever overcrowd your pan and work in batches if needed. Since you are working with a vegetable, no matter how much dry they seem to be before cooking, they will definitely ooze out water while being cooked. If you add too much of cauliflower rice into the pan, they will release lot of water which will not evaporate at the same speed hence leaving you with nothing but a mushy cauliflower lump. So, cook in batches and on medium-high heat. If you can stick to the above tips & tricks, nothing can stop you from churning out the best ever cauliflower rice which, I bet, you yourself wouldn’t have seen yet anywhere on the net. Enjoy!
- Cauliflower – 1 large head (or about 4 cups of riced cauliflower)
- Onion – 1, medium, finely chopped
- Ginger – 1-inch piece, finely chopped
- Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves, minced
- Carrots – 2, medium, peeled & diced into small pieces
- Green peas – ½ cup
- Eggs – 2
- Light soy sauce – 2 tsp
- White vinegar – 2 tsp
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
- Salt and freshly crushed black pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped cilantro to garnish
- Cut the cauliflower heads into medium size florets. Wash them thoroughly and place the florets in a colander to let them become completely dry. Moisture is the main enemy of fluffy cauliflower rice, so you need to be extra-cautious to eliminate all possible sources of moisture.
- Once all the water drips out of the cauliflower florets, I put them inside the freezer for 30 minutes to make them extra dry. This really made a difference in getting the best ever cauliflower rice.
- Once your florets are completely dry, you will need to pulse them in your food processor using your chopping blade. Important point to remember here is not to put all florets into the process at the same time. Pulse 6 to 7 florets at a time until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs or rice. Take them out on a plate and repeat the ricing process with remaining cauliflower florets as above. (See notes below)
- To make perfectly fluffy cauliflower rice and avoid getting mushy lump of cauliflower, you need to use a large skillet. Do not use a stockpot or casserole or even a pan with high sides as they tend to hold the moisture inside the pan. A shallow skillet or frying pan is ideal for this job.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the large skillet. Once the oil is hot, drop in the minced garlic and chopped ginger. Sauté them on medium heat for a minute or until fragrant.
- Then add the chopped onion and fry them on medium high heat until the onion turns translucent and becomes soft. This would take about 4 to 5 minutes. You don’t need to brown the onion completely.
- Next add the diced carrots and green peas. I used fresh green peas which is why I added them along with carrots. If using frozen peas, add them later as specified below.
- Cook the carrots and peas on medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until they turn soft and cooked through. Add the vinegar and 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir fry the veggies to mix the seasoning well. Once the veggies are cooked through, take them out on a plate and set aside. If using frozen peas, add them just before taking the carrots out, stir fry quickly for a minute or so and then take them out.
- Beat the 2 eggs and season with a pinch of salt. If there is oil left in the skillet, no need to add extra oil for frying the egg. Add the beaten eggs and cook them until set. Then break them into small pieces to make scrambled eggs. Take the scrambled eggs out on a plate and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the same skillet and let it become hot. Once the oil is hot, add the riced cauliflower. If your skillet is not big enough, add only half of the cauliflower rice. This is important to ensure that your riced cauliflower don’t turn into a mushy lump as too much cauliflower rice will release lot of water and you will end up with mushy steamed cauliflower instead of fluffy cauliflower rice.
- My skillet was also not big enough to hold all the riced cauliflower at one go which is why I did it in 2 batches. After adding the cauliflower rice, spread them over the skillet evenly and let it cook on medium-high heat for couple of minutes without disturbing it. This will ensure that excess moisture evaporates out.
- Then stir fry the cauliflower rice on medium high heat until you get a nutty aroma which is the signature flavor of fried cauliflower, about 10 minutes. Season it with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to mix the seasoning thoroughly with the cauliflower rice.
- After about 15 minutes, once the cauliflower rice is completely cooked, add the fried carrots, green peas and scrambled eggs. If doing in batches, add half of the fried veggies & eggs reserving the rest for other half of the cauliflower rice. Mix everything well. Check and adjust for seasoning if needed.
- Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro and give a final mix. Serve the warm cauliflower rice with some stir fried chicken or veggies on the side. Enjoy!