Chinese Pork and Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
First off, let me say that this is the happiest recipe I have made in a long time. It far exceeded my expectations. I love rice. But we all know how carb laden rice is, so eating copious amounts isn’t exactly healthy. So having gone on Weight Watchers, I was resigning myself to meals without….*sob*….rice.
But I have to thank Karen Booth over at Lavender and Lovage, one of my favorite food blogs! We’ve been friends for a very long time, and see a lot of each other’s work on FB every day. So Karen posted a photo of a delicious looking plate with what she called “Cauliflower Couscous”, and I said out loud…
It, in fact, looked like couscous, and if Karen posted it, I trust it implicitly. And to be sure, I have used cauliflower in the place of potatoes (and very successfully too) as well as roasting and mashing the Dickens out of it as mashed potatoes. And I know I heard about cauliflower as rice before, but I guess I shrugged it off the same way I shrugged off using cauliflower as a pizza crust. And to be honest, I wasn’t on a diet, so I didn’t really care to look any closer. I am quite fond of a gluten filled, slightly tangy/fermented pizza crust myself, if I want to be a snob about it.
Yeah. I can be a Major Food Snob about some things sometimes.
And not a snob at all about most others, so go figure. 😉
But I thought, what the heck, if I can make it as rice, why not try it for once? It couldn’t be any more vile than skim milk.
So I did. And while I am not going to post a recipe for how to make the rice unless it is a variant (of plain rice), I will explain how to do it. I trim it, separate the florets and pulse them in a food processor three or four times. I do NOT just turn the processor on. And then, I shake it into a bowl, sift out the bits that are larger than rice size, and pulse those a touch more. Be careful not to over pulse or you will get couscous instead of rice. It is better to err on the larger size.
I’ve read you can do this by hand with a box cheese grater (as if!) (but I guess…if you don’t have a food processor) (there was a time I didn’t have one, nor did anyone else, but I digress!). But it is so quick in the processor. If you are looking to save a few pennies, this is a good item to check marked down vegetables. Sometimes if the cauliflower gets a couple of brown spots the market will mark it down (and sometimes they leave it all at full price!). But if it isn’t “too past fresh white” it is easy work to trim those bits off, as you aren’t going to have a beautiful floret to look at anyway.
I heard you can freeze the rice after you prep it. I haven’t so I can’t really say. I’m not really fond of frozen cauliflower, as I seems oddly waterlogged, which is not something you want for this recipe. I guess frozen would be fine for soup. Anyway, I process a couple heads and I can have two to three bags of ready cauliflower to use within a couple days in my refrigerator.
To cook the rice, spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray, and cook it for 5-7 minutes, seasoning with a light amount of salt. Don’t overcook, as it gets mushy. Of course, you can flavor it with other things like garlic, caramelized onions, what have you (not for fried rice but general purpose) and if you want a pilaf, I suggest stirring in a bit of chicken or beef base, avoiding adding any watery broth as it is going to overcook the lot by the time it evaporates off. For the fried rice, you want to cook it plain (not even salt) as those flavors are added later in the recipe.
As for the fried rice, this new plan is a game changer for me. It doesn’t taste overly of cauliflower, although you can tell it is not rice (mainly because it isn’t very starchy). My brain cells were so happy with it that it is quite possible that I never make fried “rice” with real rice again! So whether you are watching your carbs or otherwise, this really is something you should try. It opens a world of possibilities!
Chinese Pork and Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice
WW SmartPoints (per cup): 2
- 12 ounces raw cauliflower
- nonstick spray
- 2 large eggs
- 4.5 ounces cooked boneless lean pork (one pork chop), matchstick cut
- 1/4 cup finely diced carrot
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 5.5 ounces raw small shrimp
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor a few times until ground to a size like rice.
- Chop pork and veggies (leave shrimp whole, but cleaned and deveined if needed).
- Spray a nonstick skillet and heat, lightly beat eggs and cook in the skillet and chop; set aside.
- Wipe out skillet. Reheat and add the pork, carrot and cauliflower and stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, thawed peas, and five spice and cook until cauliflower is firm but partially cooked.
- Stir in the shrimp, scallions, sesame oil and soy sauce and cook until shrimp are opaque and cooked through, curled, but not tightly so.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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