Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paleo Fried Cauliflower Rice (Alternate Title: Ricky Takes Crappy Pictures)

This is the first and last decent picture in this post.
 Before I even get started on this one, I've got a confession. This dish isn't "Technically Paleo." It's super close, and I'm going to tell you which ingredient to substitute to make it not just "Technically Paleo," but also "Seriously, Conforms-To-The-Letter-And-The-Spirit-Of-Paleo-Law Paleo," but as written, it does have one verboten ingredient - soy sauce.

Most soy sauce is vile stuff, made more from weirdly processed wheat than soy beans. The soy sauce I used isn't like that. It has exactly three ingredients - water, soy beans, and alcohol. No Gluten, no hydrolized wheat proteins. Since it has three ingredients, I know what they all look like, and I could, conceivably, put them together into their combined product without a laboratory, I'm OK with using a tablespoon of this particular soy sauce even though soy beans violate the "no legumes" rule. If you are not OK with it, you can still make this dish by Googling, purchasing, and using something called "coconut aminos" instead of the soy sauce. So, here's the recipe:


5 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces,
1 medium onion, diced coarsely
2 cups of riced cauliflower (steamed in the microwave or leftover from another meal)
1 egg
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1/4 cup chopped spring onions

Wok (Recommended, but a large pan will work OK)

First, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until it is browned completely (it should basically look like bacon bits). If you've got a spiffy electric wok like mine, that's about 350 degrees.

This bacon is not done yet. When it's done, you will want to eat it. Don't. You will burn yourself.

When the bacon is done, move it to the edge of the wok, and place the onion in the center. You will probably have plenty of bacon fat in the wok. Leave it there.

Sorry about the pictures this time around. I should have focused better.
When the onion is translucent, but not browned, move it to the side of the wok  and add the cauliflower.
The onions kept sliding back into the center of the wok. If that happens, just put the cauliflower on top of them.
Mix everything together and cook for about 2 minutes.
Starting to look like fried rice
Make an empty space in the middle of the wok, and add the egg to it. Scramble the egg.

Don't mix the egg into the cauliflower until it has cooked through. Just scramble it in the little well you made.
Once the egg is cooked, mix it into the cauliflower and add the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

Looking pretty good. Almost done.

Allow everything to cook for about 2 minutes, and mix in the scallions immediately before serving.

  • A wok works well for this dish, because it allows you to cook one ingredient, and then move it up to the sides (where the wok is cooler) while you cook the next ingredient in the middle. If you use a regular pan, this method might not work so well. To compensate, you could cook the bacon, remove it from the pan, cook the onion, remove it from the pan, etc. Then toss everything back together and cook for a few minutes at the end.
  • Because cauliflower has very little starch, it won't really brown the way that rice does. If you're waiting around for the cauliflower to brown, you're going to burn the onions, so don't do that.
  • This is a basic fried rice that works well as a side dish. You could make it into a main dish by adding some more substantial protein. I've tried shrimp, thinly sliced beef, and chicken, and they've all worked out well. If you use any of those, you should cook them seperately first, and add them just before the soy sauce.
  • This is a good way to use up leftover cauliflower rice. An average head of cauliflower makes about twice as much cauliflower rice as Miriam and I can eat in a sitting, so we always have plenty left over.

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