This flavorful vegan, grain-free chili-garlic cauliflower fried rice requires just 7 ingredients and 30 minutes of time. Riced cauliflower and sliced scallions are pan-fried in coconut oil until golden and lightly caramelized. Then, a tangy, salty, and spicy glaze of tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili-garlic sauce is added to the pan to finish the dish.
I’ve been on a bit of a chili-garlic kick lately. I blame these tasty noodles for initiating the craze, and I’m going to blame this no-words-delicious cauliflower “rice” for my spiral into chili oblivion.
There seems to be no way out of my obsession, and I’m coming to terms with this fact. Call me crazy, but I like a little spice in my life. And when spice meets warm, garlicky cauliflower rice? It’s over. And by “over” I mean there is no stopping my spoon-to-bowl movements until there is but a grainless-granule left.
Just take a quick look at this bowl of hot goodness. Can you fault me?
This “rice” isn’t rice at all. Rather, it’s a big ol’ hunk of cauliflower that’s been grated into a rice.
As you cook the “rice,” you want it to caramelize in your pan to enhance the flavors and truly resemble fried rice. To make this happen, it’s important to extract the excess water from the cauliflower prior to cooking. So, a quick and slightly fancy trick is to add the riced cauliflower to a piece of cheese cloth or a nut-milk bag and squeeze as much of the water out as possible. It takes a bit of muscle, patience, and time (i.e., 5-10 minutes) to really work the water out of raw cauliflower, but it’s an important step and totally worth the extra work. Plus, all that squeezing = a form of kitchen therapy. So get your squeeze on and watch those
nagging emotions water droplets fall out of your life cauliflower.
After you’ve squeezed the excess water from the cauliflower, you’ll add it to a pan in which you’ve already been cooking up some sliced scallions in a dab of coconut oil.
You’ll cook the cauliflower for a few minutes and then add a mixture of tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili-garlic sauce to the pan.
Then it’s time to turn. up. that. heat. Like literally turn up the heat on the stove so that you get a subtle caramelization going on in your pan. After just five or so more minutes of cooking, you’ll be left with an unstoppable, light, and make-again-worthy batch of cauliflower fried rice.
Chili-Garlic Cauliflower Fried "Rice"
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1/2 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 2/3 cup sliced scallions
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce or to taste
- Cut and trim the cauliflower into florets.
- Rice the cauliflower by either processing it in a food processor with a grater attachment, pulsing it in a food processor with a s-blade, or grating it by hand with a cheese grater.
- Transfer the riced cauliflower to a large piece of cheese cloth or a nut-milk bag. Twist the cloth and squeeze as much water as possible from the cauliflower. If you work at this for 5-10 minutes, you'll be able to squeeze 1/4-1/2 cup of water out of the cauliflower.
- Add the coconut oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat.
- Add in the scallions and cook them for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the riced cauliflower and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the scallions and cauliflower are cooking, add the tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili-garlic paste to a small bowl. Whisk together for 15-30 seconds.
- Add the sauce to the pan, turn up the heat to medium-high, and cook for 5-7 minutes (stirring frequently) or until the "rice" develops a nice golden color throughout.
- Divide the rice up between bowls and garnish with fresh scallions, if desired.
- Refrigerate leftovers.