So… I don’t actually like cauliflower. For one, it doesn’t have the most appealing smell or produce the most appealing smells upon digestion, if you know what I mean.
But at the same time, I think cauliflower is too easily overlooked. In the paleo world, this humble cruciferous vegetable is highly regarded by some as a “superfood,” being transformed into outlandish things. The two most popular ways of preparing it is in “rice” form or as mashed “faux” tatoes.
When I first went paleo, cauliflower was barely palatable unless it was disguised with a ton of flavour. I could say the same today — “riced” cauliflower, “cauli-rice” or “faux” rice only makes it on my plate if it is well seasoned so it just doesn’t taste like cauliflower at all.
One of the ways I’ve grown accustomed to is cauliflower fried rice. What’s not to like about it: it’s a one dish meal, uses up leftovers, takes less than 30 minutes to make and most important, doesn’t taste like cauliflower.
If you’ve been skeptical about trying cauliflower rice, you need to give this homely looking spicy recipe a try.
This recipe is based off a popular Indonesian staple, nasi goreng which really just translates to “fried rice”. Traditionally this Indonesian version of fried rice uses shallots, chillies, garlic, shrimp paste and a sweet soy sauce known as keycap manis as the main seasonings. I used coconut aminos with a little honey to mimic the flavour of the sweet sauce but you can leave out the honey if you wish.
Since fried rice is really meant to use up leftovers what you decide to put in it depends on you. I put whatever is lurking around in the fridge like roast chicken and whatever vegetables are on their last leg.
And before you go off, I urge you to top it off with an over easy egg. I know I have a habit of putting an egg on everything but it really is non-negotiable here. That’s how the Indonesians do it. Put an egg on it.
Paleo Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
- One small head of cauliflower OR ½ of a large , cut into florets
- 2 medium sized shallots, roughly chopped
- 2-4 medium red cayenne peppers, deseeded and deribbed*
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon, anchovy paste (or 1 teaspoon shrimp paste)
- ⅓ cup coconut aminos
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups leftover chicken, shredded
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4-6 large eggs
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, tallow or schmaltz for frying
- Toppings/garnishes: crispy fried shallots, sliced green onions, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes
*Note: take a little nibble of the cayenne pepper to get a gage of its potency. This dish is meant to be spicy so add more or less peppers depending on the heat level.
If you wish to top the cauliflower fried rice with crispy fried shallots, filled a small pan with a few tablespoons of cooking fat on medium-heat and add a sliced shallot to the pan.
Fry the onions for 3-5 until they turn a deep golden-brown colour. Remove them with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined dish.
In a food processor, add the shallots, cayenne peppers and garlic.
Process the ingredients while scrapped down the sides a few times until the ingredients turn to a paste-like consistency.
Return the same pan in which the shallots were fried to medium-high heat and add the paste along with anchovy paste.
Fry the paste for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the coconut aminos and honey to the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Rinse out the food processor and “rice” the cauliflower by feeding the florets through the chute with the grating attachment or by pulsing the florets with the blade attachment until it achieves a couscous texture.
Put a large wok or frying pan on high heat with 2 tablespoons of cooking fat. Fry the beaten eggs into a scramble.
Add the vegetables and chicken in next and stir fry until the vegetables are tender.
Next, the riced cauliflower is added to the wok. Stir fry the ingredients for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Turn off the heat.
Add the chilli and coconut amino paste into the wok and mix until it’s evenly distributed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the green onions mix thoroughly.
Fry those eggs up.
Serve the eggs atop the cauliflower fried rice with crispy shallots, green onions and a side of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers to cut the heat.