I am always looking for delicious low carb dinner ideas, and cauliflower is an excellent substitute for many things, such as rice and potatoes. This recipe is so great because it’s very versatile, fresh, flavorful, and you can feel good about eating it!
If you’re new to cauliflower rice, you are going to be converted REALLY quickly. You can of course buy a whole head of cauliflower, chop it up, and give it a few pulses in your food processor. However, cleaning the food processor is a huge pain, so no thank you. Just purchase a bag of frozen, pre-riced cauliflower at your local grocery store. I generally cannot stand frozen veggies, but this is one of the few exceptions!
Also note that you can leave the bacon out of this dish if you want it to be vegetarian, or you can even add MORE meat (such as chicken or shrimp) if you want it to be a bit more substantial. I served it alongside some delectable pan-seared Dover sole, which was perfectly light enough to complement but not overpower the yummy rice (the clear star of the show!).
Now, you will notice there are a TON of ingredients listed in this recipe. All of these ingredients and garnishes make this rice truly sing, but at the same time, I don’t know how strong everyone’s Asian sauce pantry game is… so the key to the liquid mixture is really salty umami flavor (soy sauce, fish sauce), some kind of sweetener (sugar, honey), acidity (mirin, vinegar) and a thickener (oyster sauce, honey). You can use whichever combination of those elements that suits you – just taste your way through experimenting with them until you get the perfect blend.
Lastly, regarding the parsley I have listed instead of cilantro in this obviously Thai dish – what did you really expect?! Hey, my recipe, my rules! Just kidding (kind of). Sub in cilantro if you want; in fact, J insists that you do just that 😀
Cauliflower Fried Rice with Bacon
1 12 oz package frozen cauliflower rice, defrosted but still cold
5 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped (reserve 2 tbs of bacon grease)
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs honey
1 tsp mirin
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbs minced ginger
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole scallions, chopped
2 tbs chopped toasted peanuts or almonds
1/2 cup parsley
1 Thai chile pepper, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut in half
- Whisk together the oyster sauce, mirin, fish sauce, honey, sugar, and half of the ginger in a small bowl. Taste and adjust as necessary. Set aside.
- Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet over high heat, and add the onion and red bell pepper to the pan. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, the Thai chile pepper, and the rest of the ginger to the pan, and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add the riced cauliflower, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the sauce mixture, and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until fully incorporated. Stir in the chopped bacon.
- Transfer the contents of the skillet to a serving dish, and squeeze the juice of the lime over the rice. Top the rice with the scallions, chopped nuts, and parsley. Serve immediately.