by Justin Chapple

If you’ve ever heard of a zoodle (translation: a zucchini noodle), then you already know that one way to cut back on carbs is to replace them with lookalike veggies. Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorites: cauliflower “rice.” That’s what you get when you shred cauliflower with a box grater. I stir-fry those faux grains with ginger and garlic, fold in lime juice, chile sauce, and other zesty flavorings, and end up with a guiltless version of a Chinese takeout favorite.

CAULIFLOWER FRIED “RICE” WITH GINGER AND SOY is excerpted from JUST COOK IT © 2018 by Justin Chapple. Photography © 2018 by David Malosh. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

  • 1 (2-pound) head cauliflower, leaves discarded
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup julienned or shredded carrot
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Quarter the cauliflower through the core. Hold a box grater firmly on a cutting board or in a large, shallow bowl. Holding one quarter of the cauliflower by the core, shred it on the large holes of the box grater in short movements until only the core is left in your hand; discard the core. The short movements form the best “rice,” whereas long movements will create shreds that resemble flaked coconut. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Transfer the cauliflower “rice” to a medium bowl (you should have about 5 cups).

Step 2

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs with a generous pinch of salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the egg and swirl it around the bottom of the pan. Let cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is very lightly browned and the egg is nearly cooked through (you’ll see just a little bit of runny egg on top), 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg over itself to form a half-moon. Let cook for 30 seconds, then slide it onto a work surface. Let the egg cool slightly, then cut it into ½-inch pieces.

Step 3

In the same nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons canola oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring, until just crisp-tender and hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in the eggs, cilantro, scallion, carrot, lime juice, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Season generously with salt, transfer to bowls, and serve with lime wedges.

The uncooked cauliflower “rice” can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.