Cauliflower rice is an excellent alternative to the staple sources of grainy carbohydrate enriched dishes like Fried Rice or Couscous. It is a dish that you prepare from tiny grated pieces of cauliflower. If you are a grain-free food enthusiast, this should be a favorite on your wish list.
Although you might not find it worthy of being labeled as “palatable” to your tastes, it does stand out from the crowd. Not only that, but you could also use riced cauliflower in different meals like filling in burritos. If you don’t mind grains, fried rice and cauliflower couscous could be a good meal for a day.
What is Cauliflower Rice?
Cauliflower rice, as mentioned above, is a dish that you can prepare from one of the tastiest cruciferous veggies, the Cauliflower. Since it is the main dish for the meal of the day, you could cook this as a replacement for your staple food, such as rice or bread.
Unless you are an anti-grain consumer, this is still a good alternative, and trying this out is a must. I, myself, have been doing a lot of digging about this particular dish recently ever since I had this unknowingly in a Sunday Brunch. It turns out, the meal did actually live up to my expectations and did not just appeal to my palate as a first impression.
Cauliflower can be shredded in different ways. The most convenient way you could do it is to blend the cauliflower in your best blender, preferably a powerful desktop model like VitaMix 5300 Blender. Take cauliflower and cut off the leaves and stem. Next, cut the cauliflower in quarters.
Then, cut out the cores in the quarters individually. Next, put the cores in the blender and keep blending till the veggie turns into grains.
Finally, put your blended cauliflower grains in a rice cooker or on the pan and cook with seasonings of your choice.
How to Shred Cauliflower in Blender?
Here is the step by step guide to shredding a cauliflower for your convenience:
- Take the cauliflower on a chopping board and lay it on the board in such a way that the stem is visible.
- Cut out the stem and the leaves carefully from the bottom.
- Cut the cauliflower into four quarters of more or less the same size.
- Next, separate each of the cores of the quarters with your hands.
- Chop the inseparable ones with a knife.
- Take them in a blender and put the lid on.
- Start blending as long as it does not grate according to your desired size.
The last step might vary from person to person based on the texture of the blend they like. More than often, there are variations even in blending.
Some prefer putting the cauliflower in the blender without adding any water in a usual way. In contrast, others just need a finer blend. This is when you need to add a bit of water to the cauliflower cores after putting them inside the blender.
There are even two ways of blending. You could pulse twice or thrice till you get the desired blend, and the other times, you could blend at a low speed for up to a few seconds for a finer consistent cut.
Other Methods of Shredding Cauliflower
There are different ways of shredding cauliflower to shred rice.
You could grate the cauliflower with a food processor, a box grater and simply go all-in with your knife and hands.
You can use the box grater to grate your cauliflower finely. Simply cut out the stem and leaves as before, cut the cauliflower into quarters, and eventually into larger chunks. Then just choose the medium-sized holes for grating and grate away.
Next up is the food processor. The process is to cut them into smaller chunks and then use the grater attachment to grate into fine grains of rice.
In the end, the simplest way is to chop away into small pieces with your chef’s knife. It is lengthy but a process that requires the minimum usage of tools. Simply cut the florets from the stem. Next, keep mincing them into smaller pieces as long as the pieces don’t resemble the size of a grain of rice.
How to Cook Cauliflower Rice
There are various ways to cook cauliflower rice. Once you are done grating and mincing, the riced cauliflower is ready to be prepared.
One way is to eat the minced vegetable without any cooking since it becomes very edible. It tastes terrific as a salad but does not actually come very near to a substitute of rice if that is how you want to have it.
Another way is to steam it after putting it on cheesecloths. Although the process is pretty hectic as the grains get stuck, the texture you get might just be worth it.
Cooking the cauliflower rice with water before or after steaming like plain rice makes the food mushy or soggy. This is not something I liked, as it turned out to be disastrous for me.
Microwaving is one of my most preferred ways of cooking this dish. Just stir with a tablespoon of oil for a while. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap with minimal water inside and then microwave for 3 minutes. I noticed that the texture was intact. The fine grains were softer but not sticky or mushy enough.
You could merely sauté the veggie by heating up a pan with olive oil and cooking it lightly over the stove. This one turned out to have a creamier texture than the microwaved one.
The best is yet to come. You can simply turn up the heat and roast the cauliflowers at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. This one had a sweeter caramelized texture. This process has the best taste and can be served as a side dish too.