Advertisement

Be Sure To Factor In The Flavor When Substituting Cauliflower For White Rice

herby cauliflower rice in bowl
herby cauliflower rice in bowl - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

Alternative foods made of cauliflower, like frozen pizzas and chicken fingers, have become rather popular in recent years. It's an easy ingredient to swap with traditional foods to get a potentially more nutritious meal, like ditching white rice for riced cauliflower. Cauliflower rice is a great switch in burrito bowls and other rice-forward dishes, but if you expect the same flavor — think again. That's because it will require a little more work for the cauliflower version of rice to have enough flavor as well as a successful ricey texture.

Cauliflower in general has a mild taste, so expect the riced version to be about the same. However, it's not quite as neutral as regular rice because it has a gentle vegetal flavor similar to cabbage, a bit like how you might expect a bite of the raw vegetable to taste. You can't change the flavor, but you can use stocks, spices, and herbs to achieve a different taste. This goes for those frozen bags of pre-made cauliflower rice from the grocery store and homemade versions. You could start off by enhancing our own super-simple cauliflower rice recipe.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Don't Boil Riced Cauliflower Or It Will Become Mushy

Cauliflower rice in food processor
Cauliflower rice in food processor - Lisovskaya/Getty Images

Unlike regular rice, the cauliflower version does not need to be boiled in broth or water. In fact, it doesn't soak up liquids in the same way as grains, so riced cauliflower will turn out mushy if you try this technique. Instead, steam or saute the cauliflower rice. It's during this process that you can add ingredients to alter the vegetable's natural flavor. When working with frozen cauliflower rice, some versions come in a microwavable bag — but you don't have to follow those instructions. Instead, break open the bag. Then add a neutral oil to a pan, saute minced garlic or finely-chopped onion until translucent then add the cauliflower rice and cook for a few minutes.

To add even more flavor, consider butter or ghee instead of oil. You can also add a couple teaspoons of chicken or veggie broth to infuse flavor, but don't add too much or you won't get the rice-like texture. Experiment with spices like paprika, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, or turmeric depending on what you're serving the rice with. Dried herbs also work well in riced cauliflower. For a touch of acidity, add some lemon or lime juice along with some zest. Cilantro and lime cauliflower rice tastes great with taco salads or burritos: Just add jalapeno, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and zest. Or for garlic herb cauliflower rice, saute the vegetable rice with minced garlic and a mix of cilantro, dill, and parsley.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.