Don’t go looking for rice in this recipe. There is none. If you haven’t caught on with one not-so-recent food trend, cauliflower is finely chopped and cooked like Chinese-style fried rice. I’m not one to follow food trends but this cauliflower hack, I must admit, is truly delicious. I’ve cooked cauliflower “fried rice” before and Sam loved it. So, I came up with a new recipe that’s just richly textured and even more flavorful—mushrooms and salted egg cauliflower “fried rice.”
Asians are familiar with salted egg but non-Asians, perhaps, not so much. Click here to read more about this amazing Asian delicacy. For you non-Asian readers living outside of Asia, just walk into an Asian grocery and ask where you can find salted eggs. Chances are the store sells them and you probably just never noticed them before.
But is salted egg really essential to cook this dish? Yes. Without it, and even if you substitute regular hard-boiled egg, the dish won’t have the same flavor. The good news is that if your neighborhood Asian grocery does not sell salted eggs, you can just search Google for instructions on how to make them at home. You’ll have to make the salted eggs ahead of time though because the brining time takes at least two weeks (some recipes say even longer).
How do you chop the cauliflower so finely and with such uniformity? A food processor is the best tool for the job but, if you’re chopping just a small amount of ingredients, a non-electronic mini chopper (mine is from Tupperware) does the job equally well. In the absence of a food processor and a mini-chopper, just use a box grater.
For added color, flavor and aroma to the dish, I added chopped carrot and bell pepper to the cauliflower. And lots of scallions.
And, for the “meaty” factor, some thinly sliced mushrooms. I used white button mushrooms but shiitake will make the cauliflower “fried rice” even tastier.
This yield of this recipe is good for two people if the dish is served as a side dish. But, if it is the main dish, it’s just enough for one. There is no meat in this dish, so, despite the amount, it doesn’t give off the same feeling of “fullness” that meat dishes do. When I cook meatless dishes for Sam, I prefer to err on the side of “more” rather than “less”.
- 1 salted duck egg
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons carrot chopped
- 2 tablespoons bell pepper chopped
- 3 tablespoons scallions finely sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 button mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas (if using canned, drain them well)
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
Shell the salted duck egg. Chop one half. Slice the other half.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
Add the chopped carrot, bell pepper, two tablespoons of scallions and the minced garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Over medium-low heat, saute for about a minute.
Turn up the heat to medium. Add the sliced mushrooms and chickpeas to the sauteed vegetables. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about two minutes.
Turn up the heat to medium-high. Throw in the chopped cauliflower. Sprinkle in more salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the cauliflower is cooked but still a bit crunchy. Depending on how mature the cauliflower is, this can take anywhere from three to five minutes.
Add the chopped salted duck egg and toss. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
Ladle the mushrooms and salted egg cauliflower "fried rice" to a bowl. Garnish with the sliced salted egg and remaining scallions.