One of the dinnertime staples of my childhood was Thai fried rice. We had it often, and I never grew tired of it. Instead, I eventually mastered it and it remained one of my go-to dishes for a long time—I even have former roommates who’ve said how much they missed that about living with me. (To be fair, I also have former roommates who couldn’t abide the strong smell of fish sauce, which is absolutely crucial to Thai fried rice. Unlike Chinese fried rice, the Thai variety does NOT use ginger, and fish sauce is a non-negotiable. I also make mine with Thai spicy basil.)
I moved to a new apartment recently, and now live quite near the Vietnamese neighborhood and thus have several GREAT East Asian grocery stores nearby. So many of my favorite ingredients, formerly hard for me to come by, are suddenly available, and on the cheap! Hooray!
I’ve made riced cauliflower dishes since going Paleo just over a year ago, but I believe this is the first time I’ve tried my fried rice with it, and oh, how I’ve missed it. What follows is my basic Thai fried rice recipe, made paleo by using riced cauliflower rather than basmati rice, and tamari rather than soy sauce.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get many pictures. But now that I know how successful this is, I’m sure I’ll make it again—and take pictures next time!
1 head of cauliflower, raw and riced in the food processor
3 chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
2 small-medium onions, diced
1.5 bell peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 eggs, beaten
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c. fish sauce (or to taste—I added a bit more)
1 T. tamari
2 T. oyster sauce
2 T. sugar (gasp! but it’s just a little considering how much rice this makes.)
2 t. white pepper
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 c. spicy Thai basil, roughly chopped
1 lime, sliced for garnish
Olive oil, for cooking (about 2-3 T.)
(You can obviously sub in your favorite veggies and/or protein, but this is my basic combination.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cooking until no longer pink. Add onions, garlic, peppers, and carrot, cooking to soften. Make a well in the center of the skillet and pour in beaten eggs, stirring to scramble. Give everything a good stir to combine before adding cauliflower, fish sauce, tamari, oyster sauce, sugar and pepper. Stir to mix and heat through and until cauliflower softens. Note that the cauliflower gives off a lot of water, unlike rice, so you may want to turn up the heat to cook some of the moisture off. Or just use a slotted spoon. Your call. Next, add green onions and basil and combine. Serve with a slice of lime.
The flavor combination of this is delicious and unique—very different from chinese-style fried rice. It’s also delicious cold as leftovers! Enjoy.