Cauliflower Fried Rice with Fresh Chiles

Aya Brackett

Aya Brackett

4 servings

45 minutes

If you’ve got cooked brown rice handy, this recipe will take no time at all.


1 small head cauliflower
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 small fresh chiles (like cayenne or Thai bird), seeded and cut into chunks, or to taste
5 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1½ pounds silken tofu, drained
4 scallions, greens and whites separated and chopped
2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice, chilled
¼ cup rice wine, dry white wine, or water
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 lemons, quartered


1. Cut just the florets (without much stem) off the cauliflower and chop into bite-sized pieces. Cut the stems into chunks. Put the ginger, garlic, and chiles in a food processor and pulse a few times, then add the cauliflower stems (not the florets) to the food processor and pulse until the pieces are chopped but not pureed. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more chile if you like.

2. Put 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the chopped cauliflower florets, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat if the mixture threatens to scorch. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil and the chopped stem mixture, and add it to the platter.

3. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Crumble in the tofu with your hands and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid cooks off and the tofu is golden and dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the tofu to the platter with the vegetables.

4. Put the remaining tablespoon oil in the skillet and add the white parts of the scallions. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring often and breaking up any clumps, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Return all the cauliflower and tofu to the pan and stir with a spatula to mix. Add the rice wine and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the sesame oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Turn off the heat, mix in the scallion greens, and serve with the lemons.

Recipe from Dinner for Everyone


Beans & GrainsMark Bittman