Craving some Chinese takeout but you are trying to eat healthier? Looking for a tasty homemade alternative to fried rice? Try out my recipe for Ginger Soy Cauliflower Fried Rice with Asian BBQ Sauce. It’s packed full of flavor and bursting with a variety of veggies!!! Plus even though the ingredient list looks a bit daunting, it goes together fairly quickly.
I love rice and usually include brown rice in my diet regularly, but sometimes, I am just craving a meal that is filling but less starchy and this dish is perfect for those days!! In this recipe, grated cauliflower stands in for the rice, creating a texture similar to that of rice. Making this change to cauliflower rice, simply lowers the carbohydrates in this recipe a bit and boosts all the nutrients you get from the cauliflower. Thanks to all the veggies in this recipe, you will get over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin C and vitamin A!!!
Most of the flavor in the cauliflower rice comes from ginger and soy!! I love cooking with ginger because it adds such a brightness to the dish!! Plus ginger provides the body with lots of great health benefits!! You can read more about the health benefits of ginger and other spices in this blog post, Using Spices as a Healthy Seasoning. Also, the soy and oyster sauce gives the veggies that salty, earthy flavor you want in your stir fry. There is also tons of flavor in the Asian BBQ sauce that marinates the tofu. It has a slight spicy kick as well which you can amp up with some extra chiles or sriracha if you desire.
Change it up
And if you don’t like a veggie I am cooking with change it up!! Or maybe you want to throw something together on the fly with veggies you have on hand. Just about any vegetable that stir fries well can be used in this dish!! Some that I think would work well include: broccoli, napa cabbage, spinach and mushrooms. But get creative and make up your own combination. When choosing your veggies make sure you include some with some crunch as it I feel like it adds so much to the texture of the overall dish.
There are also many options for changing up the protein as well!! If you want to stay plant-based, consider using tempeh or maybe even some sprouted mung beans or lentils. But this marinade would also work well with shrimp or cold-water fish. A healthy diet can include a couple of seafood each week and your best choice is cold water fish so you get those essential omega-3 fatty acids in.
Kitchen tools to make this recipe easier and better
If you want to do stir fry right, I suggest investing in a wok. Stir fry cooking requires moving the food around a lot which can kind of get messy especially when you use a regular skillet that doesn’t have very high sides. The sides are much higher in a wok so you can move your food quickly and easily without a lot of mess. In addition, a wok typically provides even heat which means your food will cook more evenly. And from a health standpoint, cooking in a wok means you can use less oil, thus saving some calories and fat. This wok set pictured here from Amazon will work well for the home cook and costs less than $40.00!!
A tofu press is a lot less easier to use than the alternate method I recommend in this recipe. My preference is a firmer texture to tofu in most of my entree dishes and so I almost always press tofu before cooking. Tofu contains a lot of water and is even stored in water in the packaging. Pressing as much of the water out of the tofu before marinating and cooking contributes to a more firm texture. Having a tofu press just makes the process a whole lot easier!!
Prep ginger soy cauliflower fried rice ahead
This recipe looks a bit daunting, mainly because it has a lot of ingredients, but it actually goes together rather quickly. However, there are some additional steps you an take ahead of time to shave even more time off the actual cooking time for this recipe. Here’s my list of shortcuts and easy to do ahead of time prep to help you get this recipe on the table faster!!
- Press the tofu in the refrigerator either overnight or during the day while you are at work. Or you can even skip this step if you feel it isn’t all that important to you.
- Cut and prep all the veggies including the cauliflower rice in advance. Most of the veggies will hold 1-2 days in the refrigerator once prepped.
- Buy already prepared cauliflower rice and prepped vegetables if possible.
- Make the marinade for the tofu in advance.
This meal could easily be on the table in right around 30 minutes if you set aside a bit of time to prep ahead!!
Ginger Soy Cauliflower Fried Rice with Asian BBQ Tofu
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 small onion
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup snow peas
- ½ cup green onions tops only
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 T fresh ginger finely grated and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- ¼ tsp five spice powder
- 2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 package of extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup sake or dry sherry
- 2 T hoisin sauce
- 2 T ketchup
- 2 T miso
- 1 T fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1/8 tsp five-spice powder
- 2 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup water
- Layout a clean tea towel or cheesecloth on a baking sheet. Remove the tofu from the package and place the block of tofu on the tea towel and fold over to cover top of tofu. Place a heavy object such as a cookbook or heavy cooking pan on top. Allow it to sit for thirty minutes.
- Combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently. When time is up, remove from heat and set aside.
- Start prepping veggies while the tofu is pressing and marinating.
- Use a grater to cut the cauliflower into pieces similar to rice.* The cauliflower may fly around as you grate, Place the grater inside a large bowl so that it doesn’t make as much mess.
- Cut the onion into medium diced pieces.
- Cut the bell pepper in half and clean out the seeds and ribs of the pepper. Cut into thick strips and then into ½ pieces.
- Peel carrots and slice into small pieces on a bias/angle. If pieces are too large in diameter, cut in half.
- Cut ends off of snow peas and remove any strings. Cut each one in half or thirds on a bias/angle.
- Cut the green parts of the green onions into ½ inch pieces on an angle.
- After pressing tofu, thinly slice tofu into ¼ slices. Place tofu in a baking dish and pour BBQ sauce over it. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
- After marinating, remove tofu from marinade, shaking to remove excess marinade and place the tofu onto a lightly sprayed baking pan. Cook the tofu in the oven for 10 minutes on each side. Brush on the extra marinade while the tofu is cooking with a pastry brush.
- Start rice about halfway through the tofu cooking time.
- Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and five spice together and set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat up canola oil. When hot, add the onions and carrots. Cook until slightly softened, about five minutes stirring frequently. Next add bell pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add snow peas next and cook 2 more minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds then add cauliflower and soy sauce mixture, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, moving veggies around so that everything evenly cooks. Add green onions and bean sprouts, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes or just long enough to heat.
Did you make this recipe? I want to hear about your experience cooking and eating it!! Please take a few minutes to leave me a comment and also to rate the recipe in the card!! And if you cook it and post pictures of it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @cookeatlivelove.
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