How to CookVegetable

The Technique to Turn Any Vegetable into "Rice"

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If the spiralizer craze of 2016 taught us anything, it’s that we all love to experiment with vegetables impersonating carbs. We noodled with zucchini and carrots and fennel and beets—some successful, while others had us dreaming of spaghetti. And now, one of the spiralizer’s biggest fans is ready to tackle a new starch: rice.

In her latest book, Inspiralized & Beyond, The New York Times bestselling author Ali Maffucci describes how the spiralizer can transform all sorts of vegetables into rice-like bits.

Are Spiralizers Here to Stay? These (Very Different) Books Bet Yes
Are Spiralizers Here to Stay? These (Very Different) Books Bet Yes

“I find spiralized rice to be the most rice-like alternative to true rice,” she writes. “Select your spiralized vegetable based on what kind of dish and flavor you’re going for. Spiralize your vegetable of choice, then pack the noodles into a food processor and pulse until broken down into rice-like bits.“

With this technique, all sorts of vegetables open up to ricing: butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, daikon, jicama, kohlrabi, parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes...

By spiralizing, then pulsing any of these vegetables, you get the thinner, rice-like texture than simply pulsing in the processor.

"Its consistency is firmer and more solid than a fluffy cauliflower rice, and because you can spiralize twenty-five to thirty different vegetables, you can make that many spiralized rice varieties," Maffucci says.

However, if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can still DIY vegetable rice. Similar to the technique to make cauliflower rice, just pulse chopped pieces of your vegetable of choice in a food processor until everything’s grain-sized. Make sure not to over-pulse, or it'll turn into a paste.

Curious? Replace cauliflower “rice” with a new variety in one of these recipes:

Spicy “Rice” and Bean Salad

Spicy “Rice” and Bean Salad by Ali Slagle

Bacon & Egg Fried Cauliflower Rice

Bacon & Egg Fried Cauliflower Rice by Kristin Donnelly

Crunchy-Shell Cauliflower Tacos

Crunchy-Shell Cauliflower Tacos by Emma Laperruque

Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous

Spice Merchant Cauliflower Couscous by QueenSashy


Are you a fan of alternative rice? Share thoughts in the comments below!

Tags: Tips & Techniques, Books