Broccoli is polarizing. I know fully-fledged adults who will only touch it if it’s buried under a blanket of melted cheese, or raw and dunked in a vat of ranch dressing. And I get it. Broccoli is often overcooked, mushy, and bland. And a lot read more
It’s official: Fall has arrived in Miami. We woke up this morning to 63 degree weather. I know most other places are already enjoying cooler temperatures but I was walking in 92 degree weather last week. And now finally we can enjoy our days without the oppressive humid heat. Windows are open, the sun is out, and it’s time to think about something warming and delicious.
I love a repurposed meal. Both because I’m very conscious about food waste, but also because I love getting to be creative in the kitchen and making last night’s meal into something new and exciting. This Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup makes delicious use of leftover chicken, whether it’s one you roasted the day before or a rotisserie chicken. A quick stock is made from the carcass, filled with warming ginger. The soup itself is filled with chicken meat and veggies. Riced cauliflower adds a hearty texture while fresh herbs and a squeeze of citrus keep things light and bright. This is the perfect soup to straddle the changing seasons, so let’s get into it.
First Make the Stock!
This is a very simple stock to make, just throw everything into a stockpot and let time do its thing. Yes in a pinch you can absolutely use store bought stock but it won’t be as fresh tasting or rich as this homemade one. To start, I remove all the meat from the chicken. I always save roast chicken carcasses. They are essentially free and you will be rewarded with an amazing homemade chicken stock. When I’m feeling extra motivated after dinner, I’ll stuff the carcass into a pot and cover it up with water. No extra seasonings, veggies, or herbs- maybe just some salt. It’s my lazy version but hey, you get extra points if you are cooking late at night. Then just let the broth simmer for several hours while you watch some Netflix or relax with your loved ones. If I’m just not feeling it, I’ll shove the carcass into a freezer bag for another day. The more carcasses, the richer the broth 😉
Today, I’m adding a couple aromatics to boost the flavor but the technique is still simple and basic. If you notice my broth, it’s got a milky look which is not common in Western broths. This is because many Asian broths are cooked at a rapid simmer and the agitation creates the milky color and richer mouth-coating flavor. It’s a quick bone broth which will cool into a thick gel if you refrigerate it. This is how tonkotsu ramen broths and Korean rib soups get their iconic white milky color.
Many times when I make chicken stock, I’m using a whole bird and I’m cooking it over much gentler heat because I want to use the cooked chicken too. Here, it’s just the carcass so I like to keep the heat higher than usual. I keep the pot mostly covered so it doesn’t evaporate too much. If you’ve never had this style of broth, it will be a revelation as the flavor is much more pronounced, perfect for a chicken soup.
Finishing Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup
While you can make the stock the day before, I usually just prep everything else while the stock is simmering, starting with aromatics.
You can use already riced cauliflower or you can make your own. I usually keep a bag of riced cauliflower in the freezer for any last minute needs. It’s always there waiting for your inspiration and requires no prep. I’m generally not a fan of frozen vegetables but corn, artichokes, and cauliflower are reliably good. Furthermore, fresh riced cauliflower has a very short shelf life, so make sure you can use it quickly after purchasing.
You can use the pulse feature on a food processor to rice cauliflower as well, though you don’t want it to get too finely chopped or it will be more mush than rice. Once the cauliflower is riced, I prep the fresh herbs and scallions.
Once everything is prepped and ready to go, I heat up a large pot and assemble the Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup.
I like to add a drizzle of some fish sauce, a squeeze of fresh lime, and some chopped chilies to really make the flavors pop. You can use sea salt or soy sauce if you prefer. I hope you enjoy Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup as much as we do and I’d love to hear what you think.
Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
For the Chicken Stock:
- 1 or 2 leftover roast chicken carcasses (the more the merrier)
- 10 cups water
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and smashed
- 4 scallions, cut crosswise into thirds
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
For the soup:
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken meat (any leftover chicken is fine)
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 large onion, trimmed and diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ head medium cauliflower (or 1 bag frozen cauliflower rice, about 12 ounces)
- 1 handful baby spinach, about 1 ½ ounces
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- ½ cup chopped dill or cilantro (or a combination)
- ½ cup minced scallions, 2-3 stems
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- Salt to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Break the chicken carcass into a couple of pieces to fit a large (at least 5 quarts) pot and add 10 cups of water. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and scallions to the pot.
- Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat and then lower heat to medium and cover with a lid, leaving a small crack. Simmer briskly for about 2 hours (check occasionally that there is enough liquid. Add a little water if you’re worried). The chicken broth will be a milky color. Strain and discard the solids. You should yield about 6 cups of liquid. If not, add some water to make up the difference.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 5 quarts) heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and sprinkle with a little salt. Stir fry for a minute and then lower heat to medium. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the onion is softened, stirring regularly.
- Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.
- Add the cauliflower rice and broth and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer until the cauliflower is completely tender, 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using frozen cauliflower rice which is already par-boiled, you will not need to cook it as long)
- Stir in the diced chicken and spinach. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro and dill, chopped scallion, fish sauce, and fresh lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup immediately.
*The lime juice will cause the greens in the soup to turn to an olive color if you do not eat the soup immediately. You can serve wedges of limes at the table if you prefer. If you are making the soup ahead of time leave the herbs and lime juice out. When you are ready to serve, reheat and add the herbs at that time.
Keywords: soup, chicken soup, rotisserie chicken, cauliflower rice, fall, winter, ginger
We all have our favorite comfort foods that instantly transport us to our childhood. For me it’s definitely my Mom’s Chicken. But for my husband it would have to be this Filipino style Pork Bistek. And I would never hear the end of it if I served it without Garlic Fried Rice, the two go together so well it’s unthinkable to serve one without the other. Pork Bistek is super saucy, and the rice is the perfect vehicle to soak it all up. Luckily both recipes are ready in under an hour; this is weeknight cooking at its best!
First Make the Pork Bistek
This dish gets its deep flavor from a marinade that does double duty as the sauce. If I can get them, I like to use fresh calamansi, the tiny citrus with the sweet-tart juice enjoyed in the Philippines. They aren’t easy to find unless you have a market that stocks a lot of Filipino items. Bottled calamansi juice is easier to find. And if you have any yuzu juice left over from my Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails you can sub an equal amount of that or you can use lemons, vinegar, or a combination thereof.
Here in Miami, we have a lot of Cuban food and one of the most common flavors is Mojo, a tart marinade that’s made with sour oranges and a ton of chopped garlic. This recipe shares a lot of similarities to Cuban pork dishes, just like Filipino food in general has a lot of Spanish influence; it’s West meets East flavor unique to itself.
You can marinate the pork chops for about half hour on the counter, or longer in the fridge. Avoid marinating for longer than a couple hours as the texture of the pork will start to change. When you’re ready to cook, remove the pork and dry it on paper towels, reserving the marinade.
Now it’s time to make the Garlic Fried Rice. While it’s cooking just leave the pork covered off the heat; the onions will continue to get deliciously jammy and the pork will cook through.
Time to Make Pork Bistek’s Costar
If you’ve made any of my fried rice recipes before, like maybe Kimchi Rice or Thai Chicken Fried Rice, then you know that the best fried rice always starts with leftover cold rice. That makes it the perfect side for our Pork Bistek as it’s ready in minutes. Always start by using clean wet hands to de-clump the rice. You want the grains to be as separate as possible, which is why cold rice works best. It holds its shape better in the pan because it’s drier and stiffer than fresh steamed rice. Plus cold rice doesn’t absorb as much oil so you’ll end up with a much less greasy finished product.
The cold rice will want to stick to the pan but keep scraping and mixing it back in. As it warms up, it will stick less. And it’s important to let the rice really sear against the side of the pan. This will give your rice that restaurant flavor that’s a little hard to define, but you’ll know it as soon as you taste it.
Once the rice is done, dinner is ready. I like to serve this family style, with the Pork Bistek on one platter and the rice in another.
This meal is such a kid (and spouse) pleaser that I know it’s going to end up in your regular rotation too. Try it tonight and let me know what you think. Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
For the Pork:
- 1 pound boneless pork chops, about ½ inch thick
- 1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into ½ “ rings
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- salt to taste
- ⅓ cup calamansi or fresh lemon juice, white vinegar, or a combination
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 large cloves garlic, smashed
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Garlic Fried Rice:
- 3 cups cold leftover rice
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 6 cloves large garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Make the Pork Bistek:
- In a large bowl, combine the calamansi juice, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and ground black pepper. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Cut the pork chops in half and then add the pork to the marinade, making sure that the chops are evenly basted with the marinade. Marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Place the chops on a couple sheets of paper towels to dry. Reserve the marinade. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes then add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add pork chops and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly browned (the meat will still be raw in the middle which is fine). Transfer the chops to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and add the onions. Stir fry for approximately 2-3 minutes over medium heat, then add the reserved marinade.
- Simmer the onions for 3-4 minutes until the onions have cooked and the sauce slightly reduced.
- Return the chops to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for another couple of minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the pan covered while you make the garlic fried rice.
Make the Garlic Fried Rice:
- Separate the rice with wet hands, crumbling it gently, so that you don’t have any large clumps.
- Heat a wok, wok pan, or large heavy skillet over high heat for several minutes until very hot and smoking.
- Add the oil and the garlic. Swirl the garlic in the oil for just a second until lightly golden.
- Add the rice and stir fry for several minutes, pressing the rice into the sides of the pan to sear it and then scraping it off and mixing it back in. It may stick to the sides of the pan at first, but it will become less sticky as it cooks.
- Add the salt and pepper and continue stir frying for another minute. Taste the rice and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Transfer the garlic rice to a platter and plate the pork and onions separately. Serve both dishes together.
Keywords: pork, pork chops, bistek, filipino. rice. comfort foods.