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Category: Pan-Asian

Poached Chicken

Poached Chicken

In theory I get the appeal of meal prepping. In practice though the idea of making a big batch of say, chicken and rice, on a Sunday and then eating that same chicken and rice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is my personal read more

Broccoli Tofu Patties

Broccoli Tofu Patties

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

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

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.

ingredients chicken cauliflower soup

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.

cut chicken cauliflower soup

water chicken and cauliflower rice soup

onion chicken and cauliflower rice soup

scallions chicken and cauliflower rice soup

strain 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.

ricing cauliflower

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.

dill weed

 

Once everything is prepped and ready to go, I heat up a large pot and assemble the Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup.

 

rice and stock

 

lime herbs

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!

 

Looking for more soup inspiration? Try my Curry Sweet Potato Soup, Beef Udon, or Chicken Pho. Soup is good food!

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Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Category: soups/stews
  • Cuisine: pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale

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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. 
  5. 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)
  6. Stir in the diced chicken and spinach. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, about 3-5 minutes. 
  7. 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. 

Notes

*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

Lemon Chicken Salad

Lemon Chicken Salad

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the humble unsung hero, the rotisserie chicken. Dress her up or dress her down, she’s always recipe ready! Like a lot of people, I can’t resist grabbing one of Costco’s famous chickens whenever I’m there, and I’ve developed read more

Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails

Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails

Adult beverages, nightcaps, drinkie-poos…whatever you call them, these Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails are quickly going to become a favorite. A  blend of yuzu juice, fresh pineapple, simple syrup, and vodka; SO refreshing and a perfect antidote to these endless dog days of summer. I had a read more

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad

It feels like it’s almost too hot to eat these days, let alone cook. That’s where this Cucumber Tomato Salad comes in. Summer produce at its peak doesn’t need much in the way of embellishment, but a quick dressing with some umami rich favorites keeps this out of run of the mill salad territory. Juicy tomatoes, crunchy and cooling cucumbers, drizzled with a tangy and nutty dressing…this is what you need when you can’t even fathom turning on the oven.

Although this salad features cucumbers and tomatoes, you could easily swap out the veggie combinations for either what’s in season at that point, what’s in your fridge, or what you prefer. So avocados and radishes, roasted cauliflower or eggplant, blanched green beans or bean sprouts, or even some crumbled tofu stirred in are all good options. Can’t stand the heat but still need to eat? Forget the stove and let’s get chopping!

ingredients cucumber tomato salad

I start making my Cucumber Tomato Salad by washing and prepping the veggies. I usually reach for the long, thin European cucumbers or the smaller Persian ones. Both of them are more crunchy and less watery, which will keep your salad from turning mushy, and they also have thin unwaxed skin that doesn’t need to be peeled.

diagonal chunks cucumber tomato salad

For the tomatoes, get whatever looks good. Large heirloom tomatoes, or smaller grape/cherry ones will all work here. Unlike the rest of the country, Florida grows in the winter, so my tomatoes are simple grocery ones. I prefer brown kumamotos which are widely available, juicy, and flavorful.

tomatoes chopped

onions

Since this is such a speedy simple dish and we do eat with our eyes, I take care to compose my Cucumber Tomato Salad in an appealing way on a nice platter or deep bowl. This one was made by my dad during his ceramic phase. This salad can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated. Keep this salad undressed as the dressing will quickly be diluted by the watery veggies if tossed ahead of time.

composed salad

The Tomato Cucumber Salad Dressing

It’s really this dressing that elevates this salad into something you’ll be craving all through these warm days. For kids and adults who may frown at vegetables, a great sauce or dressing can really turns things around. Fresh and interesting flavors can help motivate those who are unenthusiastic. And we need to break the ranch crutch. So until you can get your table-mates excited for your veggie masterpieces, keep it fresh by introducing different kinds of vegetables with new flavors.

For this dressing, the workhorse is sesame. Sesame seeds feature prominently in Asian cooking and a deep roasted sesame flavor is particularly prized by Japanese palates. You’ll see all sorts of sesame dressings and sauces lined up at the grocery store and gourmet food sections in department store basements. Our dressing pairs freshly toasted sesame seeds with toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic to bring a little zing, plus rice vinegar and soy sauce which provide a refreshing tanginess. Even though I always buy already toasted sesame seeds, I toast them for a few minutes again because nothing beats that freshly toasted aroma and flavor. Don’t skip this step as you’ll be richly rewarded.

I like to coarsely grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle, keeping some good texture and grit for the dressing. There’s something so satisfying about using these old fashioned pieces of kitchen equipment. Grinding the sesame in this way allows you to do it more slowly, letting you see your progress, and also gives you control over small quantities that may be more difficult to work with in large food processors or blenders. Finally, a mortar and pestle releases the oils in the seeds better.

If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can also make this dressing in a blender or food processor. Place all of your prepped ingredients into the work cup and blend/process until you have a thick dressing.

 

toast sesame seeds

 

Normally with other Asian cuisines, the flavors are more robust and bits of garlic and ginger are appreciated. But Japanese food embraces subtlety, so I use a Japanese style grater to get the ginger and garlic silky smooth. You can also do this manually with a knife and chopping board, but keep mincing until your garlic and ginger are extra fine.

The veggies can be prepped, and the dressing made ahead of time, making this salad even more of a perfect summer staple. Keep the Cucumber Tomato Salad and dressing separate until serving though so the cucumbers stay crunchy and the veggies don’t get discolored. My preference is to just serve the dressing at the table so everyone can help themselves. If the dressing has been sitting for a while, give it a quick stir.

I hope this Cucumber Tomato Salad inspires you to get back in the kitchen for at least a little while this summer, and enjoy a cooling and healthful meal. Take a minute to let me know what you think, and of course don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Looking for more salad inspo? Check out my Noodle Salad, Wild Mushroom Salad, or this Brussels Sprouts one!

 

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recipe card cucumber tomato salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: salads
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale

For the Salad:

  • 1 European cucumber or 4 small persian cucumbers
  • 2 large tomatoes- or a mix of any kind is fine, about 2 cups.
  • ¼ red onion 

For the Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced fine
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar 
  • 4 Tablespoon light colored soy sauce (regular is fine too)
  • 4 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the cucumber. Trim the ends and then cut it in half lengthwise and slice it diagonally into chunky bite-size pieces.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and then cut them in half and then into wedges, slices, or attractive chunks. 
  3. Slice the red onion into very fine pieces. Rinse the onion in a colander under cold running water and then drain the water completely. Set aside.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds in a clean dry pan over medium heat for several minutes. Be sure to stir the sesame seeds to keep them from burning.
  5. Put the sesame seeds into the mortar and grind using a back and forth motion. You want a coarse grind where some of the seeds may still be whole.
  6. Add the ginger, garlic, sugar, light colored soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to the mortar bowl. Stir to combine and then transfer to a small pitcher or serving container.
  7. Divide the cucumber mixture into four individual bowls or one deep platter. Top with the tomato and the red onion. Serve the Cucumber Tomato Salad immediately with the dressing on the side.

Notes

*Even though the sesame seeds are already toasted, I like to re-toast them in the skillet. This step brings out more of the toasty, nutty flavor.

*I like to keep the dressing separate until serving since it will draw water from the veggies and you will end up with a very runny unattractive looking salad.

*You can make all of the components ahead of time and covered until ready to serve.

Keywords: salads, tomato, cucumber, summer, sesame seeds,