Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry

February 4, 2016

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

It finally got cozy around here, despite my California soul denying the presence of winter and embracing all of the raw veggies and juices (which I am still keeping in the rotation). It took a three day snow storm to lure me into a warm simmering-something on the stove, and I’m okay with that. I like to wait for things to pull me in, rather than force them upon myself in order to “fit the mold”. Its halfway through winter, the groundhog predicted an early spring (whatever that means, but he’s cute and I like spring so I’m in), and I’m finally bringing you a cozy meal that I am rather smitten with at the moment. In response to your wonderful suggestions for the new year here on the blog, I’ve created a super simple weeknight meal. It only takes two pots on the stove to make, a blender does all of the sauce work (meaning: no slaving over a chopping board, just throw it in and press “puree”), and it comes together within thirty minutes. Can I get a HOO-RAY?

I have the lovely people over at The Protein Bar to thank for my recipe inspiration today. They are celebrating spices this month and their unique health benefits as well as tasty uses in everyday meals. One of the spices they are wishing to highlight is Thai ginger, something I had never hear of before, and immediately wanted to plunge into the “discovery” stage with this new-to-me ingredient. This is something I cherish, discovery. When it comes to food there seems to be an endless list of ingredients I have either never heard of or never given a thought to try. Even after years of buying up all the weird looking produce I can’t pronounce, and ordering packages of superfoods from all over the world, I still find something weekly that makes me go “huh?”. Last week it was Thai ginger. So I plunged into research mode, and came up with some details below for you to peruse (if you are like me and now must know). It’s a spice I will no longer look over, but include in my repertoire of Thai food recipes from here on out – and I hope you fall in love with it’s flavorful magic too!

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

It’s easy to get ginger and Thai ginger confused. They both have a pale, silvery tan skin and are a type of rhizome. Unlike roots, rhizomes actually are stems that grow underground. Above ground, the stems lead to a tall, green herb plant. Of the two varieties here, ginger is more pungent. Whereas Thai ginger still has notes of ginger, but also citrus, mustard, pepper, and floral tones too. They share the same medicinal properties, however, such as being anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and can help treat nausea. Both are wonderful, used in their own way. But to emulate authentic Thai flavors in your cooking, you will need to make a trip to your local Asian market to pick up a piece of the Thai variety – and it is well worth the effort, I promise.

Thai ginger is tough and woodier in texture than ginger when you slice into a knob. Using a vegetable peeler to remove the skin works well, and then grating on a microplane yields the best consistency when adding it to sauces and baked goods. If you are wishing to infuse a broth, you can simply slice the amount of Thai ginger you’d like into 1/2 inch pieces using a sharp knife, and simmer it directly in the pot on the stove. Just remember to remove it before serving to make sure no one tries to eat it – that would be a tough bite!

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipeThai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipeThai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

I can’t decide which I love more about this dish, the textures or the flavors. Lets start with the textures. A chewy brown rice jazzed up with the fragrant Thai ginger, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. I could simply eat spoonfuls of this rice alone, and it can be used as a side for a number of dishes. But pair it with a cooked veggie (enter: cauliflower) that has been simmering in a rich and spicy red Thai curry sauce, and I think this combo “wins”. This sauce. Its simple yet bursting with flavors that make your mouth dance. A creamy, sweet coconut milk that is settled down with a bit of vegetable stock. Blended with shallots, garlic, and red Thai curry paste. This sauce was screaming for the mellow flavor and fibrous texture of cauliflower. The rice and this saucy cauliflower nestled up against one another is warming, invigorating, cozy, and bright – all at the same time. I took one bite and immediately felt more at ease. Sunk a little lower into my chair. And smiled. Yum.

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

This post was sponsored by The Protein Bar. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my work here on Faring Well by supporting my lovely sponsors!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!

Makes 4 servings.

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice
1 cup brown rice, soaked for 12 to 24 hours
2 cups filtered water
2 to 3 teaspoons grated Thai ginger root
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Thai Red Curry Cauliflower
1 can (2 cups) light coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
3 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste
3 to 3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, small chop

Begin by draining and rinsing the brown rice. Add the rice and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 25 minutes). Remove from the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Make sure to peel the Thai ginger root before grating (I used a microplane, it works wonderfully). Serve warm, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

While the brown rice is cooking, combine the ingredients for the red curry sauce in a blender (except for the cauliflower) and puree until smooth. Add the sauce with the chopped cauliflower to a medium saucepan on the stove. Make sure all of the cauliflower is submerged in the sauce. Leave out any that wont fit and save for another meal during the week.

Bring the pot of sauce and cauliflower to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Let cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Divide the rice mixture and cauliflower curry into four bowls, nestled up against one another, and serve.

Seen in this post:  sauce pot / bowls / flatware / towel / microplane

Thai Ginger Cilantro Rice w/ Cauliflower Curry by Faring Well #vegan #recipe


  • Reply Jen February 4, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Looks lovely and can’t wait to try! Sorry if I’ve overlooked it but is there a link to print?

    • Reply Faring Well February 8, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Hi Jen! Thank you tons. And sadly, no, there is no print option yet! I am in the midst of a site re-design though and that is one of the updates I hope to include. Thank you for commenting and I hope you get to try this yummy recipe soon! xo

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan February 4, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I’ve been wanting everything that is cozy and warm, so this is perfect for my staying in weekend plans! :) xo

    • Reply Faring Well February 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Aw yay! Thank you Abby. Hope you had a cozy weekend. <3

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens February 4, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Oooh Jessie this sounds so good! I love those moments when I discover a new ingredient have that “huh?” moment you talk about. I have never cooked with Thai ginger before and there are so many ingredients and herbs in Thai cuisine that I would love to experiment with! This really does sound like the perfect weeknight meal! <3

    • Reply Faring Well February 8, 2016 at 10:07 am

      Thank you tons sweet Genevieve! And I know, Thai food and its flavors interest me tons. Hope you get to play around with Thai ginger soon, I think you will LOVE it – xo

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full February 4, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I’ll give a HOORAY for blender sauces!! They are the absolute best! :D

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow February 4, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I have been love love loving big curry rice bowls this week, so this post so speaks to me, Jessie! And I really love the idea of doing simple suppers in this space. I was actually planning to email you and suggest that because I so often want to eat more veg/vegan but I struggle with dinner meals because want something that’s both hearty and simple and sometimes I just come up blank. So thank you for this inspiration! This is definitely going on the list of things to make for dinner next week.

    Also, I was reading your description of thai ginger and am totally intrigued. It kind of sounded a little like galangal (based on flavor and woodiness) but when I google it it seems like the two are different somehow. Weird. Anyway, I’ll check for both next time I’m in my asian market and see if I can figure it out!


    • Reply Faring Well February 4, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Okay, you just solidified my desire to create more simple yet hearty plant based meals in this space. That is exactly what I want for people such as yourself who are trying vegan/veg meals here and there – to feel inspired and like they can do this! Thank you for that encouragement Brooke!

      And as for the That ginger and galangal – that is so weird that your research showed them as different, because mine showed them as the same! Two names for the same spice, thats what I discovered. Sorry for that weird confusion! Hope I’m not wrong on that.

      • Reply Grandma February 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

        Grandma. Do you just soak the brown rice for 11 to 24 hrs. No cooking? My brown rice is more mush than crunch. :(

        • Reply Faring Well February 8, 2016 at 10:09 am

          Hey grandma! And no I cook it after soaking, but allow all of the liquid to absorb. If it is still too wet you can always drain any excess liquid, or leave the pot uncovered to let it evaporate too. This rice is softer than usual, so you can always use less cooking liquid next time for a toothier rice! Hope this helps a bit.

  • Reply Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology February 4, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Oh, those herbs and spices sound amazing! I ate so much Thai ginger when I was living in Thailand…and this just brought back memories. Can’t wait to make it!

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Aw yay! I bet eating it there with their amazing, authentic cuisine was out of this world!

  • Reply Nina February 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    What a beautiful meal! I’m extra in love the this kinds of rice, I love coriander and I’m not sure I tasted thai ginger but It sounds so good. I alos love the simplicity of the red Thai curry, I’m striving to get there too. Inspiring!

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you tons Nina! I believe you would absolutely love Thai ginger (or galangal) if you got your hands on some. And thank you about the simplicity! I know we are both working on incorporating more of those dishes and it really is so rewarding to discover some winners – xoxo

  • Reply danielle // rooting the sun February 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    jessie: here is food that is near and dear to my dinner heart. beautiful lady, weeknight meals are always at the top of my list. the rice is cosmic with flavor, thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Danielle! You are always just the sweetest. Thank you for your kind words friend. <3

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout February 4, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Mmmmm! This looks so amazing, I just want a big bowl of it in front of me riiight now! :)

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you Maya! I hope you get to make and try some soon, such a warming and bright dish! xo

  • Reply Sophie MacKenzie February 4, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Ah, I’m loving your warm and bright winter food, girl! I could gobble up a whole bowl right now! <3

    • Reply Faring Well February 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Eee thank you Sophie! You are too sweet. All about bright vibes any way I can get them right now ;) hope you are having a lovely week friend! <3

  • Reply lynn @ the actor's diet February 5, 2016 at 1:01 am

    I’ve never used Thai Ginger Root before – or thought of it!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

      I know right me too! But it was a total game changer.

  • Reply Gena February 5, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Thai ginger is new to me, too! Thanks for featuring it in such a simple, colorful, and flavorful weeknight recipe <3

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:37 am

      That means tons coming from you Gena, thank you! xoxo

  • Reply Amanda Paa February 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    one of the things i love most about food is that there are always things to learns, always new ingredients, always new ideas to embrace! i will be seeking out thai ginger soon so i can make this curry. xo

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Right! It makes it always so exciting. Hope you find some and get to experience this special flavor Amanda! Hugs!

  • Reply Summer February 8, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I have thought of using curry with cauliflower. This looks so delicious ♥

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Thank you summer! Its a winning combo for sure.

  • Reply Emily | Gather & Dine February 8, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I’m going to keep my eyes open for Thai ginger next time I’m at the Asian market! I never knew there was such a thing! For years, I used regular basil in my Thai recipes and finally I discovered Thai basil and it made such a difference. So excited to try Thai ginger rice! And that red curry cauliflower rounds this bowl out for a super cozy winter meal. Hugs, Jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Girl now you have me wanting to try the thai basil too! Thanks for your sweet words here too friend, you are just the best! Lots of hugs right back at you!

  • Reply Lily | Kale & Caramel February 8, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Hi lady!! This looks so deeply yummy and nourishing. Perfect for winter. I know you’re not the biggest fan, but to be completely honest I’d trade these weird 85º-in-February SoCal days for your wintry mix. For serious. Especially if it comes with a big bowl of this! Question for you: Is Thai ginger the same as galanga? I adore galanga, and am curious if it also goes by this more standard name!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Thank you Lily! You are so sweet. And it is always greener on the other side right? ;) As for the galangal, yes it is the same thing! Isn’t it just the best? XO

  • Reply Liora @ Allthingsloveli February 9, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I had never heard of this ginger but it sounds perfectly warming to use during the snow we’re having. We went from having no snow to 3 snow days in a row!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Oh I feel you Liora! Hang in there and stay cozy!

  • Reply betty February 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Oh, so wonderful! I didn’t know about Thai ginger vs ginger – thank you for educating us all, and now I’m dying to go hunt down some thai ginger! Have you had thai chili vs other chili peppers? And Thai basil vs italian sweet basil? I now want to go hunt down all the Thai varieties of herbs/roots/etc and do a side by side comparison!!

    This looks so perfect for a very gray week in Boston!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Eee no I haven’t! Now I want to go track down them all too! And thank you Betty, I hope your gray week gets some sunshine soon! <3

  • Reply Mel @ The Refreshanista February 11, 2016 at 6:59 am

    This looks so warming and perfect for the snowy days we’ve been having where I live! I’ll have to look for Thai ginger so I can make this, sounds amazing!

    • Reply Faring Well February 11, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Thank you Mel! It is so cozy yet bright, I hope you get to enjoy a bowl soon :) xo

  • Reply Julie April 22, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    It’s just starting to get a bit cooler here on the other side of the planet in Australia, and I was looking for a recipe to use my fresh homegrown coriander in – this looks like it will be the one! Can’t wait to try it! Also not sure if you are aware – in Australia I’m pretty sure we call Thai ginger ‘Galangal’, in case people have trouble finding it. 😊 thanks for the cooking inspiration 👍🏻

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