Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower

This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

This Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower is da bomb!  (yep, I did just say that) It explodes with flavor in your bowl and in your mouth.  I’m a meat eater and I swear, you will not miss the meat in this dish!  The rice soaks up the incredibly flavorful sauce from the lentils and the cauliflower which gives you a nutty and salty backdrop from the sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from the ginger and garlic, and sweet notes from the honey to balance it all out.  The lentils are creamy and hearty and the cauliflower gives you a nice meaty bite.  Overall, the perfect rice bowl.  It’s also Gluten Free, Dairy Free,  and Vegetarian.

This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Korean Rice Bowls, Meet Family.  Family, Meet Korean Rice Bowls.

Korean flavors generally include ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce.  You may also be familiar with the popular Korean condiment/side dish Kimchi, which is salted and fermented vegetables, primarily cabbage.  It is served on top of and on the side of traditional Korean dishes.  However, if you are new to the world of Korean food, or just new to cooking it yourself at home, this Korean Rice Bowl is a great way to introduce it into your kitchen and perhaps to your kids.  My older daughter, Daniela, loves the sweet and salty flavors.  Just note that there are red pepper flakes in this recipe, so take caution to avoid them if you think it will be too spicy for the kiddos.

This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

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PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR KOREAN RICE BOWL COOKING ‘KIT’

You are busy, so these are the steps you can do a day or two in advance to prepare food ahead!  (See the recipe below for more details)

The most time consuming part of this recipe is mincing the garlic and ginger and measuring out all of the ingredients – not that this is very time-consuming or cumbersome, but it’s definitely something you can do the day or two before and every little bit helps on a busy weeknight!

You will need a Large bowl for the Lentil Sauce and a Medium bowl for the Cauliflower Sauce.  Then, you’ll mix all of the ingredients together and can store the bowls in the fridge so that they’re ready to cook when you are!

Whole ginger root on counter for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Ginger is a wonderful spice that comes from the ginger root and adds so much depth and flavor, as well as bite, zest, and warmth to this sauce.  You can find fresh ginger at your local grocery store and its easy to peel the skin right off with a spoon.  Once the skin is off, mince the ginger either using a knife or putting chunks of it into a mini food processor and blending all of it up and freezing whatever is not needed for this recipe to use at another time.

Next, mince the garlic.  I use the OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Garlic Press.  It seriously makes mincing garlic so easy and it’s also easy to clean and just put into the dishwasher.

Minced Garlic and Ginger for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Once you have the minced ginger and garlic, you will split it between the 2 mixing bowls (details in the recipe).  One bowl is for the Lentils and the other is for the Cauliflower Sauce.  Make the sauces by mixing all ingredients in the bowls: soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, water, and red pepper flakes (optional).

Sauce in clear bowl with whisk for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

As I mentioned, you can store the sauces in the fridge until you are ready to cook the meal.

You can also prepare the cauliflower florets by cutting them off the head and placing in a storage bag in the fridge.

COOK THE KOREAN RICE BOWL WITH LENTILS AND CAULIFLOWER:

There are three components to this dish: Rice, Lentils, and Cauliflower.  For the Rice, simply cook it as you would normally or according to package instructions.  I like to use long grain white rice for this.

Uncooked Red Lentils in white bowl on counter for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

For the Lentils, you want to make sure you get the red lentils.  These are smaller and more delicate than other types of lentils and will cook faster and get to a softer, creamier texture than the more meaty and firm green lentils, for example.

Lentils in pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Start by cooking the scallions in a medium sauce pot for a few minutes and then adding the lentils.  Stir to get them warmed up and incorporated with the scallions and oil and then add the sauce that you prepared in advance.  Stir to combine then bring to a soft boil.

Sauce in pot with wood spoon on stove for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Don’t cook too long after the sauce is absorbed or you could burn the lentils.

Close up of cooked lentils in sauce in pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Now, for the Cauliflower, which gives you the meaty bite in this rice bowl.  Spread the florets out on a sheet pan, drizzle or spray (I love my Sonica Organics Oil Sprayer for this) with olive oil.

Spraying cauliflower on sheet pan with olive oil for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Season with salt and pepper and then roast in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and fork tender.  The cauliflower then gets added to the sauce that you have thickened with cornstarch.

Roasted Cauliflower on pan for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Roasted Cauliflower mixed in sauce in a pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Roasted Cauliflower mixed in sauce in a pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

Serve by first putting the rice in the bowl, then spooning the lentils over the rice, and last the cauliflower.  Garnish with the green onions and sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

 

This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
5 from 1 vote
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Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower

This Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower is da bomb, exploding with flavor!  The rice soaks up the incredibly flavorful sauce from the lentils and the cauliflower which gives you a nutty and salty backdrop from the sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from the ginger and garlic, and sweet notes from the honey to balance it all out.  The lentils are creamy and hearty and the cauliflower gives you a nice meaty bite.  Overall, the perfect rice bowl.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Keyword cauliflower, korean, Lentils, Rice bowl
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Lentils - Sauce in Large Mixing Bowl

  • ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp ground Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Scallions/Green Onions chopped
  • 1 Cup red Lentils

Cauliflower - Sauce in Medium Mixing Bowl

  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbls Honey
  • 1 tsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 cup Water (for sauce)

Other Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Water (for cornstarch slurry)
  • 2 Tbls Cornstarch
  • 4 cups Cauliflower florets
  • 2 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil half for Cauliflower, half for Scallions & Lentils
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tbls Sesame Seeds
  • 2 cups uncooked rice

Instructions

Prep Ingredients Ahead of time

  1. You will be making 2 sauces, so get a large mixing bowl and a medium size bowl.  

  2. Peel and Mince the ginger.  To peel, you can scrape the skin off with a spoon, a peeler, or cut it off with a knife.  Mince with a knife.  Place 1 teaspoon of the ginger in the large bowl and another 1 teaspoon in the medium bowl.

    Minced Garlic and Ginger for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  3. Peel and mince the garlic with a garlic press or knife.  2 Cloves will go into the large bowl and 1 clove into the medium bowl.

    Minced Garlic and Ginger for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  4. Finely Slice the scallions.  Save some of the sliced green tops in a plastic baggie for garnish.  Place the rest of the sliced scallions in another baggie (or just set aside if you will cook them now) for cooking with the lentils.

  5. Finish preparing the Lentil Sauce in the Large Bowl by adding the rest of the ingredients in the Lentils Sauce list, EXCEPT THE LENTILS which will go in once you are ready to cook.  If you are doing this a day or more ahead, store sauce covered in fridge.

    Sauce in clear bowl with whisk for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  6. Finish preparing the Cauliflower Sauce in the Medium Bowl by adding the rest of the ingredients in the Cauliflower Sauce list: Soy sauce, Honey, Sesame Oil, 1 cup Water.  If you are doing this a day or more ahead, store sauce covered in fridge.

Make your Korean Rice Bowl Meal

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook the rice according to package instructions.

  3. To a preheated sauce pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and the scallions and cook for a few minutes while stirring so they don't burn.  Then add the lentils and stir to combine the flavors and mix with the oil.

    Lentils in pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  4. Add the sauce to the pot and bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked and tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes.

    Sauce in pot with wood spoon on stove for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  5. For the cauliflower, spread the florets out on a sheet pan, drizzle or spray with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Rub the oil and seasoning all over the florets and then spread them out again.  Roast them in the 375 oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and fork tender.

    Roasted Cauliflower on pan for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  6. While the cauliflower is roasting, bring the cauliflower sauce up to a simmer in a small sauce pot.  

  7. Make the cornstarch slurry by adding the 2 tablespoons of corn starch to the 1/4 cup cold water and mixing until it dissolves.  Whisk it into the simmering sauce and then reduce the heat.  Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens to ensure no clumps form, just a few minutes.  Turn off the heat and then add the roasted cauliflower to the sauce folding it in to completely coat it with the thick sauce.

    Roasted Cauliflower mixed in sauce in a pot for Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe, which is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.
  8. Serve by first putting the rice in the bowl, then spooning the lentils over the rice, and last the cauliflower.  Garnish with the green onions and sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

    This Korean Rice Bowl on counter with Rice, Lentils and Cauliflower. This recipe is da bomb, exploding with flavor! The rice soaks up the sauce, which gives you a nutty, salty flavor from sesame oil and soy sauce, a warm and zesty kick from ginger and garlic, and sweetness from honey to balance it all out. Lentils and cauliflower give a meaty bite.

 

3 thoughts on “Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower

  1. Carrie, I love all the flavors you have infused in this dish. It’s amazing how easy and quick this Korean Rice Bowl is. What a perfect meal for this “back to school” season.

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