Red Rice


For me, finding cauliflower rice is probably the best thing about the dumpster fire that 2017 was.  Between hurricanes and mass shootings and our president and the many disturbing revelations of sexual assault and our president, I’m looking forward to next year and the new recipes I can pair with my newfound bestie, cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice is essentially cauliflower florets you grind in a food processor until they resemble tiny rice pellets.  But if you’re efficient (lazy) like me, you can also buy 12 oz frozen bags at Trader Joe’s ($1.99) or a 32 oz fresh bag in the refrigerated produce section at Costco ($3.79).  A whole new low carb world has opened up for me with the discovery of cauliflower rice.  Por ejemplo, ‘silog’ is a Filipino dish of garlic fried rice with egg and whatever protein you choose.

Spamsilog = Spam+ garlic fried rice +egg

Chicksilog = Chicken + garlic fried rice +egg

Longsilog = Longanisa + garlic fried rice +egg

The combinations are endless and the carb count, low.  Sometimes I prefer to not remember I’m eating cauliflower rice because the texture is too crunchy and feels too much like I’m eating vegetables so I mix it with brown rice.  Don’t judge.  I use a 3:1 ratio–3 parts cauliflower to 1 part rice, heathens.

Imagine my delight then at being able to make red rice to pair with kelaguen.  The beautiful red hue of the ‘rice’ comes from the annatto powder you’ll need to find at your local Asian grocery store.


  • 12 oz cauliflower rice
  • 3 oz cooked brown rice
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 t annatto powder


  1. Pour the oil into the pan and wait until pan is smoking hot
  2. Saute garlic and onion in hot pan until translucent
  3. Sprinkle annato powder over sautéed onions and garlic and cook
  4. Mix both cauliflower and red rice with the red garlic/onion mixture and fry until both rice are heated through and red
  5. Serve hot with cold kelaguen chicken



Kelaguen in Guam, do as the Guamanians do…


You know you’ve eaten at a good restaurant when you get home and can’t stop thinking about the food.  This is what happened to me soon after I ate the kelaguen at Booniepepper Grill in Newark.  A nondescript Guamanian eatery in an even more nondescript strip mall in Newark, Booniepepper Grill, which will heretofore be known as the notorious BPG, is an unassuming restaurant–loosely termed–that specializes in the kelaguen mannok, a tart/salty/spicy chopped chicken. This flavor profile is just what my palette craves.  I think it comes from being raised on a mixture of Thai chili peppers, fish sauce and lemon juice as condiments to everything ranging from crab to fish, and oysters–I’ve always loved that spicy and salty lemony kick in foods.

But at $10 for a serving of kelaguen and red rice, BPG is not cheap, especially when the ingredients are so easily accessible and cheap at that.  So when I got home, I looked up everything kelaguen and found that it’s like the ceviche of Guam; even better, it’s a cousin of a native Filipino dish, ‘kilawin’ which uses vinegar not just as a marinade but also to cook various fishes and meats.

So easy this dish, I won’t bother you with step-by-step pictures.


  • 1 whole cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • *Thai red chills
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I can’t stress this enough.  Do not make the mistake of using the sweetened coconut you normally find in the baked goods aisle.)
  • 3/4 – 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 4 stalks green onion, chopped
  • salt to taste

*Red chili pepper flakes can be substituted

Quantities listed for the ingredients above can be adjusted to your liking.  After awhile, I stopped measuring and just used the force.


  • Buy rotisserie chicken from Costco, no need to cook or grill your own. As Marilyn McCoo once said, “One less bell to answer, one less egg to fry.”
  • Chop said chicken
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour the entire concoction over chicken
  • Stir and let marinade coat the chopped chicken pieces
  • Let marinated chicken stand for at least an hour and allow all flavors to meld
  • Serve with *red rice or regular steamed rice (red rice is better)

* Recipe in next post, stay tuned!