With enough veggies to be healthy and enough umami to be satisfying, Cauliflower Fried Rice is going to be your new favorite healthy recipes for Asian-inspired meals. Stir-fried riced cauliflower, sweet peas, carrots, and scrambled egg (yay protein!) get a healthy dose of takeout flavor from sesame, soy sauce, and scallions. Best part? It’s Paleo, Whole30, and even Keto-friendly, with no waiting on the delivery guy.
Fried rice is good. It’s not just good, it’s goooood. It’s so good, it’s everywhere. Literally. Practically everyone has their own version. From Peruvian Arroz Chaufa to Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, this dish has gone around the world and back again cause, duh, everyone loves fried rice.
When I was younger, I was definitely the kind of person who enjoyed a #13 General Tso’s combo with fried rice. As I got older, I switched my orders to include steamed rice (“classier”) and then to brown rice (“healthier”), but even then, the next day – especially if there was a cocktail or two involved the night before – I’d absolutely toss that nonsense up with some soy sauce, egg, and veggies on the stove. But those days of carefree, late-night takeout living are long gone…
So what’s a gal to do? Cook that isht up fresh at home!
But what’s a gal to do when she’s trying to be mindful of her carb intake and trying to get her kids to eat more vegetables and doesn’t have time after dinner to collapse on the couch, rubbing her belly, groaning loudly about being too full of rice while periodically slipping back into the kitchen for more bites of rice?
Well she goes for something that’s becoming almost as ubiquitous as fried rice – cauliflower. I was already a fan of cauliflower as a vegetable, but I am an even bigger fan of it as as a healthy, natural substitute for things that can, on occasion, make me feel bad. Compared to a serving of white rice, a similar portion of cauliflower has less than 20% of the calories, 15% of the carbs, and 3x as much fiber.
But more importantly for food lovers – cauliflower is an absolute flavor sponge! So it’s especially great in dishes with a lot of seasoning or sauce (present recipe included) cause it soaks it right up. So for those of you who didn’t like the taste of cauliflower to begin with, well, now you have no excuse not to try and enjoy. You’re welcome.
Cauliflower fried rice ingredients
- Cauliflower: must be riced; fresh is preferable to frozen for better “rice” texture.
- Peas: specifically frozen sweet peas
- Carrots: diced small; fresh or frozen, but see the notes below for cook times.
- Eggs: farm fresh, baby. Use large.
- Onion: white onion, diced small. Use yellow if it’s all you’ve got.
- Scallion: full of flavor with less sharp bite.
- Garlic: minced; fresh or jarred.
- Olive Oil: use high quality olive oil or avocado oi.
- Sesame Oil: get the toasted kind!
- Soy Sauce: don’t forget – always check the label for gluten if you’ve got sensitivities! Gluten free tamari and Whole30 compliant coconut aminos are also totally acceptable.
How to make fried cauliflower rice
Let’s reinvent the idea of guilt-free fast food, shall we? Fried rice can be on your fork before the delivery guy even thinks about knocking:
- Sautee carrots and onions in olive oil and sesame oil.
- Add peas, scallions, and garlic and sautee another minute or two.
- Add the cauliflower rice and your favorite umami agent (soy sauce, gluten free tamari, and coconut aminos all work). Fried it up over hight heat until the cauliflower is bite-tender. Just remember to stir frequently so it cooks evenly.**
- Make a hole in the center of the pan, add another splash of olive oil or a pat of butter, then pour in a few week lightly beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, then fold them into the fried rice.
**A note about texture – depending on the size of your cauliflower rice (or if you use store-bought, see below), the cooking time will vary. The best way to know the rice is cooked is to taste it. Properly cooked cauliflower rice is bite tender – chewy, but not soft. Overcooked cauliflower rice can be soggy, so pay attention to the pan and start tasting for texture around the 5-minute mark.
Can I use frozen cauliflower rice?
Only if you promise me one thing – wring that cauliflower out like it’s your bathing suit after a dip in a pool. Should go without saying, but you must make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted first. Once it has, I like to pour into a fine mesh sieve to do the heavy lifting of draining any run off. Then, place onto a thin cotton dish cloth (avoid terrycloth) and give it the old heave-ho. Wring it out, transfer to a second dry towel, and do it again for good measure. Your goal is avoiding mushy rice.
Also note, as it will already be “tender,” you’ll only want to cook for about half the time in order to make sure it’s cooked through.
Can I use pre-riced cauliflower rice?
Yes, but be picky when choosing. Sometimes pre-riced cauliflower can be underripe (it’ll have a slight green tint) and you definitely want to avoid that. On the flip side, if it’s not ABSOLUTELY fresh, it will have started to take on moisture and could get mushy. Wring it out following the steps above if you notice any condensation in the packaging.
Is this recipe keto?
With the caveat that everyone’s diet is a bit different, you betcha, it is! At only 12 net carbs for a hearty serving, even with the peas and carrots, we’re definitely looking at the low end of the carb spectrum compared to what a regular serving of fried rice would be.
Make it your way
- Feel free to substitute frozen carrots; add them when you add the peas.
- For even more vegetables, use a frozen vegetable blend of your choice. You can double the amount of vegetables without compromising texture or taste, but but you may want to add an extra tablespoon of soy sauce.
- Use soy sauce, coconut aminos (gluten free, soy free, Whole30), or tamari (gluten free) based on dietary accommodations and preference.
More recipes featuring cauliflower rice
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- Food Processor
- 4 c cauliflower rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 white onion, diced to ½”
- 2 medium carrots, diced to ½”
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts only
- ½ c frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp soy sauce, or tamari or coconut aminos
- 3 large eggs
- Dive a head of cauliflower into 2" florets. Place half the florets into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the standard s-blade; fill no more than halfway). Pulse the cauliflower 10-15 times, or until evenly riced. Scrape the sides down halfway though if necessary; do not run the motor continuously. Remove the cauliflower rice using a spatula, and repeat with the remaining florets. See Notes.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl then lightly scramble with a fork; set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and sesame oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and carrots, toss to coat in the fat, and saute until the onion is translucent, 5-6 minutes.
- Add the scallions, frozen peas, and garlic and saute with the onions and carrots 1 minute more.
- Increase the heat to high. Add the cauliflower rice and soy sauce or coconut aminos. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is bite-tender, 6-8 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of the pan. Pour the eggs into the well and lightly scramble using a rubber spatula until cooked through.
- Toss the eggs into the fried rice. Garnish with additional sliced green onions and serve immediately.