Cauliflower Fried Rice

My wife and I are still reeling from the sheer amount of recipe testers who volunteered to tackle a recipe (or three) during this last stage of recipe tweaks for my next cookbook. We ended up sending out nearly 2,000 recipes, and we’re still parsing through all of the feedback and applying your suggestions to the manuscript – thanks to everyone who helped out!

I still have over a month of writing to go before I turn in the manuscript, then a few rounds of edits, so chances are I’ll be a little quieter than usual on the blog – case in point, I totally forgot to post a recipe last week. Yikes!

So this week we’re going to pull out an old favorite, which was published in Paleo Takeout but hasn’t made it to the blog until today. Although we love rice well enough, sometimes a plate of Cauliflower Fried Rice is just the ticket: we can clean out the fridge and the cauliflower sits a bit more lightly in the stomach compared to rice. I’ve found that baking the cauliflower “rice” ahead of time browns it nicely without making the end product all mushy. I prefer to use any leftover meat I happen to have in the fridge, but you could use fresh meat or shrimp, too (instructions below the recipe).

Cauliflower Fried Rice (Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Perfect Health Diet, Whole30-friendly)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

1 head cauliflower, cut into large chunks
1 tbsp avocado oil or melted ghee or coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp fish sauce

1 tbsp tamari (or 1 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Chinese cooking (rice) wine or mirin
1 tsp coconut palm sugar or honey (omit for Whole30)
1/4 tsp white pepper

3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb leftover cooked meat, cut into bite-sized pieces (shrimp or raw meat okay, see note below)
2 medium carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed in cool water and drained
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 425F. In batches, pulse the chopped cauliflower in a food processor until it is the consistency of rice or couscous, about 10 to 15 pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl, then add the oil, salt, pepper, and fish sauce, then gently toss to combine with the cauliflower. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, then bake in the middle of the oven until slightly browned at the edges, 18 to 20 minutes, gently turning about 10 minutes into cooking. Set aside to until completely cool, about 10 minutes.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside. In a wok, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and fry until scrambled and mostly dry, about 2 minutes, then remove from the wok and set aside.

3. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the wok and warm until shimmering. Add the onion and stir-fry until softened and golden at the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 20 seconds.

4. Add the meat and sauté until the warmed through and crisping, about 1 minute, then add the carrots and stir-fry until the carrots are soft around the edges, about 1 minute.

5. Increase the heat to high and add the peas, cauliflower rice, and sauce, tossing to combine. Stir-fry until the peas are bright green, about 2 minutes. Finally, add the eggs back in. Toss with the sesame oil, season with salt to taste, then remove from the heat, and serve.

*** If using shrimp or raw meat (like chicken thighs or steak), cut everything up into bite-sized pieces, then simply stir-fry in 1 tbsp of oil until cooked through before you cook the egg in step #2, and set it aside until step #4. Right before taking the meat out of the wok to set aside, stir in a splash of tamari and rice wine.

37 thoughts on “Cauliflower Fried Rice

  1. Hey Russ I really enjoyed the fresh spin with the pre-cook method of the cauliflower rice! You mentioned that you prefer to use leftover meat for this recipe. Is there a type of meat that you have seen that tastes best with this recipe?


    1. Hi Jordan, we usually use leftover roast chicken, bacon, kalbi, steaks, or pork chops – especially anything grilled. I’ve found that no matter what the meat was previously cooked it, it always lends a nice distinction to each plate of fried rice – so long as you cut it up nice and small to complement the other ingredients!


  2. This cauliflower fried rice looks so tasty, Russ! I like to resuse leftovers, too. Salty food is my go-to so will have to try with fish sauce. Looks yummy!!


    1. I just realized after looking at the recipe again that there’s no actual rice in this. Didn’t notice that! It looks good and can still put this on top of a plate of rice even.


  3. Fried rice is a comfort food in our house, and when the rice disappeared, people were unhappy. I make this cauliflower rice like you do, with leftover pork or chicken, usually, and I clean out all the leftover veges in the fridge when I do. I also like kimchi fried cauliflower rice. We use bacon, onions and a bit of bell pepper in that. Yum.


  4. Thanks Russ! This is a life saver.

    I love couliflower so much! Almost as much as I hate it when it goes soggy. And it goes soggy so easily! However, it seems like this recipe will help me avoid soaking it. I’m definitely going to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also never have any pan drippings, but I wonder if it’s because we are using a small eye of the round roast and it is just too lean. The garlic that falls off the roast into the pan burns, as well. My mother in law used to cover her larger rump roasts the last 45 minutes of roasting and always ended up with a nice juice in the pan. I’ve been hesitant to cover these small roasts and ruin the cooking method you prescribe. Do you think it’s because the roasts are too small and lean? They are closer to 2.5-3lbs. From Costco.


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