Cauliflower Fried Rice

May 29, 2011 § 8 Comments

The Mister dubbed this dish the discovery of the year. I call it, “so good you won’t miss real fried rice” dish. Granted it’s only (end of) May but I think it’ll be tough to come up with another “new” dish as good as this one. What’s so special about this dish other than it tastes so good? There’s actually not a single grain of rice in it. Really. And it’s blow your socks off good. Really. When the SIL had it, she said she would have never known that it didn’t have rice if I hadn’t said anything.

Okay, now the disclaimer. Although the “mouth feel” isn’t exactly like fried rice, it’s a damn good substitute for anyone who is looking to cut down on starches. The key is Chinese sausage (lap cheong) and fish sauce. I’ve been doing a lot of stir fries lately, thanks to Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. I’m trying to make my way through the book (stayed tuned for more recipes in upcoming posts). The challenge here of course is the Mister cutting  out rice. Not a big deal since I don’t have that restriction, but I grew up where it’s mandatory to have some kind of rice or noodles with stir-fry. As a matter of fact, steamed white rice was served with just about every breakfast, lunch and dinner in Mom’s house. So it didn’t feel right not to have some kind of rice-like accompaniment. 

One of the Paleo tricks for rice substitution is cauliflower shredded in a food processor. Even Alton Brown made a dish using this shredded technique except he made a slaw (see end of post). I’ve seen other Paleo recipes for cauliflower fried rice and quite frankly, they all sounded blah! So I used my fried rice recipe and modified it for cauliflower rice. If there was any dish I would recommend to try this year, especially if you’re looking to increase your veggie intake, this is the one. But you should try it regardless because it’s so damn good! It also keeps very well as a leftover in the fridge. As a matter of fact, this is good all by itself and it’s even satisfied the Mister’s loco moco cravings. Of course you can make this without the Chinese sausage and it would still taste good, but nothing beats a bit of lap cheong in fried rice in my book. If you decide to skip the sausage, add another couple of teaspoons of fish sauce. Or you can use another kind of sausage or meat to give it a different spin. But don’t skip the fish sauce.

If you don’t have a food processor with a shredding disk, you can hand shred the cauliflower using the large holes of a box shredder. Just be careful of your fingers. I would also recommend cutting the cauliflower head into quarters rather than florets for easier gripping. Also, as with all stir fries, it’s important to have all the ingredients prepped (mise en place) and ready and within reach before you start stir frying.

Paleo diet ingredient substitution in red.


  • 1 large head (~2 lb) of cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 4 Chinese sausages (lap cheong), diced
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly both green and white parts
  • 3 eggs, beatened
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (low sodium Tamari)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (extra virgin avocado oil)

Using the largest shredding disk of your food processor, feed the florets through the tube until all the florets have been shredded (check out Alton’s video below about 7 minutes in). It’s okay if there are little shreds of cauliflower. Set aside.

Heat a large wok on high heat. Swirl in oil, add beaten eggs and stir fry until egg has set but still very wet, about a couple of minutes. Remove from wok and set aside. Don’t worry, this all goes back into the wok for final stir frying.

Add sausage to wok and stir fry on high until sausage begins to brown a bit on the edges and has cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside. If a lot of fat has rendered out of the sausage, dump out the excess fat leaving about a tablespoon of fat in the wok. This will help flavor the dish. Or if you prefer, you can dump out all the sausage rendered fat and add another tablespoon of cooking oil in its place.

Add minced garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add shredded cauliflower and salt, stir fry for a minute. Turn the heat down to medium-high, add soy sauce and fish sauce, stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs back in, breaking it up into small pieces with the spatula. Add the scallions and cooked sausage, stir fry for another minute or two to combine everything together. Give it a little taste to check seasoning. Add a bit more salt if needed. Serve hot.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Memorial weekend!


§ 8 Responses to Cauliflower Fried Rice

  • Dennis says:

    Wow it looks just like fried rice! And I LOVE Cauliflower…

    • CAB says:

      Hi Dennis! It does look like it doesn’t? I’ve made this dish several times in the past few weeks and it’s quickly becoming a staple leftover go-to dish for us.

  • hi c! what a cool way to use cauliflower! i admit it’s not my fave veg, but i would like to try out this recipe and see if it fools the husband and child! 🙂

    plus, i do have some lap cheong in the fridge that needs to be used so yeah, this recipe is it!

  • Leanne says:

    Interesting… I may have to give this a try with the cauliflower in the fridge… Heh. And the leftover Spam that’s also in the fridge.

  • Faye says:

    Wow wow wow! I limit my carb intake so this is SUCH a wonderful recipe! I haven’t had fried rice in AGES. So words can’t explain how excited i was when i saw your recipe!

    So there’s no need to steam the cauliflower beforehand? Is there a bit of a ‘chew’ to the cauliflower w/ this method?

    I feel sad b/c i don’t have a food processor so I’m hoping the hand grate method will produce the same results.

    Thank you for this recipe!

    • CAB says:

      Hi Faye! Hand grating should give the same results. The size should be around rice grain size. You can probably do it by hand with a knife too although I haven’t tried it that way. Slicing very thin and then finely dice/mince the pieces. The cauliflower doesn’t need to be precooked in anyway. The cooking time above gives the cauliflower a slight chew. But if you like it softer, you can stir fry a few more minutes before adding the eggs back in. If you do make this, let me know how you like it. Also feel free to add whatever you like. I usually add carrots and peas to fried rice but since this has so much veggies, I just skip them.

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