I’ve always loved fried rice. The best versions usually come from Hibachi or Thai restaurants. I’ve been trying to recreate it at home for years and here is my favorite way to make it. In this recipe I am substituting cauliflower for the rice, making it low-carb friendly. This also works with regular white or brown rice. If you are using rice, it’s best to cook it ahead of time and allow to cool completely. I usually cook mine the day before and let it dry out in the fridge overnight. The absolute best rice to use is the leftover white rice from your chinese take-out that’s been sitting in your fridge for two days.
Here is the cauliflower “rice.” I cut the cauliflower into small pieces and then used a food processor to turn it into even smaller pieces that now resemble actual rice. There is no need to cook the cauliflower ahead of time.
After processing the cauliflower, I added the carrots and chopped them into little pieces as well. Then I sliced some scallions, snow peas, and zucchini, onions, and grated a little bit of ginger.
I sautéed the zucchini with diced onion and garlic and put aside.
Then I sliced shiitake mushrooms and sautéed them in a very hot pan.
Next I whisked sesame oil and eggs together with salt and made an omelet in a nonstick skillet.
Then I sliced it into tiny pieces.
I decided to get fancy with it and add shrimp. I cooked them in a little soy sauce and butter, with salt and pepper. I let them cook, then took off the tails and cut into small pieces.
Gather all of your ingredients when you are ready to make the rice and serve it. I also opted to add bean sprouts, and peas and corn. This ended up being a 12 ingredient fried rice, which is definitely not necessary. I just decided that I would go all out with this one.
This is what you will need to season your fried rice. I think sesame oil is crucial, but it’s up to you whether you use Tamari or soy sauce. In my opinion, Tamari has a very strong flavor, which I like. A little goes a long way. Fried rice recipes typically call for very small amounts of soy sauce anyway, so either one will work. I also minced garlic to use as well.
This is when the cauliflower comes in. Heat a nonstick or regular skillet, or wok, and sauté the cauliflower in batches with canola oil or butter. Hibachi restaurants often use butter in their fried rice and I absolutely think that’s the way to go. It’s important sauté a small amount at a time, because you want to get some color, and if you have too much in the pan it will just steam. After the cauliflower starts to brown a little, add a couple cloves of minced garlic, 1 TBSP of soy sauce, and a small drizzle of sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper and put on sheet tray. Repeat until all of the cauliflower is seasoned. Then in a large wok, sauté the carrots until tender. Add the snow peas and cook for an additional minute. You can now add your seasoned cauliflower and all of your cooked vegetables, ginger, eggs, and shrimp. Toss in wok until hot and all ingredients are incorporated. Taste and finish the rice with additional salt and pepper and scallions, and more sesame oil and soy sauce if needed.
The finished product! Fried cauliflower “rice” served with halibut and broccoli. It’s not the best picture ever but I only had a few seconds to snap it before it was served. Again, keep it mind that I was making a large portion for 15 people, so you will not need to use as much for the recipe below. Enjoy!
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 small onion
- 1 zucchini
- 1 carrot (you can also use small bag of frozen mixed vegetables)
- 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup thinly sliced snow peas
- 2 eggs
- 1 bu. chopped scallions
- 2 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger (optional)
- 1/2 lb. peeled & deveined shrimp
- 2 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP tamari OR 2-3 TBSP regular soy sauce
- Canola oil & butter for sautéing
- Cut cauliflower into chunks and put them into food processor. Pulse until you get small pieces similar to the size of grains of rice. Set Aside.
- If you are using fresh carrots, use the food processor to chop into small pieces as well. If you are using frozen veggies, pull them out to thaw.
- Chop all of the veggies you are using, onion, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
- Heat wok or pan over high heat and individually sauté zucchini and onions, then mushrooms, and carrots.
- After cooking the veggies, set aside on a sheet tray.
- Scramble your eggs in a bowl with salt & pepper and 1 TBSP of the sesame oil. In a small nonstick pan make an omelet. Slide the eggs onto cutting board and slice into small pieces.
- Cook shrimp in a separate pan with butter and soy sauce until cooked through. Cool and cut into small pieces.
- Now using your clean wok or pan, sauté the cauliflower in batches over very high heat. To start each batch, use canola oil or butter, or a mix of each. Put a portion of the cauliflower in the pan and leave it alone until it starts to get golden brown. After you have achieved some color, add garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt and pepper.
- Once you have cooked all of the cauliflower, combine with all other ingredients, cooked & frozen vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, shrimp, and scallions. Toss until everything is incorporated and and heated through.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary by adding additional soy sauce, garlic, and salt & pepper.
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