Fried rice, but without the rice! This cauliflower fried rice is a lightened up spin on traditional fried rice that’s delicious, easy to make, and totally satisfying.
Just to be clear, this isn’t fried rice with cauliflower, although that would be good too. This is cauliflower fried rice. The rice is cauliflower. It’s not really rice at all! It’s cauliflower disguised as rice. I know. Kinda mind boggling.
Okay, I’ll admit, not so long ago the idea of cauliflower fried rice might not have appealed to me all that much. But trust me, this stuff is good. Not good, as in, oh I’m on a diet and this isn’t a bad substitute for carb-laden rice good, but good as in, have some self control and don’t eat the whole batch good.
Why Make Cauliflower Rice?
I didn’t make this because I was on a diet or cutting carbs or anything like that. I made this because sometimes it’s fun to experiment with lighter versions of my favorite comfort foods. You know, stuff that’s just as delicious, but a little less filling.
Well, guess what? This isn’t one of those meals. Oh, it’s delicious, but I failed on the less filling part. I really didn’t expect that to happen at all, but my husband and I both polished off big plates of this before looking up at each other, rubbing our bellies and nodding our heads. “Damn, that’s filling!”
Cauliflower Fried Rice Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need!
- High-heat oil (like peanut or canola)
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Frozen peas
- Toasted sesame seeds
How to Make Cauliflower Fried Rice
Rice the Cauliflower
Before you can make cauliflower fried rice, you need to make cauliflower rice. Some stores actually sell cauliflower that’s been riced for you, but it’s also really easy to make it yourself!
I make my cauliflower rice in a food processor. Use the s-blade attachment and fill the bowl about halfway with raw cauliflower florets. Don’t overfill the bowl! You’ll probably need to work in batches.
Pulse the food processor until the cauliflower is chopped up super finely — it should look like little grains.
Tip: sometimes I’ll end up with a few chunks of cauliflower in the bowl that didn’t get riced. Just take these pieces out and process them with the next batch.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can also rice your cauliflower using a box grater (use the larger grate). This is more time consuming, but just as effective.
Make the Stir-Fry
Once your cauliflower is riced, the rest of the process is much like making a stir-fry. Prep your veggies and gather all of your ingredients before you start cooking.
Heat up some high-heat oil in a large skillet or wok, then add some garlic and the white parts of your scallions. Cook them for about a minute, until they become very fragrant.
Now raise the heat and add your cauliflower rice, carrots and soy sauce. Stir-fry the ingredients until most of the liquid has cooked off and the veggies are tender-crisp.
Add the peas and cook everything for a minute or so more, just enough to heat them up.
Finish your stir-fry by stirring in some toasted sesame oil and giving it a sprinkle with scallion greens and sesame seeds.
Cauliflower Fried Rice Tips & FAQ
- Can this recipe be made with frozen cauliflower rice? I haven’t tried, but I’m sure it can! I’d recommend thawing the rice before you cook it.
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Absolutely! Just substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce.
- Is there a way to lower the sodium content of this dish? Most of the sodium comes from the soy sauce. Try reducing the amount and/or using a reduced sodium variety.
- Want to add some protein to this dish? Include some pan-fried tofu.
- Leftovers & storage: Leftovers of this dish will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Variations! Try switching up the veggies with your favorites — any type of stir-fry veggie should work, such as snow peas, edamame, or broccoli. You can also swap out the sesame seeds with your peanuts or cashews.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Fried rice, but without the rice! This cauliflower fried rice is a lightened up spin on traditional fried rice that's delicious, easy to make, and totally satisfying.
- 1 (3 pound or 1.3 kg) cauliflower head (1 medium/large head)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or high-heat oil of choice)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 scallions, white and green parts separated and chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (or to taste)
- 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Toasted sesame seeds, for serving
Break or chop the cauliflower into small chunks.
Working in batches, place the cauliflower pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade, filling the bowl no more than half full. Pulse the food processor until the cauliflower is chopped into grain-sized pieces. Alternatively, you can grate the cauliflower using the large grating surface.
Place a large wok or skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the garlic and white parts of the scallions. Sauté them for about a minute, until very fragrant.
Raise the heat to high and add the cauliflower, carrot, and soy sauce. Stir-fry the veggies for about 4 minutes, until they're tender-crisp and most of the soy sauce has cooked off.
Stir in the peas and continue stir-frying everything for about a minute, just to heat the peas.
Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the sesame oil, green parts of your scallions and top everything with toasted sesame seeds.
Divide onto plates and serve.