Kitchn Love Letters

Three Years Later I Still Make This Whole30 Recipe All the Time

published Jan 15, 2020
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A few years ago, along with a handful of other Kitchn editors, I gave the Whole30 diet a try for the first time. I got a lot out of the experience: In addition to experiencing the best sleep of my life, it helped me hone my meal planning and prep skills, introduced me to a wonderfully rich alternative to cream for my coffee, and made me more aware of my food choices and eating habits. But above all else, the most lasting benefit was the introduction to this Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice. It became a staple in my Whole30 meal plan, and three years later I still make it all the time.

There are plenty of different ways to make cauliflower fried rice, but when I try other versions I almost always feel like I’m missing out because I’m not eating this one. In addition to being packed with veggies, it also has a ton of flavor.

Between the coconut aminos (which can be swapped for soy sauce or tamari if you’re not following Whole30), fish sauce, a trio of fresh herbs, and shredded pork shoulder, there’s a punch of umami balanced by a bright freshness. Plus, it actually fills me up. And should you be lucky enough to have leftovers, you’re in for a real treat the next day.

The Endless Variations of This Cauliflower Fried Rice

The beauty of this recipe, and a big part of what keeps me coming back, is just how easy it is to make variations. I am always adjusting it slightly depending on what I’m in the mood for and which ingredients I have on hand. The recipe calls for up to 1/2 cup of Kalua pork, so if I have any pork shoulder leftover from another dish, this is the way I’ll use it up.

But just about any type of protein is a fit with this fried rice. Shredded chicken or beef, even crumbled ground beef, turkey, and chicken — all taste good. Want to make it even meatier? Try adding a full cup of meat. If you’re not following Whole30, tofu (cube it or shred it) or crumbled tempeh, work as well for meat-free options. You can also simply eliminate the egg and make it vegan.

Most vegetables are also fair game in this fried rice. In addition to the cauliflower, mushrooms, and scallions, I’m not shy about tossing in whatever’s lingering in the crisper and needs to be used up. Shredded carrots and leafy greens are two of my regular add-ins, as are edamame and corn (which I recommend for anyone not trying to be compliant).

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.