Adopting a Paleo lifestyle doesn't mean that fried rice is forever off the menu. You just have to get creative.
Years ago, when I went Paleo, I experimented in the kitchen until I developed an Asian cauliflower fried "rice" that easily trumps the greasy, soy-drenched stuff peddled by your local Chinese restaurant. As long as you prep the veggies the night before, it's a cinch to throw this one-wok meal together on a weeknight. The leftovers reheat wonderfully, and they are the perfect sidekick to lunches for the rest of the week.
Don't feel confined by the ingredients listed here. You can throw in pretty much whatever you have on hand, just like my Chinese mom does with her traditional fried rice.
This was the first time I made fried rice with cauliflower instead of rice, and I was hooked! It was satisfying and so easy to make, especially knowing that you can freeze cauliflower rice!
I definitely agree that the fish sauce is not optional in this recipe — it added lots of deep savory flavors that really made the dish more complex and unique. And if you don't have any kalua pork around, I think shredded cooked chicken would be a delicious substitute!
- Christine, May 2015
Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice with Kalua Pork
Serves 4 to 6
1 small head
cauliflower, separated in florets
(1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated with a microplane
small yellow onion, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup
Kalua pork (or substitute 3 strips bacon, fried and crumbled, or any other leftover meat)
scallions, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons
Freshly ground black pepper
Splash of coconut vinegar (optional)
Splash of fish sauce (not optional)
First, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until the pieces are the size of rice and chop the rest of the ingredients. Whisk the two eggs in a small bowl with some salt and pepper to taste.
Warm a little bacon grease or other cooking fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour the whisked eggs into the hot pan and fry a thin egg omelet. Take the egg out of the pan, slice it thinly, and set it aside.
I always keep a large knob of ginger on hand in my freezer. It keeps really well. When I need to use it, I take it out of the freezer, peel off the skin with my vegetable peeler, and microplane it. It’s almost like making ginger-flavored shaved ice.
Crank up the heat under your cast iron skillet to medium-high and add the chopped onions (along with a dash of salt and pepper). Once the onion softens, toss in the sliced mushrooms and Kalua pork (along with yet another sprinkle of salt and pepper), and stir-fry everything until the mushrooms are browned.
Add the ginger and stir it around for 30 seconds, then throw in the cauliflower and even more salt and pepper. Put a lid on the skillet and lower the heat to low and cook covered for about 5 minutes. When the cauliflower is tender (but not too mushy), add the coconut aminos, herbs, and sliced egg omelet. You can also add a little coconut vinegar to add a tiny bit of tang to the dish. And splash on some fish sauce for good measure.