Recipe: Fried Cauliflower Rice

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

I have been fairly obsessed with cauliflower “rice” ever since discovering it earlier this year. This finely chopped cauliflower is one of those cheater ingredients that actually tastes legit. No joke.

It has also brought Chinese fried rice, once relegated to the “comfort food” category, squarely into my weeknight meal rotation.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

This recipe is a pretty direct riff off of our ultimate How To Make Fried Rice from the stir-fry queen, Grace Young. The biggest difference here is that you need to cover the pan and let the cauliflower rice steam for a few minutes before the dish is ready to be served. I also usually throw some thick-cut bacon into my stir-fry (and use the bacon grease for cooking!), although you could really use any leftover bits of chicken or pork you may have — or keep it vegetarian and add crispy pan-fried tofu instead.

As a fried rice look-alike, this dish can hold its own. The cauliflower is chewy and nubbly in all the right rice-like ways. Bits of egg and tender vegetables also make it a satisfying meal on its own. This still feels like comfort food to me — just comfort food that’s sneaking a few more vegetables into my day!

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)
32 Ratings

Cauliflower Fried "Rice"

Serves4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium head cauliflower (or 5 to 6 cups riced cauliflower)

  • 8 ounces

    thick-cut bacon (about 8 slices, optional)

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon

    minced ginger

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 2

    medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup

    fresh or frozen corn kernels

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh or frozen peas

  • 4

    medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped cashews, almonds, or other nuts (optional)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    soy sauce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons tamari

Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough inner core. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it breaks down into rice-sized pieces. You should have 5 to 6 cups of cauliflower "rice."

    → For step-by-step instructions, see How To Make Cauliflower Rice or Couscous.

  2. Place the bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and cook until crisped and browned. Using tongs, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, coarsely chop and set aside. Drain off all but a teaspoon of bacon grease (or use 1 teaspoon vegetable oil), reserving the remaining grease.

  3. Place the pan back over medium-high heat. Place the eggs in a small bowl, whisk to break up, then pour into the pan. Quickly scramble the eggs or make an omelet. Transfer the eggs to a cutting board and coarsely chop; set aside.

  4. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels and add 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots and sauté until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the corn, peas, and cauliflower "rice," and stir to thoroughly combine.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the reserved bacon and eggs, scallions, nuts if using, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce or 1 tablespoon tamari. Taste and add more soy sauce or tamari to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for about 4 days.

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