Healthy, keto-friendly cauliflower fried rice with big, bold flavors like garlic, chili and ginger. This recipe is a healthy vegetable side or main dish ready in 20 minutes.
Whether you’re avoiding gluten, extra carbs or simply looking for tasty ways to get more vegetables into your daily life, this is a perfect recipe to try.
Whatever the reason, when you’re off carbs, actual fried rice is obviously verboten.
So, riced cauliflower here we come!
What’s riced cauliflower?
Riced cauliflower — which is basically very finely chopped cauliflower — is everywhere.
Have you been to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or just about any other grocery store produce section lately?
You’ve probably seen containers of cauliflower and broccoli that are finely chopped to resemble couscous or rice grains.
There’s a reason these prepped veggies are so trendy.
It’s because they’re the perfect base of a low-carb meal in place of rice, wheat or other types of grain.
People seeking healthy lifestyles or those on various diet plans like Keto, Paleo or Whole 30 who’re avoiding excess carbs can make meals using these “riced” vegetables as a filling and nutritious alternative to grains.
Riced cauliflower in particular has a nice fluffy texture and a textural bite that’s very satisfying.
How to make cauliflower rice
If you’d rather DIY your cauliflower rice, it’s pretty easy to make your own.
The quickest way is to just whiz the florets from a small head of cauliflower in a food processor.
It literally takes a matter of seconds to make a good batch of cauliflower rice.
Another way to make cauliflower rice without a food processor is to grab one of these old-school box graters.
Hold the cauliflower by the stem end and grate it on the side that has the medium holes.
Last but not least, it’s possible to simply use a good, sharp knife to make riced cauliflower.
Start by separating the florets, trimming off the stem and then slicing into very small pieces.
It takes a bit longer, but totally works!
How to make tasty cauliflower Fried rice
If you haven’t tried it, let me be honest and say that cauliflower rice isn’t going to fool you into thinking it’s an actual grain.
But if you have any doubts about making a meal out of it, trust that this spiced-up cauliflower is so filling and tasty in its own right it might change your mind.
I have a deep love for anything cauliflower and will happily devour a bowl (or two) of this incredibly tasty dish any day of the week, and I’m an absolute fiend for carbs.
One reason is that cauliflower is a fairly neutral-tasting veggie that can stand up to bold seasonings.
Enter kimchi, the Korean fermented condiment made with cabbage (and/or radishes), chili, garlic and other seasonings.
Kimchi has a savory balance of flavors — it’s salty, tangy and has just a little heat from chili.
Because it’s naturally fermented like sauerkraut and yogurt, kimchi is packed with healthy probiotics that are so good for the gut.
This recipe incorporates a small amount of chopped kimchi, which is usually available in the refrigerated section of your well-stocked grocery store near the tofu, kombucha and other “healthy” products.
In addition to kimchi, I added garlic, ginger and chili to the riced cauliflower to really build the flavor, so that every forkful is incredibly tasty.
This recipe is vegetarian or vegan (as long as you source a vegan kimchi).
If you’d like to make this a heartier main dish for dinner, add some crumbled or cubed tofu to the pan when frying.
Or if you’re not vegetarian, cooked protein like shrimp, chicken or a fried egg is fantastic on top.
Cauliflower Fried Rice with Kimchi (Keto)
- 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, about 1 small head or half of a large one, cored and cut into florets
- 1/4 cup each fresh cilantro and parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or avocado
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or scallion
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper, gochugaru or crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1 cup chopped kale, spinach or other leafy green
- 2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu sauce
- Optional garnishes: Sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil and thinly sliced fresh red chili
- Put the cauliflower, parsley and cilantro in a food processor and pulse to form very small crumbs the size of rice grains.
- Place a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when it just starts to shimmer, stir in the cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook without stirring for a few minutes, until the edges of the cauliflower begin to take on some color.
- Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger and chili and continue cooking 3 more minutes, until the onion is softened and everything is smelling good.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the kimchi, kale and tamari.
- Taste for seasoning (add more tamari, salt or chili to your taste), then serve in bowls garnished with some sesame seeds, fresh chili, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Enjoy!
- Top with your protein of choice to bulk up the dish — try shrimp, fried egg or tofu.
- To save more time, substitute prepared riced cauliflower from the grocery store and skip the food processor step. Chop the herbs and mix together with the cauliflower.
- You need about 4 cups of cauliflower florets to make 4 servings.
- Swap out the tamari with coconut aminos if you're adhering to a specific carb count.