A healthy and delicious vegetable packed Chinese shrimp fried cauliflower rice bowl. Cauliflower florets substitute white rice for this savory one-pot dish.
Growing up in a big Chinese family you know I had my fair share of fried rice. If it was made at home, there was ALWAYS leftover rice for the next day. Day old rice has a chance to harden a bit in the fridge, and the grains tend to separate and are perfect for stir-frying in a big wok with other veggies, meats, and seasonings.
If my family ever reads this post, they would probably think I am insane suggesting to substitute cauliflower for actual rice. I apologize, but I’m a very curious cook and wanted to see if a healthier version indeed does exist. In my mission from a grain free solution, I cooked up a big pot of shrimp fried cauliflower rice with all the same ingredients I usually would use in a traditional version at the Yee household, just with cauliflower as my “rice”.
The results will amaze even the skeptics, check it out!
The first step is to transform a head of cauliflower into rice-shaped pieces for the dish. I used the largest hole on a handheld grater to break down just the florets (no stems) for this recipe.
Here comes my favorite part! In a big wok, add scrambled egg, carrot, peas, and cauliflower rice and fry until all of the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Scrambled eggs, soy sauce, salt, pepper and the pre-cooked shrimp goes in next to bring all of the goodness together in one happy pot.
Whoa, just looking at the picture, if I hadn’t told you that there was no rice in the dish, would you even know?
Each piece of cauliflower is light and tender and is seasoned nicely with the savory soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. The shrimp is so succulent and yummy; I like to sneak a few extra pieces for myself (sorry Jason). Sometimes my family would add ham, spam (yes spam), bacon, cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, corn or cashews into the dish. Play around and add your favorite ingredients to mix it up!
This shrimp fried cauliflower rice bowl is a great side dish to other yummy Chinese entrees like beef with broccoli or pork stir-fry with sugar snap peas. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, so you will get lots of nutrients with each bite, especially fiber, vitamin C and K. It is a beautiful lower carbohydrate alternative to white rice, allowing you to pack more vegetables into each bite. To me, nothing beats rice in a traditional fried rice dish, but it’s nice to have another tasty option when you are looking for a healthier meal.
Are there different ways to cut the cauliflower into small pieces?
I used a very basic small handheld cheese grater to create small “grains” of cauliflower rice for the recipe. If you have a large food processor, cut the cauliflower into florets, and then pulse until the smaller pieces are achieved. You can also use a blender and work in smaller batches, pulsing the florets until they are smaller in size. You can also use a large chef’s knife to chop just the florets (no stems) to achieve the tiny grains of cauliflower.