Skip the takeout and try this paleo-friendly cauliflower shrimp “fried rice” recipe! You won’t believe how easy and flavorful homemade Chinese food tastes.
If there’s one dish I know my toddlers will always devour, it’s Chinese fried rice. With my oldest on a major shrimp kick, I have been coming up with healthy versions of his favorite foods like Shrimp Pad Thai, Shrimp Wonton Soup and Shrimp Stir-Fry. Toddler palettes can be fickle so I’m riding this shrimp wave for as long as possible.
Our latest favorite is a paleo-friendly version of the classic Chinese shrimp fried rice. Instead of using traditional white or brown rice, we grate fresh cauliflower turning it into a grain-free rice. Beyond being packed with fiber and antioxidants, cauliflower has a number of health benefits and is a great way to get your entire family to eat more cruciferous veggies.
Of course, cauliflower can be a little bland on it’s own so I like to use high-flavor, low calorie ingredients like fresh ginger, Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar, fresh scallions and toasted sesame oil to bring the dish together. Nakano’s rice vinegars come in a large variety of flavors (like mango or citrus), all free of artificial ingredients, flavors and preservatives. I used Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar because the clean acidity perfectly balances the bold ingredients throughout the dish.
Packed with plump, juicy shrimp, bright vegetables and fresh herbs, I happen to think it tastes even better than the restaurant version. But I’ll let you be the judge.
Your chop sticks are waiting.
Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 head cauliflower - grated or riced see video
- 1 medium onion diced
- 5 scallions diced whites and greens separated
- 2 cup medium carrots diced or 1 frozen
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce low sodium
- 2 tablespoons Nakano rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- sriracha optional
- Heat a large, deep pan or wok over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Season shrimp with ¾ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper before adding to the hot pan.
- Cook shrimp in an even layer, turning once, until pink (about 90 seconds per side.) Remove cooked shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- While shrimp is cooking, rice the cauliflower using a food processor, blender or a cheese grater; set aside.
- Whisk together eggs and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Spray pan with more cooking spray then reduce heat to medium. Pour eggs into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, 1-2 minutes. Remove cooked eggs and place in the bowl with reserved shrimp; set aside.
- Add diced onion, scallion whites, carrots, peas, garlic, and ginger to the pan and cook until soft and tender, stirring frequently. This should take 4-5 minutes.
- When veggies are cooked through, add cauliflower, soy sauce and rice vinegar to the pan. Stir well to combine then walk away for a few minutes so that the cauliflower can start to cook and create a nice crust. Come back, stir it around then walk away again. The flavor comes from letting the cauliflower brown a bit and become crispy. This process may take up to 10 minutes. It's worth the wait!
- Add cooked shrimp and egg back to the pan and cook until warmed through. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and garnish with scallion greens and Sriracha to serve.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl