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.
Not a fan of shrimp? Take a look at these other cauliflower fried rice versions:
Frozen riced cauliflower can be used in lieu of fresh cauliflower. Don’t feel obligated to add shrimp either. Any protein like chicken can be added instead.
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.