Fried “Rice” (paleo, gluten-free)

paleo fried rice gluten-free

When I first heard about making rice with cauliflower, I was skeptical. I’ve never been the world’s biggest cauliflower fan, and my preferred way of serving this oddly white vegetable was with melted Velveeta all over the top of it.

Yeah, the last time I ate cauliflower, I was also still eating Velveeta. Judge if you like.

But this week, I found myself craving starch and protein all blended together in a dish that was easy to make, yet burst with flavor. I have been obsessed with Asian flavors lately — cilantro, fish sauce, anything with that indefinable umami — but I needed something that was also Paleo, which meant no actual rice, no soy sauce and, more to the point, no Pad Thai from my favorite take-out place.

Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo came to the rescue yet again.

Her cookbook includes a recipe for Paleo Asian Fried Rice, a version of which is also available on her blog, here. The cookbook version does not include the mint or basil, which I feel like is a good call.

Here’s what happens: You crisp up little bits of bacon. You process cauliflower rice in a food processor until it turns into grains the size of pieces of rice. You fry some eggs in the bacon grease, add onions and mushrooms, add the cauliflower, season with fish sauce, coconut aminos and cilantro and then pretty much just stuff your face.

This is not the fastest or easiest weeknight dish by any means, but it is delicious. I would challenge anyone to pick out what the “rice” is in this dish if they didn’t already know, and using the bacon grease to fry the eggs, onions and mushrooms in is, obviously, awesome. Best of all, it’s full of protein, fat and flavor, all the things you need to power through a busy week.

Fried “Rice”
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms (or others, if you want to spice it up a bit)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
Instructions
  1. Fry bacon in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon. Turn heat down to medium-low and fry the eggs with salt and pepper in the remaining bacon grease. When cooked, remove egg to plate and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, process your cauliflower florets in a food processor until they are finely chopped and sort of look like rice. Do not overdo this step, or you will puree your cauliflower! Pulse and check carefully.
  3. Add olive oil to pan once eggs are removed and add onions. Sautee until soft and translucent, then add mushrooms. When mushrooms are browned, but not giving up their juices, add ginger and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add cauliflower and put a lid on the pan, steaming for 2 minutes or until everything is tender, but not mushy. Season with coconut aminos, fish sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cut egg omelet into ribbons, and add to the “rice” with bacon crumbles. Stir to combine. Serve topped with scallions and cilantro.
By Michelle Tam
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