Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Can Be Paleo)

I'm pretty excited about this recipe for Fried Cauiflower "Rice" with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper!

Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper

More than four years ago I first made Cauliflower Rice, a dish of finely chopped cauliflower that's sauteed and eaten as rice, and I liked it but for some reason I didn't get inspired to experiment with it much more.  Then the Pinterest exploded with ideas for cauliflower rice, and I got intrigued with the idea again.  Recently I found myself with cauliflower, sugar snap peas, red bell peppers, and cooked shrimp all in the fridge on a day my nephew Jake was coming to cook, and we experimented a bit and came up with this recipe for Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper.  Not only did we absolutely love this (even Jake, who is definitely not a cauliflower fan) but it was so good that I quickly ate my leftovers for breakfast the next day, wishing I had more.

If you absolutely hate cauliflower, this is probably not for you.  But if you like cauliflower, even just a little, I promise you will be totally surprised at how delicious grain-free cauliflower fried rice can be.  I was trying to make a dish that's as close as possible to authentic fried rice, which I think is partly what made it so good, and it may be helpful to read about The Principles of Chinese Cooking before trying this if you haven't done much stir-frying.  But as long as you have all your ingredients prepped before you start to cook, and remember to keep stirring when the heat is high, this is actually not that hard to make. And if you're someone who loves fried rice but is trying to avoid carbs, this might become your new favorite recipe!

Cut 1/2 head of cauliflower into large pieces and then pulse in food processor until it's approximately the consistency of grains of rice.  (If you don't have a food processor you can grate the caulflower on the large side of a cheese grater.)

Chop up half of an onion, peel 5-6 garlic cloves, and slice a few slices of ginger root.  You also need 4 green onion, sliced into diagonal slices.  Somehow they didn't make it into the photo!

Whisk together the soy sauce and sesame oil, and beat the egg. (If you're avoiding soy, substitute Coconut Aminos for the soy sauce.)

Cut the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces and slice sugar snap peas on the diagonal into thin slices.

Cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces (and pat dry with paper towels if they're wet.)

Heat the wok or pan over high heat for 30-60 seconds, then add the oil and heat 30-60 seconds more. then add the garlic cloves and ginger slices and cook just until they're fragrant; then remove. 

Then add the onion and cook 1-2 minutes, just until it's starting to brown.  (Remember to stir!)

Add the chopped cauliflower and cook 2-3 minutes over high heat, stirring often.  Remove the cauliflower to a bowl.  (It will get cooked more later.)

Add 1-2 teaspoons more oil as needed, then add the peppers and sugar snap peas and stir-fry 1-2 minutes.

Push the vegetables over to the side and add the egg, stirring and breaking apart with the turner to get scrambled egg pieces.

Add the cauliflower back into the wok and cook about a minute.  (Keep stirring!)

Then add the shrimp and green onion pieces and cook just long enough to warm it, 1-2 minutes.

Add the soy-sauce/sesame oil mixture and cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring so the sauce is coating all the food.  Serve hot.  (I was pleasantly surprised how good this was left over after a night in the fridge, but I wouldn't recommend doubling the recipe unless you have a really gigantic frying pan or wok.)

Fried Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas, and Red Pepper
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake, with inspiration from many other versions of Cauliflower Fried Rice spotted around the web.  See after the recipe for links to some other versions.)

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into pieces and pulsed in food processor or grated until it resembles pieces of rice
1/2 onion, chopped small
4-6 peeled garlic cloves
4-6 slices ginger root
4 green onions, sliced in 1/2 inch diagonal pieces
2 T soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce such as Tamari for gluten free; substitute Coconut Aminos for Paleo)
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 egg, beaten well
1 cup thinly sliced sugar snap peas (slice on diagonal)
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 oz. cooked shrimp, cut into pieces
1 T + 2 tsp. high smoke point oil (such as avocado oil or safflower oil)

It's very important to have all the ingredients chopped and prepped before you start to stir-fry.  You may want to read The Principles of Chinese Cooking if you're not experienced with stir-fry cooking.

Cut the cauliflower in half, cut out the core and discard, and cut half the cauliflower into chunks, saving the rest for another use.  Put the cauliflower pieces into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the cauliflower is chopped into small pieces resembling rice.  (We had some bigger pieces that didn't chop up right away and we removed the chopped cauliflower and pulsed those again.)  If you don't have a food processor you can grate the caulflower on the large side of a cheese grater.

Chop the onion into 1/2 inch pieces, peel the garlic cloves, and cut some slices of ginger root.  Slice the green onion diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.  Whisk together the soy sauce and sesame oil, and beat the egg.  Slice the sugar snap peas diagonally into thin slices until you have 1 cup sliced sugar snap peas and chop the red bell pepper into 1/4 inch pieces.  Cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces (pat dry with paper towels if it seems very wet.)

Heat the pan over high heat for 30-60 seconds, then add the oil and heat 30-60 seconds, or until it sizzles if you add a drop of water.  (The time will depend on how hot your stove gets.)  Add the garlic cloves and ginger slices and cook just until they are fragrant, then remove.  (This is called "seasoning the oil.")

Add the chopped onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is starting to get slightly brown on the edges.  Add the chopped cauliflower and stir fry 2-3 minutes.  Remove cauliflower to a plate.  (Wipe out the pan or wok if the cauliflower sticks to the sides.)

Add 2 tsp. more oil and heat until it sizzles if you add a drop of water.   Add the sugar snap peas and red bell pepper and stir-fry about 2 minutes.  Push vegetables to the side of the wok and add the egg, using a wooden spoon to stir and break it apart until it's cook and resembles chopped scrambled egg.

Put the cauliflower back into the wok and heat about 1 minutes.  Add the shrimp and about 3/4 of the green onion pieces and cook 1-2 minutes, just long enough to heat the shrimp.  Add the soy-sesame mixture and stir fry until all the ingredients are coated with it, about a minute more.  Serve hot.

I was pleasantly surprised how good this was after it had been in the fridge overnight, and it made a great breakfast!

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This recipe that's loaded with low-glycemic ingredients is a great dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Tasty Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipes from Other Blogs:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Cauliflower Fried Rice ~ Vintage Mixer

Sriracha Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice ~ The Lemon Bowl

Ginger Fried Cauliflower Rice ~ A Cozy Kitchen

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Rice (Video) ~ Big Red Kitchen

Cauliflower "Fried Rice" ~ Skinnytaste

Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice ~ Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Cauliflower Bacon Fried Rice ~ Steamy Kitchen

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice ~ Closet Cooking

Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice ~ A Spicy Perspective

Chicken and Cauliflower Fried Rice ~ Deliciously Organic

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. If anything could get me to try cauliflower rice, it would be this dish. I'm a fried rice junkie, so I feel like I have to give this a shot.

  2. Lydia, I could not believe how delicious this was! And Jake is really not a cauliflower fan at all, but he loved it too.

  3. This sounds wonderful - but the print button doesn't seem to be working now - maybe it's just me?

  4. Artymoi, thanks so much for telling me; just fixed it!

  5. What an awesome idea! I am going to have to give this a try.

  6. I love cauliflower fried rice and this version looks amazing!

  7. Thanks Alyssa, so glad you like it!

  8. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. My husband and I literally inhaled it. Since I have half a cauliflower, and appropriate quantities of the other veggies left in the fridge I'm going to make it again this week, this time using chopped rotisserie chicken instead of shrimp. Just to see how it tastes. Thanks for year after year of great healthy recipes, Kalyn!

  9. Meg, so happy to hear you enjoyed it so much. I think chicken will also be excellent in this. And very nice to know that you've been enjoying my blog for a long time!

  10. I made this for dinner with a couple of variations - center cut ham cubes, browned, in place of the shrimp and mung bean sprouts in place of the sugar snap peas. My husband loved it, and wants to keep that recipe! I love your daily emails! Thank you.

  11. Fran, love the sound of your version; glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  12. This recipe sounds amazing! Thanks for mentioning my post too! Pinned

  13. Thanks Sommer, so glad you like it! I will definitely be making more cauliflower fried rice in the future!

  14. Oh, I can totally go for this recipe, Kalyn! I love the ingredients!


  15. Thanks Shirley, glad you like it!

  16. I was skeptical that this would work - but I'm so pleased it did! This was delicious and satisfying - I can't wait to make it again!

  17. So glad you enjoyed it. And I completely understand the skepticism; I felt that way too until I tried it!

  18. Just wanted to let you know how awesome this was! I made it tonight with chicken. LOVE IT!

  19. Thanks Rhonda, so glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Kalyn one thing I love about your recipes is they are a springboard for my creativity. I had in no particular order, a bag of those scrumptious red shrimp from trader joes, a handful of shishito peppers, some sugar snaps and of course the cauliflower. I always have cauliflower. The checker at the store notices when you buy 4 of them at once.

    For my rice I used the large grater in my cuisinart. Heavy pressure to keep pieces big. Then I cooked it in the microwave with a splash of homemade chicken stock. When tender I shook some good old Tony's creole and sautéed it in macadamia nut oil. In another pan I combined the peppers and cup up snap peas along with some red onion and a red bell cut in big long strips. A little Mac oil and some seasoning and voila crispy tender deliciousness. Took the veg out, put in the shrimp which starts out red so one must be careful, and cooked them to perfection. So it ended up a weird but delectable version of your lake Powell rice plus this dish, I could not bring myself to. It up those beautiful shrimp, so I halved the peas and shishitos. It was fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration once again.

    1. Very fun; I love hearing how the recipes are inspiring you!


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