Keto

Golden Cauliflower Fried Rice (Keto, Whole30, Gluten Free)

This Golden Cauliflower Fried Rice is my keto and gluten-free variation of a traditional Chinese fried rice dish—but instead of rice, I coat finely chopped cauliflower in egg yolks before stir-frying it with aromatics and crisp asparagus coins. It’s a fast and healthy vegetable side dish that’s perfect for weeknight meals!

Three bowls of golden cauliflower fried rice, a paleo, whole30, and keto vegetable side dish.

What is golden fried rice?

Golden fried rice is fried rice with a twist: instead of just cooking leftover white rice with kitchen scraps, you first coat the rice grains with egg yolks to produce a bright orange-yellow grain. It elevates this standard leftover makeover into a dish fit for an emperor—and in fact, its origins were in imperial kitchens in China.

A spoon lifting up a scoop of golden cauliflower fried rice from a skillet.

I first learned about golden fried rice from Chef Lucas Sin’s recent Instagram video, in which he created a version of this drool-worth fried rice recipe with pantry basics. I loved his simple take on this fancy Chinese dish and was inspired to make a keto and Whole30 version using cauliflower rice instead of white rice. 

After experimenting in my kitchen, I’m happy to say that my low carb version works great, and you won’t even miss the white rice! 

Combining cauliflower rice in a large bowl with egg yolks and seasoning to make golden cauliflower fried rice.

Tips for the best cauliflower fried rice

  • Chop and prep your ingredients ahead of time. This dish cooks quickly in a hot skillet so have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to throw into the pan. 
  • Don’t use frozen riced cauliflower! I love the convenience of frozen cauliflower rice, too, but not for this dish. The yolks don’t adhere well to frozen riced cauliflower and it releases too much liquid when you cook it. So grab a small head of cauliflower and pulse your own cauliflower rice in a food processor or grate it on a box grater. Even easier? Buy a bag of fresh cauliflower rice in the produce section of your local supermarket.
  • Use a well-seasoned cast iron, carbon steel, or non-stick skillet. You want the egg yolks to stick to the cauliflower rice and not the skillet!
  • No soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos. I know that fried rice is normally seasoned with soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you’re using my recipes), but it’ll turn this dish brown rather than golden. 
  • Keep it vegetarian—or not! I like to make this dish with only veggies so this side dish can pair with whatever protein I have on hand. But if you’re making a one-pan meal, feel free to add beef, chicken, shrimp, or whatever protein you want. 

Ingredients

An overhead shot of the raw ingredients for golden cauliflower fried rice.

  • Riced cauliflower: Remember—don’t use frozen riced cauliflower for this recipe!
  • Eggs yolks: The secret to the golden color and umami-packed flavor of the cauliflower fried rice is vibrant egg yolks! The leftover egg whites can be used for other recipes like West Lake Beef Soup and Raspberry Financiers. Our you can scramble them with some salt and add ’em to the cauliflower fried rice as extra protein!
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Ground turmeric (optional): Not necessary, but it adds to the golden hue and provides an extra anti-inflammatory boost to this dish.
  • Ground white pepper: You can use freshly ground black pepper, but ground white pepper is a more traditional seasoning and doesn’t add black flecks to the dish.
  • Avocado oil
  • Aromatics (ginger, garlic, shallots, and green onions): Don’t skimp on these aromatics—these four ingredients are what will make your fried cauliflower rice taste like authentic Chinese take out.
  • Asparagus: Thin asparagus coins add extra veggies and a pop of color. You can also use thinly sliced broccolini, broccoli stems, Chinese broccoli stems (a.k.a. gai lan) or even green peas and diced carrots.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Adds a nice nuttiness to the cauliflower rice.

How to make golden cauliflower fried rice

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, turmeric, and white pepper.

Ground white pepper is added to a large bowl filled with cauliflower rice, egg yolks, and salt.

Toss well to combine, making sure the cauliflower is evenly coated.

An overhead shot of cauliflower rice coated with egg yolks and seasoning to make golden cauliflower fried rice.

Heat a large cast iron, carbon steel, or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil.

Adding avocado oil to a large skillet.

Toss in the shallots, sprinkle on some salt, and cook, stirring, until they are slightly softened, about 1 minute.

Sauting finely chopped shallots in a skillet with salt and avocado oil.

Mix in the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

A closeup of a red silicone spatula pushing minced ginger and finely diced shallots in a large skillet.

Add the cauliflower rice and cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

A skillet is filled with cauliflower rice coated with egg yolks.

Push the cauliflower rice to the side of the pan and add the asparagus coins with a sprinkle of salt. If the pan is looking dry, add a little avocado oil before adding the asparagus.

A hand is sprinkling salt on asparagus coins in a skillet filled with golden cauliflower fried rice.

Cook, stirring the asparagus frequently, until the coins are bright green and tender-crisp, about one minute. Mix in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.

A red silicone spatula is mixing the asparagus coins with minced garlic in a pan that has yellow cauliflower rice in half of it.

Combine the asparagus and garlic with the cauliflower rice.

A red silicone spatula is stirring asparagus coins into the golden cauliflower fried rice.

Turn off the heat and add the scallions and sesame oil. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

A hand is sprinkling sliced green onions onto a skillet filed with golden cauliflower fried rice.

Serve with your favorite protein and enjoy!

A bowl filled with golden cauliflower fried rice.

What to serve with cauliflower fried rice?

You can easily pair this vegetable side dish with one of these main dishes for a complete meal:

  • Egg Roll in a Bowl (a.k.a. Potsticker Stir Fry)
  • Chinese Chicken Wings
  • Char Siu (Cantonese Barbecue Pork)
  • Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew
  • Moo Shu Pork
  • Walnut Shrimp

How to store leftovers?

Store leftover cauliflower in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days! It’s perfect as the base for packed lunches and quick weekday meals. Simply reheat it in an Anyday glass bowl for about 90 seconds on high power in the microwave. Alternatively, you can also stir fry the cauliflower rice in a skillet until heated through.

Other Cauliflower Fried Rice recipes

  • Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice
  • Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice
  • Simple Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice
  • Mexican Cauliflower Rice
  • Simple Cauliflower Rice

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).

PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Golden Cauliflower Fried Rice

This Golden Cauliflower Fried Rice is my keto and gluten-free variation of a traditional Chinese fried rice dish—but instead of rice, I coat finely chopped cauliflower in egg yolks before stir-frying it with aromatics and crisp asparagus coins. It’s a fast and healthy vegetable side dish that’s perfect for weeknight meals!

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course: Vegetable Side Dish

Cuisine: Chinese

Keyword: cauliflower, cauliflower fried rice, gluten-free, keto, low carb, nom nom paleo, nomnompaleo, paleo, Whole30

Servings: 4

Calories: 187 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups riced cauliflower
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric optional
  • teaspoon ground white pepper
  • tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ pound asparagus cut into ¼-inch thick coins 
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, turmeric, and white pepper. Toss well to combine, making sure the cauliflower is evenly coated.

  • Heat a large cast iron, carbon steel, or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil.

  • Toss in the shallots, sprinkle on some salt, and cook, stirring, until they are slightly softened, about 1 minute.

  • Mix in the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  • Add the cauliflower rice and cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

  • Push the cauliflower rice to the side of the pan and add the asparagus coins with a sprinkle of salt. If the pan is looking dry, add a little avocado oil before adding the asparagus.

  • Cook, stirring the asparagus frequently, until the coins are bright green and tender-crisp, about one minute. Mix in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Combine the asparagus and garlic with the cauliflower rice.

  • Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil and scallions. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Enjoy!

  • Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days.

Notes

  • Chop and prep your ingredients ahead of time. This dish cooks quickly in a hot skillet so have all of your ingredients measured out and ready to throw into the pan. 
  • Don’t use frozen riced cauliflower! I love the convenience of frozen cauliflower rice, too, but not for this dish. The yolks don’t adhere well to frozen riced cauliflower and it releases too much liquid when you cook it. So grab a small head of cauliflower and pulse your own cauliflower rice in a food processor or grate it on a box grater. Even easier? Buy a bag of fresh cauliflower rice in the produce section of your local supermarket.
  • Use a well-seasoned cast iron, carbon steel, or non-stick skillet. You want the egg yolks to stick to the cauliflower rice and not the skillet!

Nutrition

Calories: 187 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Protein: 8 g | Fat: 12 g | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 5 g

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