When it comes to food, I want flavor. Pure and simple. If it's bland and boring, it just doesn't do it for me. This Cauliflower Fried Rice is so flavorful without being spicy, it is my favorite recipe of all! So good!
That might seem a bit over the top because I have made some delicious food and I've eaten at some pretty incredible places, however, this recipe wins in my book. Why?
Because it has all the flavors and textures of regular fried rice (better even) AND a ton less carbs! Yes, it has carbs. Too many to be considered Keto, but that is easily fixed and I'll go over that in a little bit.
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It's no secret that I love Asian food of all kinds. At least all the Asian cuisines I've had, I've fallen in love with. Asia is a huge continent and there are tons of cuisines that I haven't been able to try yet, but I hope to!
The fresh and complex flavors in most Asian dishes always leave me wanting more. If you love bold and bright flavors like the ones in this Cauliflower Fried Rice, you definitely want to check out these other recipes!
Don't let the picture fool you (I need to retake it for sure), this dish is spectacular!
These are one of FAVORITE quick and simple dishes of all time.
If you have never had this Filipino dish, give it a try! The flavors are unbelievable and the ingredients are SIMPLE!
These are just a few examples, you can find many more recipes with Asian influence on my website. Including Steamed Buns, Asian Stir Fry, Chicken Satay with a Peanut Sauce, and an Asian Pulled Pork with Pickled Vegetables that is unbelievably easy and delicious!
Can I make this recipe with regular rice?
Of course! There will be several changes obviously, but with the Ninja Foodi all things are possible!
What I suggest is following my recipe for Hawaiian Fried Rice for time/technique and doubling, maybe even tripling the sauce ingredients.
I do want to stress that this Cauliflower Fried Rice is unreal in it's flavor and texture, so even if you don't usually like cauliflower you might be shocked by this recipe!
Tips for Substituting Ingredients in Cauliflower Fried Rice
I select all of the ingredients so that they work together to create a dish that is well balanced and full of flavor.
I really urge you to try the recipe as written the first time and then make changes, however, I also realize that some dietary restrictions and personal dislikes may require changes from the start and I'll go over my suggestions for some common substitutions.
How to make Cauliflower Fried Rice Keto?
I don't claim to be a keto scholar and I hope I get all of this right, but if I don't, just let me know and I'll be sure to correct it!
Sesame Oil: From what I understand, it can be used in keto in moderation. If you want to decrease the amount of sesame oil, simply use ½ sesame oil and ½ the oil of your choice. Keep in mind, a lot of the flavor comes from the sesame oil, so you may need to adjust seasonings when decreasing the sesame oil.
Soy Sauce: I think soy sauce is okay on keto, but many people prefer to substitute with coconut aminos. This is a great option for gluten free or soy intolerance as well.
Carrot: Carrots are higher in carbs then other vegetables and you can simply skip it or replace it with another vegetable, like a red pepper.
Honey: This is definitely not keto and is the highest carb count of all the ingredients. Simply replace the honey with a touch of your favorite low carb sweetener AND add in a touch of water. You might even want to use a little xanthan gum, sweetener, and water to make a slurry that will coat the cauliflower rice and help create a thicker sauce. The honey does help bring everything together so the sauce isn't too liquidy.
Peas: These are another higher starch vegetable that aren't the best for keto. Simply omit them and add in some extra green onions for crunch.
What can I use instead of Lemongrass Paste?
I really hope you can find it because it is a wonderful addition to so many Asian dishes. A lot of grocery stores will carry it, but it is a refrigerated item most of the time and cannot be ordered from Amazon.
I've made the mistake and ordered something from Amazon I thought would be similar and it was horrible!
This is the brand I use and if your grocery store carries it, it will usually be in the produce section above or with the fresh herbs.
If you can't find Lemongrass paste at your grocery store, you can simply omit it OR add in a little lemon zest at the end.
Lemon zest isn't the same thing as lemongrass, but it does add that bit of brightness that lemongrass brings to the table.
Is the Garlic Chili Sauce Spicy?
Yes, a little. The first time I made this recipe, I used a full tsp of the garlic chili sauce and loved it! However, I thought it might be a little too spicy for a lot of people and fried rice isn't usually spicy.
I cut that amount in half and was very pleased with the flavor. It deepens the flavor without adding the spice.
If you like it spicy, add the whole teaspoon or more!
You can usually find the brand I use in most grocery stores. The link is above, underlined.
Can I add Meat to this Cauliflower Fried Rice?
Of course! it would be great with chicken, beef, shrimp, and pork to name a few.
The way you would add these meats in will vary by the type.
- Pork: I would either add in fully cooked pork when I add the peas OR small cubes, maybe ½ -1" size, of uncooked pork at the very beginning of the Air Crisp time, that should be plenty to cook the pork.
- Chicken: Same instructions as the pork for chicken breasts. For cut up chicken thighs or any other cut of chicken, I would add them at the beginning when you sauté your vegetables.
- Beef: I would use a tender cut of beef or very thin slices (across the grain) and add 1/2 way through the air crisping time. Or you can add fully cooked beef at the end when you add the peas or even halfway through the air crisp time.
- Shrimp: For frozen shrimp, I would add them at the beginning of the air crisp time. If they are thawed, you can add them in the middle of the air crisp time and they should cook just fine.
Can I make Cauliflower Fried Rice without the Ninja Foodi?
If you have the Instant Pot Duo Crisp or an Instant Pot with an air fryer lid, you can follow the exact same instructions.
You can even make this using the stove and oven.
This recipe would be amazing using cast iron on the stove and in the oven and this 14" size cast iron from Pampered Chef would be perfect!
Simply sauté on the stove in an ovenproof skillet and then transfer to your oven on 450℉/232℃ and bake for 15 minutes. Sitr a few times during the baking time and if you have a convection oven, I would turn it on.
Then finish off the dish stovetop again using a medium high heat.
How to make Cauliflower Fried Rice in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Start off by prepping your veggies. Cut the carrot and celery into ¼" dice. Grate the ginger root until you have about 1 teaspoon of grated ginger. Process your cauliflower into small pieces a little bigger than a grain of rice.
The best tool I have found for this the manual food processor from Pampered Chef. I love that I have complete control over how big or small I want the pieces of cauliflower. I get perfect cauliflower "rice" every time!
Add 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil to the inner pot and turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Duo Crisp on high sear/sauté. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes and add the carrots and celery.
Cook on high sear/sauté for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add in the soy sauce, lemongrass paste, chili garlic sauce, grated ginger, and honey. Stir to combine.
Stir to combine ingredients and then add in the cauliflower rice. Stir to coat the cauliflower rice with the sauce and turn off the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot Duo Crisp.
Lower the TenderCrisp lid and select Air Crisp or Air Fry on the IPDC on 375℉/190℃ and set the time for 15 minutes. Stir after 7 minutes and again after 11 minutes.
Add in frozen peas and stir. Move the cauliflower mixture to the edges of the pot so that the center is open. Add 1 -2 tsp of sesame oil and turn the sear/sauté on high.
Lightly beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. When the oil is hot, add ⅓ of egg mixture to the center of the pot and let it set. Once it's set, break it up with a silicone or not scratch spatula and move into the cauliflower rice mixture.
Repeat 2 more times until the egg mixture is gone. Add more sesame oil if needed. Stir in chopped green onions.
Serve & Enjoy!
Guess what is coming soon??? General Tso's Cauliflower! It's so good and perfect to serve right along side of this cauliflower fried rice!
Cauliflower Fried Rice ~Ninja Foodi Recipe
- Process the cauliflower until you have about 4 cups of cauliflower rice
- Dice the carrot and celery stalks into ¼" dice. You can make them bigger if you want, just make them all about the same size so they cook uniformly.
- Add 2 Tbsp sesame oil and turn the Ninja Foodi on high sear/sauté. Let the oil heat up for a few minutes.
- When the oil is hot, add in the diced carrot and celery and cook on high sear/sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add in the soy sauce, lemongrass paste, grated ginger, chili garlic sauce, and honey. Stir to combine.
- Add in the cauliflower rice and stir to coat the cauliflower rice with the sauce.
- Turn off the sear/sauté and close the TenderCrisp lid. Select the air crisp function on 375°F/190°C and set the time for 15 minutes. Stir at around 7 minutes in and again when there is about 4 minutes left. This just allows all the pieces of cauliflower to cook to the desired texture.
- Add in the ½ cup of frozen peas and stir. Push the cauliflower rice towards the edges of the pot so the center is clear and turn on the sear/sauté on high.
- Add about 1 tsp of the remaining sesame oil to the center and allow it to heat up for about 3-5 minutes.
- Lightly beat 2 large eggs and pour in ⅓ of the mixture to the center of the pot. Allow the eggs to set and then break them apart with a spatula. Add more sesame oil if needed and continue by adding another ⅓ of the egg mixture, allow the eggs to set and then break them up and push them into the fried cauliflower rice. Repeat with remaining eggs.
- Add chopped green onions and stir. Turn the Ninja Foodi off. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.