Nik’s Shrimp Faux Fried Rice

True fact: What you see above? I made in 20 minutes this morning while the kids were feeding the dog. And it will be my lunch probably for the entire week.

This is the story of how a simple bag of frozen cauliflower became so much more…
(By the way to all my Facebook Foodies, this is the take-out swap I’ve been talking about.)
Nik’s Shrimp Faux Fried Rice
(Makes enough for 3-5 weekday meals depending on your eating capacity)
  • About 1.5 c. of whatever veggies you have on hand, chopped small and COLD (in the above I chopped up some baby carrots, onions and threw in some shelled edamame for a bit more protein. When I say cold, I mean cold. They can even be frozen. Go for color variety!)
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower florets (do not thaw!)
  • 1 small can baby shrimp, drained.
  • 2 eggs, beaten OR 1/2 c. Egg Beaters
  • 1 packet fried rice seasoning OR 1/2 tsp each: garlic powder & onion powder with 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. reduced sodium soy sauce

I did this in a wok. I highly recommend you do too. Ikea. $7. Very cheap. BUT with a wok I have a piece of advice. Pre-chop before you start cooking. Woks cook very fast. We don’t want any “incidents.” That’s all I’m saying about that. 🙂

Spray down your wok (or non-stick skillet if you don’t have a wok) GENEROUSLY with  non-stick cooking spray. 

Once the wok is hot (the non-stick spray will start to emit a light amount of smoke),  throw in your cauliflower. If you listen to no other advice in this recipe, listen to this: DO NOT COOK THE CAULIFLOWER FIRST. USE FROZEN. ADD IT FROZEN. Why? This helps it stay firm. Even the above pic is a bit mushier than I wanted because I took too long cooking it.  You don’t want fried rice soup!
Once the cauliflower is tender (takes about 4-ish minutes but play it by ear) you can mash it right in the wok with a potato masher to get a rice consistency. Mash the cauliflower as soon as you are able to do so…don’t wait for it to get “soft.”

Then throw in the rest of your veggies and your lil’ baby shrimp and get them cooking (about 3 minutes or so). Be sure to mix the mashed cauliflower and veggies together.

Once that’s done push everything aside a bit, spray down the empty space with more non-stick and add your egg. Scramble it before mixing it into the veggie mixture. (Admittedly the above is not the best photo but my wooden spoon is scrambling the egg while the other stuff is pushed to the side. So it can be done!)

Finally, add your seasonings (the above is what I used) along your soy sauce and stir that throughout your mixture. Then remove the wok from heat and immediately transfer the mixture to a bowl. 
If you couldn’t tell already, this ENTIRE process goes quickly and is centered around NOT overcooking the cauliflower. Not to sound like a broken record, but pre-chopping and opening your ingredients is key. So long as you do that, the above should be no problem!

NOW…if you were a fried rice officianado in your former life, you will notice that while this TASTES like fried rice it does not have the same mouth-feel since cauliflower is softer than rice (my contention remains that this is a GOOD thing for us though…especially if you are new out and just trying solid foods).

It doesn’t bug me. I’m more into the taste. Which is gooooooooood. Your mileage may vary. If you feel the softer cauliflower will ruin your memories of fried rice and scar you for life…consider skipping this one, k?

But if you have an open mind and tongue, this is a great swap for those nights when you are craving Chinese. 
Play with your food!


  1. I made a similar dish two nights last week. Instead of cauliflower I used Quinoa (cooked).. Majority of last weeks dinner meals consisted of "fried" rice

  2. Irishgirl,

    Question. Did the quinoa have to be cold? I know with traditional fried rice recipes the rice must be cold.