Japanese Fried Cauliflower Rice

japanese fried rice

My dad makes the best Japanese fried rice.

When my parents cook dinner, they usually stick to a theme: my mom makes excellent Korean food, and my dad is the king of Japanese food. I always look forward to my dad being in the kitchen, and even more so when he is making his specialty: Japanese fried rice.

Japanese fried rice is typically mixed with meat from a hibachi grill (flat griddle), ideally a ribeye steak (my favorite), or chicken, tofu, or seafood, but my dad makes his with ground beef. I’ve had many, many bowls of Japanese fried rice – it’s also sometimes referred to as Hibachi Fried Rice or Teppanyaki Fried Rice – from different restaurants here in the US, in Singapore, the Philippines, and even in Japan, but none holds a candle to my dad’s version.

japanese cauliflower fried rice

He’s been making it for as long as I can remember, his own version of the rice we used to get at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in the Philippines, Kimpura. The rice is cooked right on the hibachi grill and it’s ready in minutes, tempting us with the intoxicating smell of beef and aromatics. I always dig in before the rice has had the chance to cool, always burning my mouth, always too impatient to wait to eat.

I’ve been wanting to recreate my dad’s fried rice myself and so I asked him for his recipe during one of our regular FaceTime sessions. I also have been wanting to make cauliflower rice for ages so I figured might as well combine the two.

cauliflower rice

Did I just say cauliflower rice?? Yes, that’s right. Instead of rice, I used cauliflower chopped up into little teeny bitty rice grain-size pieces.  After preparing the cauliflower fried rice-style, I can hardly tell that I’m not eating an actual grain.

Using cauliflower rice instead of white or brown rice means that this is a great low-carb meal. It’s pretty healthy, too. It’s mostly cauliflower, with carrots, garlic, onions, eggs, and a little ground beef. Sure, it’s fried, and I used 80% ground beef (with 20% fat) instead of the leaner types, but let’s live a little!

cauliflower fried rice

This turned out so delicious. It tastes exactly like comfort food to me, but it’s not heavy at all (unlike my other comfort food favorite: pasta). Next time I’ll add even more veggies, like mushrooms and bean sprouts, but I wanted to stay true to my dad’s recipe, only swapping cauliflower rice for white rice. And true to form, I almost burned my tongue while eating this immediately after cooking.

Yield: serves 4

Japanese Fried Cauliflower Rice


1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 oz ground beef (I used 80% lean)
1/2 small white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking wine
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prep the "rice" by cutting the cauliflower into florets, and then chopping into rice grain-sized pieces. You can use a food processor or a blender to pulse it, but I just manually chopped it up.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the ground beef until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and drain off all grease except for a tablespoon left in the skillet.
  3. Add onion and saute until softened, about two minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in carrots and saute until crisp-tender, about another 2 minutes.
  4. Break the two eggs in a separate bowl and whisk together. Move aside vegetables in the pan, and add eggs. Let it set for a minute, then stir in the cauliflower. Mix well so that the egg coats the "grains." Add back the ground beef. Cook and stir everything together for five minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
  5. Stir in green onion (reserving some for garnish). Add soy sauce and cooking wine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve immediately.

If you’re interested in more low-carb recipes, here are a few of my go-to meals and sides:

tofu-with-balsamic-glaze-and-scallionsBaked Tofu with Balsamic Glaze

crustless sweet potato and goat cheese quicheCrustless Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Quiche

mashed garlic cauliflowerRoasted Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

tuna meatballsTuna Meatballs

hibachi fried rice

But this Japanese Fried Cauliflower Rice is definitely my new favorite. Thanks to my awesome dad for his fried rice recipe!


34 Responses to “Japanese Fried Cauliflower Rice”

  1. #
    Monica posted April 20, 2015 at 8:52 am

    This is sensational, Bianca! I have wanted to make cauliflower rice for a long time (small detail but I’m glad to know you can just chop it up manually w/o using the food processor). And I love Japanese (and all kinds) of fried rice. This looks so good and such a great way to load up without feeling too loaded down! : )

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Thanks lady! One of my friends said that when she uses a food processor/blender, it ends up being too fine so I didn’t want to risk that. Beside I find chopping to be calming haha

  2. #
    Alyssa @ My Sequined Life posted April 20, 2015 at 9:13 am

    This looks so great! Fried rice is usually such a guilty pleasure, but I love the cauliflower here. I’ve got to make this!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Thanks Alyssa! Yes I highly recommend making this soon :)

  3. #
    Christina posted April 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

    this looks sooo good! side note: i went to painted burro for dinner last night and we sat at the same table that you and i did! but i sat in “your” seat, haha. we need to meet up soon!!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Haha let’s go back and have a brunch date again! Sometime next month?

  4. #
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg posted April 20, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I love family inspired dishes. Making this with cauliflower is such a neat idea. I don’t eat beef, but I could see myself substituting ground chicken or turkey into this flavorful dish.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Hi Erin! Yes this would be awesome with ground chicken or turkey as well!

  5. #
    Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat posted April 20, 2015 at 10:52 am

    This Japanese rice looks so healthy and yummy! I love how it is packed full of good flavor and nutrients!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Thanks girl! I wish I am having a bowl for lunch today haha

  6. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita posted April 20, 2015 at 11:15 am

    This looks amazingly delicious, and I adore that it’s made using cauliflower – so awesome! I need to try this!

  7. #
    Mike@TheIronYou posted April 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I’m so making this tonight. I already have all the ingredients. It’s going to be an epic dinner!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Yes! Even the leftovers are awesome. I am looking forward to my lunch :)

  8. #
    Tandy | Lavender and Lime posted April 21, 2015 at 2:42 am

    I have made cauliflower rice a few times but never like this. Thanks for the inspiration as with winter coming on I am going to need warming dishes for supper :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Tandy! Hope you make it soon!

  9. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef posted April 21, 2015 at 8:18 am

    A friend of mine (she’s got more money than I’ve got) has a large teppanyaki grill and two weeks ago she made fried cauliflower rice one night and I was blown away. I’m sure not as good as your dad’s but still, I was impressed. I’m going to share your recipe with my friend.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Hi Maureen, thank you so much! It must be nice to have a teppanyaki grill :)

  10. #
    David @ Spiced posted April 21, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I’m so glad you shared this, Bianca! Fried rice has long been one of my favorites when we go out for Japanese food…but (believe it or not) I’ve never actually tried making it myself at home. Now I’m going to have to give it a shot! Oh, and the cauliflower twist is a good one. Pinned!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Ahhh you will love this! Thanks for pinning :)

  11. #
    Katalina @ Peas and Peonies posted April 21, 2015 at 10:26 am

    So healthy and delicious, and incredibly flavorful, this is a must try. I love the idea of using cauliflower instead of rice, but never tried it.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks Katalina! I highly recommend it :)

  12. #
    GiGi Eats posted April 21, 2015 at 2:14 pm


  13. #
    Meghan posted April 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Yum! This sounds like a delicious, healthy dinner.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      Yes I wanna make it like every week now haha

  14. #
    Kelly - Life Made Sweeter posted April 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I love that both of your parents have their own dishes they like to make. I love Japanese fried rice and making it with cauliflower sounds even better :) Chopping the cauliflower is such a great idea! I use the food processor and sometimes ends up being too mushy. Yours looks perfect and so delicious :) I can’t wait to try this!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I’m sure I’ll still eat mushy haha but yes try hand chopping it next time :)

  15. #
    Joanne posted April 22, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Love how you lightened this up with cauli rice!! Meals with this much nostalgia pretty much always taste awesome.

  16. #
    grace posted April 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

    this is possibly the best use for cauliflower i’ve ever seen. wonderful!

  17. #
    Juliana posted April 23, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I absolutely love the idea of using cauliflower instead of rice…looks delicious Bianca…thanks for the inspiration!
    Have a great rest of the week :)

  18. #
    Chris @ Shared Appetite posted April 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    YESSSSSSSSS to this recipe! I’m all about these flavors! And since you totally healthified this recipe, I won’t feel bad if I scarf down the entire thing :)

  19. #
    Molly Galler posted May 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I love cauliflower as a substitute. It’s great in so many vegetarian recipes. My dad is the chef in our family and I agree, my favorite nights are the ones where he is in the kitchen!

  20. #
    Chi posted May 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Oh my god, this is what my waistline has always been waiting for. Does it really taste like rice?????

  21. #
    cindy menard posted February 11, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I did not add carrots bc im not a carrot eater, and i substitute the following:

    80% ground beef with 90%
    Vegetable oil with olive oil spray
    Regular soy sauce with low sodium gluten free soy sauce

    And the food still taste good. Thanks for the recipe.

Leave a Comment