Coconut aminos are an interesting substitute for soy sauce. It’s actually slightly sweet, and not nearly as salty, compared to soy sauce. But it still has just the right taste to nicely complement an Asian dish, so it works! This recipe uses all Paleo ingredients to recreate (and make a much healthier version of) a popular Asian-American dish: chicken fried rice. And all it requires is an array of colorful veggies, some lean protein, and a few seasonings!
The veggies should all be prepped ahead of time, long before you start heating your first drop of coconut oil, because there are simply too many to chop-as-you-go (unless you’re just that good, and I’m facing the facts: I’m not). Also, I chose a vegetable that’s not traditionally found in fried rice – red bell peppers – to replace the peas that are normally in it (peas = legume = not paleo). Instead, I just diced the pieces really tiny to help mimic the typical mouth-feel of fried rice. I also made sure to slice the carrots fairly thin and at a diagonal to create a larger cooking surface area, to ensure that they’d cook evenly along with everything else.
The cauliflower is honestly the messiest part (it always is!), because you have to get rid of the leaves and stems, and chop it into little florets. Needless to say, it gets everywhere… and my dogs always come sniffing around as soon as they smell it, because they know some pieces will inevitably end up on the floor. As soon as you’ve got your cauliflower in small floret-sized chunks, run them through the food processor; a few pulses should do, and that’s it, you have caulirice! You can leave it in the food processor bowl until you’re ready to use it. (I had to transfer mine into a different bowl because my food processor is a mini little 3 cupper, and a half a head of cauliflower makes way more than that!)
The beauty of this dish (aside from the mountain of fresh vegetables, of course) is that everything is cooked in one wok! You can also use a very large skillet, if you don’t have a wok. Hurray for less clean-up!
Start by heating up a bit of coconut oil and then adding the seasoned chicken pieces, allowing them to sear for a minute or two on the outside to cook off all the bad bacteria. Then, add all your colorful veggies and a few more seasonings. Allow it cook for a short little bit before adding the “caulirice”, let it cook some more, and then push everything to one side of the wok so you can cook your eggs on the other side. Just be sure to add about a teaspoon of coconut oil before adding your whisked/scrambled eggs, otherwise your eggs will stick to the wok like crazy!
Let the egg cook for a minute or so, and then grab a spatula to flip it, so the other side can cook. Then use the spatula to chop it up into little pieces that can then be mixed into everything else. (Side note: in traditional fried rice… at least, how I’ve always seen it done… the egg is cooked for a minute by itself and then just kind of mixed right into everything else to allow it to finish cooking. Unfortunately, the grain size of caulirice is just too fine in texture, and I’ve found that it gets all stuck in the egg and just kind of disappears into the caulirice, instead of making those great little eggy pieces that you normally find throughout fried rice… so in my opinion, cooking it separately from the other stuff and then roughly chopping it up will get you better results).
Finally, grab the green scallions, toss ’em in, and give it all a good stir. Salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done! I had my Taiwanese fiancee taste-test this with me for dinner, and he said it was pretty darn close to the “real” thing (minus the fact that it’s missing peas, rice, and a genuinely salty soy sauce, haha). In my book, that’s two thumbs up!
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tsp sea salt (for seasoning chicken)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper (for seasoning chicken)
- ¼ fresh red pepper, diced
- ½ large carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally
- 3 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 scallion, chopped (whites and greens separated)
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- ½ head cauliflower, riced
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut oil (for cooking the eggs)
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Heat coconut oil in large wok (or nonstick skillet) over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken pieces with the sea salt and black pepper.
- Add chicken pieces to wok, and stir periodically to cook just until the outsides of the chicken are seared, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the diced red pepper, carrot, garlic, scallion whites, and red chili flakes. Mix to evenly distribute the veggies among the chicken pieces. Allow to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring periodically.
- Add the riced cauliflower to the wok, and stir to combine.
- Add the coconut aminos, sesame oil, and white vinegar. Stir to coat everything evenly, and let cook for another 2 minutes.
- Push all the veggies, cauliflower, and chicken pieces to one side of the wok. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil, and then add your whisked eggs. Allow the eggs to cook alone on one side of the wok, almost to the point of being overcooked, flipping the “egg pancake” with a spatula about halfway through. When the egg is thoroughly cooked through, roughly chop it into small pieces with the spatula.
- Add the green scallions, and stir everything together.
- Salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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