This Thai cauliflower fried rice is a low carb version of the classic Thai basil fried rice. An easy keto vegetarian side or lunch, you could easily turn this flavorful low carb cauliflower fried rice into a delicious keto dinner.
Thai food is some of my favorite food. I can’t get enough of the bold, balanced flavors. When we go out to dinner, if its my choice, I almost always pick Thai food. Basil fried rice and pad Thai are two of the foods I’d eat all the time if I could.
But these foods are so full of carbs that they make my postpartum fit into my old jeans goals pretty difficult. So I decided to develop my own low carb basil fried rice.
What is basil fried rice?
Have you ever had basil fried rice? It is absolutely delicious. Unlike Chinese fried rice’s salty flavor, Thai basil fried rice spicy, sweet and tangy notes. Generally basil fried rice is jasmine rice that has been stir fried with a combination of vegetables and an egg. Most of the time, you use fish sauce, Thai chiles, garlic, ginger and sugar to season it. Then you finish the dish off with a big handful of fragrant Thai basil.
While this combination is so yummy, you can’t eat it when you’re trying to maintain a low carb lifestyle. Jasmine rice and sugar are both loaded with carbs. And if you aren’t careful your other add ins can be a carb disaster.
How to Make Keto Cauliflower Fried Rice
To make Thai basil fried rice into a low carb friendly dish, we have to make some substitutions to the ingredients. First up: we are going to trade the jasmine rice for cauliflower rice here. You can make your own cauliflower rice by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor until it reaches a rice like consistency. See Kim’s post on cauliflower rice for more tips. Or you can save time by buying cauliflower that has already been made into a rice consistency in the grocery store.
Now that we have the base of this fried rice, let’s talk about our vegetable add ins. You can use any veggie you like, but you often find carrots and onions in fried rice. Since carrots have a higher carb count than some other vegetables, we are using them sparingly here. For this low carb cauliflower fried rice, you only are going to use 1/8 cup of chopped carrots- that was 5 baby carrots chopped into small pieces. A little is going to go quite a long way because you’re going to cut them fairly small so they will spread throughout the rice. We are also going to trade onions for lower carb scallions. A quarter of a green bell peppers and 1/2 cup of diced zucchini round out the veggies.
Once all the vegetables are chopped, you’re going to heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a tablespoon of sesame oil. Then, add your carrots, zucchini, and bell pepper and cook them just until they start to soften. This happens really fast and took only a minute. Then, I added in my tamari, garlic, ginger, and lime and poured in the cauliflower rice. I gave everything a good stir and let it cook for another minute or two. Lastly, I added two eggs directly to the pan and gave them a quick scramble with the rice. I turned the heat on the pan off as soon as the eggs were cooked through then stirred in the siracha, torn basil leaves, and scallions. Before serving, I sprinkled peanuts over top of each bowl.
Turn this into a fast dish with some time saving tricks!
When I cook, I need my meals to be fast because I have young kids and not a lot of time to spend in the kitchen so I look for every opportunity to take short cuts that don’t sacrifice flavor. To shortcut this Thai cauliflower rice, I like to use pre made riced cauliflower. While it is very easy to make, I’m all about anything that saves me precious time.
Another trick? Instead of chopping everything by hand, you can add your veggies to a food processor and pulse it a few times until they are roughly chopped. Don’t over process them though or they will turn mushy. I love doing this anytime I make a recipe that requires lots of chopping.
Make it a Delicious Low Carb Meal! What to Serve with Thai Basil Fried Rice
While I often will eat vegetarian if I am cooking just for myself, if I were making this for my family I would likely add meat or serve it with some other main dishes. Grilled chicken or shrimp would be really yummy in this. You could also serve it up with these Thai chicken satay skewers. It would also be really delicious with these Asian pork and shrimp party meatballs. Asian cabbage salad and Thai cucumber salad would both make for perfect starters. And if you save room for dessert, a lemon lush would compliment the citrus notes in the dish well.
Thank you Jenna for this delicious recipe!
Thai Cauliflower Fried Rice
- large pan
- garlic press
- cutting board
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the carrots, zucchini, and bell pepper. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes until the veggies begin to soften. Add a tsp of pressed garlic and a tsp of fresh grated ginger.
- When the carrots, zucchini, and bell pepper have begun to soften, add the cauliflower rice. Season with tamari and lime juice. Stir to combine. Let cook for 2 minutes.
- Push the cauliflower rice and veggies over to one side of the pan and crack 2 eggs directly on the clear spot in the pan. Break the yolks and stir. As the eggs cook, stir them into the cauliflower. When all the eggs are cooked remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the siracha, chopped scallions, and torn basil leaves. Serve and top each serving with a half tbs of chopped peanuts if desired and garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy!
- Serves 4 at 6 net carbs per serving.