What’s not to love about cauliflower kimchi fried rice? It has that zing from the kimchi that gets the back corners of your mouth to salivate. It’s packed with a savory punch and just a little kick of spice. Then if you’re feeling fancy, you can top with a running egg for an extra layer of creaminess *DROOL*.
As much as I love rice, I hate the bloat and food coma that usually follows. This easy cauliflower kimchi fried rice is infused with so much flavor, I almost forget how healthy it is haha. This is definitely a great healthy vegetarian recipe that you can easily whip up in minutes for a weeknight dinner.
Before jumping into the recipe, first things first to set you up for the BEST kimchi cauliflower rice! Let’s tackle how you can avoid making mushy cauliflower.
How to Prevent Soggy Cauliflower Kimchi Fried Rice
The first time I tested this recipe, it was SO flavorful… And mushy. My husband, Josh, (who is gladly the official taste tester) said it was by far his favorite mashed potatoes he’s ever tasted. #FAIL.
The next time around, I used a quick tip from my friend who cooks cauliflower fried rice all the time. It transformed my cauliflower rice from sad and soggy, to holding its shape and bite! Simply salt the cauliflower on paper towels and let it sit for 20 minutes before patting dry and cooking. This releases some of the moisture from the cauliflower that would normally create steam in the pan. We want to eliminate as much liquid as possible so we don’t end up boiling our fried rice… yuck!
Another quick tip is remembering not to overcook the veggie. I know, I know, Captain Obvious here, but it makes a world of difference! The longer the cauliflower cooks, the softer it’ll get and a higher chance of getting soggy. Cook it in the kimchi sauce just long enough to be tender, then quickly remove it from the stove.
This recipe is so simple, you’ll be surprised how much flavor it has at the end. Try it out and let me know how it turned out in the comments section!
Let's Get Cooking!
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Cauliflower Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 head of cauliflower grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ medium onion finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup cabbage kimchi drained & roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons gochujang*
- ½ tablespoon light soy sauce*
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons kimchi juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 egg optional, for serving
- 2 green onions sliced, optional for serving
- ¼ cup nori sheets shredded, optional for serving
- In a paper towel-lined baking tray, lay out grated cauliflower and sprinkle on salt. Mix and spread out in an even layer. Let sit for 20 minutes to release liquid from the cauliflower.
- Meanwhile, heat a wok or large pan on medium-high then add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Saute onions until slightly soft, then add in garlic. Cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add in gochujang and cook until onions and garlic are fully coated and the gochujang starts to slightly caramelize. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Add in soy sauce, fish sauce, kimchi juice, and kimchi. Turn off heat and cover until cauliflower is done draining.
- Optional but Recommended: Heat a small pan on medium-high heat, then add about 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry the egg to your preferred doneness, then remove and set it aside for serving.
- Pat dry cauliflower to remove excess moisture, then reheat wok to medium-high heat.
- Toss in cauliflower and spread in an even layer along the wok. Let it sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute without touching it to create a char. Repeat 1 -2 more times, paying close attention that the cauliflower isn’t getting overcooked and too soft. Turn off the heat and finish with sesame oil, green onions, and egg if desired.
- Gochujang: This is a Korean chili paste that's sweet, savory, and sometimes spicy depending on the heat level you choose. You can be easily found on Amazon or at local Asian markets. It's becoming increasingly popular so some grocery stores are also starting to carry it!
- Light / Regular Soy Sauce: Light or regular soy sauce adds saltiness to the dish and can be found at most grocery stores.
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.