Chinese Pork Fried F’rice
You know what used to be fun? Picking up the phone and having a pile of Chinese food delivered.
There were times that Dave and I ordered so much food, the restaurant would include six sets of chopsticks and six fortune cookies. Yeah, that’s right: they thought we were throwing some kind of dinner party, rather than feeding just the two of us while we watched a movie in a heap on the couch.

I loved everything about the experience.

Negotiating our picks from the menu. Saying “pu pu platter” out loud. Watching the clock for the food to arrive. The inevitable grease marks on the delivery bag. The plastic packets of pale orange duck sauce. Unpacking those distinctive white cardboard boxes. And inside! Crispy, battered, fried things. Saucy sweet and sour things. Fried rice that glistened with peanut and sesame oil.

But you know what I don’t love?

You know what’s really not fun? The takeout Chinese food hangover from the soy, the sugar, the rice, the flour, the MSG, and the regret. So my days of ordering Chinese takeout are behind me, and instead, I made us a reasonable substitute.

Purists, pay attention! My Chinese Pork Fried F’rice recipe is not authentic, nor is it shiny and glutinous like the restaurant version. But it does have chewy/crispy bites of pork, vibrant fresh vegetables, a nice salty bite from the coconut aminos, and the fresh snap of scallions. And that’s pretty fun, right?


Chinese Pork Fried F’rice

Serves two – increase the amount of pork if any of the eaters are big and/or especially hungry. NOTE: I worked a lot on different veggies and the right proportions. We liked broccoli the best with the cauliflower, and if you add too many supporting vegetables, it throws off the f’rice-to-veggie ratio.

  • 1 head fresh cauliflower, stems removed, pulsed to rice texture in the food processor

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or homemade substitute

  • 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, diced

  • 1 cup steamed broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 8 ounces leftover cooked pork (like BBQ pulled porkpork carnitas, grilled pork chops, or 5-spice ribs), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 2-3 scallions, green only

  • salt & pepper, to taste

  • sesame oil, to taste (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


If you’re using the sesame seeds, heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, toss in the sesame seeds and stir constantly ’til they’re lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them! They can quickly change from pale white to dark brown in a blink! When you’re happy with the toastiness, remove from the pan and set aside.


In a small bowl, scramble the eggs with 1 teaspoon coconut aminos. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium-high heat in the pan, then add the eggs and scramble until cooked through. Remove them from the pan and set aside.


In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium heat, then sauté the diced onion until it’s tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Things are going to start happening a little faster now. Alert your dining companions that you’re about to “drop the f’rice.” (That’s what I bellow from the kitchen at my house to alert Dave and Smudge that dinner is imminent!)


Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil to the pan and increase heat to high for about 90 seconds. When the pan is good and hot, add the cubed pork, chopped broccoli, riced cauliflower, and scrambled egg. Stir with purpose! Then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons coconut aminos. Continue to stir with purpose until it’s heated through, the cauliflower is tender, and you’re getting some lovely brown bits. This takes about5 minutes.


Divide the fried rice onto two plates, then sprinkle with the chopped scallions and, if you’re into this kind of thing, about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of the toasted sesame seeds. Dig in with the sure knowledge that you are consuming at least two servings of vegetables, plenty of protein, and zero mystery ingredients. Takeout, shmakeout!

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  • Looks so yummy even my picky Chinese mama would approve! Try splashing in a little bit of fish sauce — it’ll add extra umami!

    • Mel says:

      That is a huge compliment which I will accept very happily. Thanks!

      And yes, next time I have to try adding the fish sauce. This recipe is from March — I found it hanging out in my blog drafts. Will definitely add fish sauce next time.

  • Sandi says:

    Hey Mel!

    I have made something similar myself and love it – one question though…what are coconut amino’s and how do they add to the flavour ??

    • Mel says:

      The coconut aminos are a substitute for soy sauce since soy is a no-no for paleo diets. Coconut aminos taste almost identical to soy sauce — salty and a musky.

  • Robin says:

    I’ve been craving some chinese food lately and I just got my bottle of Red Boat fish sauce in the mail so I think I’m gonna try your recipe!!

    • Mel says:

      Great! Let me know how you like the fish sauce. Maybe start with 2-3 teaspoons and cut back on the coconut aminos to, say, 1 teaspoon.

  • Lisa says:

    Mel–this is exactly what the family has been craving! I’m very excited to try it this week. We’ve been eating your (fantastic) Pad Thai to fill the void and this gives another option. A quick (unrelated) question–I have to bring a salad to pass for a BBQ next weekend. I remember you had a recipe either here or at whole9life, but I can’t seem to find it. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks, your recipes are the cornerstone of my family’s daily eating!

    • Mel says:

      It’s really nice to hear that my recipe are helping you and your family. And I’m glad you found the comment with potluck ideas. I’m going to do a blog post on that topic so it will be easier to find in the future. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • Sammie says:

    Oh drats!! I just made your amazing pork carnitas this morning and ate it all for lunch. Oh well, will oven smoked pulled pork work okay? I’m gonna make that this weekend and will try it in this recipe. Can’t wait for the cookbook. Thanks for making paleo grub easy and tasty.

    • Mel says:

      Oven smoked pulled pork will absolutely work — as will grilled chicken or pan-fried pork chops cut into cubes. I just referenced the carnitas and pulled pork because it’s a nice way to use leftovers, but any cooked protein will work great.

  • Lisa says:

    I found your Paleo picnic post, and it has everything I was looking for! Between the Moroccan and the Turkish salads, I’m set! And the fennel one looks awesome, I am going to make that anyway. You’re the best.

  • Dave says:

    Omg that was great. Also I mixed about a tablespoon of coconut flour in with the pork, so good.

  • Meagan says:

    Made this recipe tonight. First time having cauliflower rice. Everyone loved it. Even my 5 year old that doesn’t like rice. Perfect substitution!

  • Bethany says:

    How do you make the bbq pulled pork?

  • Christine Holman says:

    Wow!!! Triple yum. Thank you for such a family pleasing meal! Absolutely delicious…I used Tamari, a wheat free soy sauce, in place of the coconut aminos. :))) can’t wait to try some more of your recipes.

  • Steph says:

    Made this last night! My alterations:

    – No broccoli, so I used leftover longbeans, some chopped baby bok choi, and frozen peas for that authentic take-out food experience.
    – No eggs for me this month, so I omitted them.
    – I nuked the cauliflower a little longer because I fear mush.
    – I have a HUGE nonstick pan, so I had to let the f’rice caramelize by NOT stirring it. I’d let it sit on high heat for about a minute, then stir. Result: caramelization and nice, dry, fluffy f’rice.

    We liked it! The man wanted more spice, but I’m not eating those this month, either. He resorted to sprinkling his portion with Tapatio and all was well.

    Thanks! I used your smoked meat method on Monday with a pork butt and a tri-tip plus my own rubs, and both came out awesome!

    • Mel says:

      Fantastic! I’m glad to know you were able to make substitutions and the recipes still worked well for you. AWESOME!

      Caramelization is the best thing in the world, no?! I had cauliflower rice with diced red bell pepper and chunks of butternut squash for breakfast. SO good. With lots of little browned bits.

      • Melissa says:

        I am interested in the last comment you wrote about having the cauliflower rice, pepper and chunks of butternut squash for breakfast. How did you prepare the butternut squash? Did you have anything else with it for protein? I seem to be struggling the most at breakfast coming up with different ideas, I am always in a rush and like to take food with me to eat when i get to work. Any ideas for breakfasts i can make at night and take with me to work in the am?
        By the way just got your book in the mail the other day, it is absolutely fantastic thank you so much!

        • Mel says:

          I make the butternut squash all kinds of ways… usually I cut it into cubes, toss with a little coconut oil and salt, then roast. Then I mix the cubes with steamed greens and protein for meals.

          I eat the same things for breakfast that I eat for lunch and dinner: usually some kind of cooked protein, sauteed with at least two veggies and seasonings. I make Hot Plates as described in my book most days for breakfast and lunch. I make it the night before, then re-heat in the a.m.

  • Sharon says:

    Hi, just found your site and am loving it! Quick question—can I make f’rice without a microwave?


    • Mel says:

      Hi, Sharon! Glad you found me. Welcome!

      Yes, you can skip the microwave step. It might change the texture of the “rice” a little bit, but the flavor will still be awesome. Go for it! Hope you enjoy it. Let me know how it goes!

  • Katie says:

    Hey–I ended up with mushy (but still delicious!) f’rice–here are some ideas: my food processor only chops tiny (think couscous…) and I have a rather small frying pan. Should I forgo microwaving with littler pieces of cauliflower? Or should I get a bigger pan? Thanks for your help, I’m addicted to coconut aminos!

    • Mel says:

      Bigger frying pan will help… also, I think it gets LESS mushy if I microwave first because I don’t have to cook it in the pan as long. Keep experimenting…

  • Tara Keehn says:

    Mel-I have a question! Have you ever tried freezing cauliflower rice after you make it, before cooking? I just wondered if that is something I can prep in advance to throw together later without too much of a negative result.

    • Mel says:

      I did once, by accident, and it was a disaster. The cauliflower got really watery and had a SUPER funky smell. Very bad idea, sorry to say.

  • Amanda says:

    This was so good. A friend of mine has been begging me to try this recipe. Definitely one for the weekly rotation. 🙂


  • Kelsey says:

    I didn’t add any meat, but I did add three eggs instead of two.
    Next time I might add some more coconut aminos.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Nathan says:

    On day 2 whole30 made this tonight with leftover chicken thigh this was the 1st proper meal I made from the book and man it was great got some for tomorrow night. Book is great so so practical esp for us guys. Cheers

    • Mel says:

      Congrats on two days of Whole30-ing! Glad you liked the fried rice. You an really have fun playing with it, just adding in all kinds of leftovers. Enjoy!

  • New to Paleo says:

    I love your “Well Fed” cookebook. There are some very mouth watering recipes in there. I tried your Char Siu recipe with pork and then again wih chicken legs. My husband and kids loved both. We will never buy the take out version again!

  • Jacqui says:

    Made the Char Siu and BBQ fried f’rice this weekend and WOW! I have to admit I was a little skeptical that the pork would come out like Chinese restaurant BBQ Pork (knowing all that not good for me stuff that lurks in it), but holy smokes…you never cease to amaze! How do you keep hitting it out of the park?? It’s like my eyes are playing tricks on me…looks just like BBQ pork takeout when I slice it up. The fried rice looks great and tastes great….I love the taste the coconut oil gives. I do add a touch of hot sauce. I must have had a big head of cauliflower because it made 4 servings for me.
    Any other amazing ideas what meals to assemble with the Char Siu?

    • Mel says:

      Glad you like it! It’s surprisingly good, right?! I adapted the recipe from traditional ones married with instructions from Cook’s Illustrated, so credit where it’s due goes to them.

      You can use it for egg foo yung, stir fry it with green beans, garlic, and coconut aminos… or make twice-cooked pork. Slice it thinly, and stir-fry with onion, cabbage, mushrooms, and coconut aminos.

      You could also make a faux bahn mi salad: bed of lettuce with cilantro and basil leaves mixed in, topped with slices of char siu, shredded carrots, red onion then sprinkle with lime juice, salt, pepper, and top with a dollop of homemade mayo.

  • Jacqui says:

    Awesome suggestions! 🙂 Thanks!

  • Barbara says:

    I made this last night (omitted meat and do not have a microwave but it wasn’t mushy – but I bet it could be crispier) and loved it! I think next time I may add some carrots. I wish I could add peas though! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Lainey says:

    Please help with a substitute recommendation. I’m going to make the Chinese BBQ Pork for the first time but I’m allergic to apples. Can I substitute the apple sauce for something else? Thanks 🙂

    • Mel says:

      If pears are OK for you, you can replace the apple sauce with a pear that’s been puréed in a food processor/blender. Or if you aren’t doing the Whole30, you can replace the applesauce with 1-2 tablespoons honey — or use 2 dates with the pits removed instead of the apple sauce.

  • Rollo says:

    I’m working through your books and this is my next project for the weekend! What is your advice for making extra for the week? In terms of refrigeration or freezing. Thanks! Btw. Just had the chocolate chili and it’s awesome!

    • If you want to do some prep, I’d recommend cooking all the ingredients separately, then just before you eat, stir-fry everything together. You can make lots of raw cauli rice and store in the fridge 4-5 days, just don’t have your nose over the container when you open it!

  • Rolland says:

    Thanks…I made this over the weekend and it was really tasty!

    I followed your advice and still have lots of raw cauliflower rice and steam sauteed broccoli leftover for future stir-frys!

    one question…the bbq pork seemed like it needed a bit more time in the oven. if i wanted to add more time, where in the process would you recommend? thanks!

  • Nicole says:

    No microwave here. Do you think steaming the cauliflower might accomplish the same thing?