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Guys, I am so excited about this Shiitake Salmon Fried “Rice”. It features, of course, cauliflower rice. It’s been a godsend for my diet and for so many reasons: it’s versatile, working as a side or part of the main dish; it’s low carb (my body seems to respond better to eating on the lower-carb side); it contains high levels of vitamins C and K, along with plenty of other health benefits. In short, it rocks. But I’m also always on the lookout for ways to kick it up a notch.
Your basic cauli rice will always be awesome. But I’ve come up with a few different “twists” on it, and I’m so excited to share one of those with you today!
Presenting Shiitake Salmon Fried “Rice”: it’s AIP / Paleo, not to mention Keto!! I have always kind of danced around following a Keto diet. There are several reasons I don’t follow it as it is most commonly laid out, which I’ll explain in a minute. But I have always noticed my digestion and mood are generally better when I’m not loading up on carb-rich foods. The ones I eat that I greatly enjoy (I’m lookin’ at you, ripe plantain!) also tend to elevate my blood sugar levels. Not so good.
Because I mainly follow the AIP diet (with some successful reintroductions like nuts / seeds / egg yolks) I find I do not do well with two aspects featured in a Keto diet: dairy and artificial sweeteners. I simply do not feel good after eating either of those. Now yes, I know it is possible to follow a Keto diet without those, but they do feature rather prominently, particularly dairy. And also (and more importantly) I find I do function best with some carbs.
So my solution is to eat low carb recipes and meals daily, while keeping some carbs in there as well, be that a sweet potato or tostones or carrots and parsnips.
But let’s return to our recipe! This recipe features shiitake mushrooms and salmon. You certainly do not need to use shiitake – any other kind would be a fine substitution. I personally have only recently developed a love of mushrooms, and shiitake are one of my favorites. They have a rich, buttery flavor that adds a wonderful depth to the other ingredients in the recipe.
There may also be biological reasons to help explain why I now actually crave mushrooms, in particular shiitake. They actually help to boost brain function and naturally balance hormones (wowza, right?!). Anyone who has had brain fog or hormone imbalances like I struggle with (and I wager that’s a whole lot of people with AI conditions!) can share in my excitement. But if you don’t have them on hand? Or want to use white button instead? It’s all good, my friend!
What really is important is that you use wild, as opposed to farmed, salmon. I know that for me, eating as clean as I can makes a huge difference in how I feel. And salmon is one of those foods where eating the one raised in its natural habitat can really impact its nutrient profile. While I am principally opposed to saying you should never eat a particular food, I do believe we should make changes when we can.
In the case of farmed salmon, what’s important to know is that the levels of PBDEs, or flame retardants, are much higher than in wild caught. These chemicals are the same ones being used in children’s car seats, pajamas, mattresses and much more. They have been linked to hormone and thyroid disruption, cancers and more. I am very conscious of their use in these numerous household / children items and avoid them at all costs. And obviously I’m not consuming those items! So it makes sense that I would try my best to avoid ingesting them.
Concerns aside, what makes me happy about this recipe (aside from the shiitake mushrooms and cauli rice combo) is that it’s a one pan meal. I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of cooking (which I truly do enjoy!) but the dishes can become a lot day after day. One pan meals mean one pan clean-ups. Since my husband is usually on dishwashing duty, this means he is happier, which makes me happy!
This Shiitake Salmon Fried Rice can easily be doubled for extra leftovers, and enjoyed for lunch, diner, or heck, breakfast! Eating AIP has meant for me no more “rules” about what constitutes breakfast and what doesn’t.
Check out this recipe, along with what is hands down the most complete FREE AIP recipe resource, on Phoenix Helix’ Recipe Roundtable #205!
Shiitake Salmon Fried "Rice" (AIP / Paleo / Keto)
You can't go wrong with a one pan meal that features the trifecta of salmon, shiitake mushrooms, and cauliflower fried rice. Delicious!
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic diced
- 1 medium cauliflower, riced
- 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms or other of choice
- 2 Tbsp healthy fat (coconut, tallow, avocado oil...) divided, plus extra if needed
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling over salmon and mushrooms
- 1 lb wild caught salmon
Heat a large cast iron (I used a 12-inch skillet) over medium / medium high heat.* While heating, rice cauliflower using a food processor (or purchase pre-riced) When hot, add 1 Tbsp oil to pan.
Cook onion till lightly browned and soft. While onion is cooking, cut stems off shiitake mushrooms (save them for soups / stock). Add garlic and cook several minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside.
Use other Tbsp oil and cook riced cauliflower over medium / medium high heat. ** It's important to keep the heat high enough so the rice doesn't get mushy; you want some browning of the rice to give it the best flavor.
While rice is cooking, rinse and dry salmon. Sprinkle sea salt over top.
When cauli rice has finished cooking, remove from pan and add to onions and garlic. Add sea salt and toss all to combine.
Cook salmon in same pan over medium heat, approximately 4-5 minutes per side (I like mine to be a bit crispy so I cook a little longer). Remove and set aside.
Add any extra oil if needed before cooking mushrooms over medium high heat for ~5-7 minutes till soft and lightly browned. Sprinkle a dash of sea salt over mushrooms before removing from pan.
Toss mushrooms together with cauli rice mixture, reserving some for topping. Serve immediately.
* I find getting the pan nice and hot key to success!
** If you don't have a large pan you may need to make the cauli rice in two batches. Over-crowding cauli in the pan tends towards making it mushy, in my experience.