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Riceless Fried Rice

Quick & Easy
Makes 3 servings15 minutes hands on time15 minutes total time

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 3–4 servings

Total Carbohydrates: 9–12 grams per serving

Hands-on Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

It would be hard for me to oversell this recipe because it is so good and easy and nourishing, and so inexpensive to make. It’s one of those dishes that I develop for an assignment – this column! – and then continue to make constantly. It’s now in full regular rotation at my house. Please note that to get the cabbage rice-like, I cut it into chunks and then pulse it on and off in my food processor until it is finely chopped. (If your food processor is small, you may need to dump the pulsed cabbage into a bowl and fish out the big pieces and re-chop them.) But this recipe also works great with shredded cabbage or bagged coleslaw mix, in which case it’s just a little bit less like fried rice.

If you’re looking to:

Lower the carbs: Skip the peas.

Lower the salt: Use low-sodium soy sauce.


3 eggs

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce or sriracha or something else spicy (if you like)


2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 teaspoons sesame oil

4 cups shredded or finely chopped cabbage, around ½ medium head (or roughly 12 ounces of bagged coleslaw mix)

4 scallions, white and green parts, sliced into thin rounds

1 stalk celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup frozen green peas, thawed

2 tablespoons soy sauce

For topping: freshly-ground black pepper and extra scallion greens


  1. Beat the eggs with the chili-garlic sauce and a large pinch of salt and set them aside.
  2. Heat a wide pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water flicked onto it sizzles and evaporates then add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and the sesame oil. Add the cabbage, scallions, celery, garlic, and a pinch of salt (this is just to encourage the cabbage to give up its liquid now instead of later), and stir-fry – alternating between stirring it around and leaving it alone to sear and brown a bit – until the vegetables are just crisp-tender, around four or five minutes. Turn up the heat as necessary to keep everything frying (and sizzling) instead of steaming.
  3. Now turn the heat down to medium and scooch all the vegetables into a ring at the edge of the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the center of the pan, then add the eggs and scramble them until they’re just starting to set. As you scramble them, various bits of veggie will find their way into the mix, and that’s perfect.
  4. When the eggs are just set, add the peas and soy sauce and stir everything together and cook for another minute. Top with black pepper and scallion greens and serve right away.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]