Roasting the cauliflower adds an even caramelization, but feel free to do this all on the stove top for one less dish.
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1¾ pounds)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 6 dried japones chiles, chiles de árbol, or other red chiles
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns or ½ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- 3 scallions, dark-green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ¼ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
- Kosher salt
- Steamed white rice (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 425
- Remove leaves and cut cauliflower into medium florets. Trim woody end of stalk and discard, then cut stalk into ½”-thick pieces. I like to cut the cauliflower into “slices” for more surface area (See pics)
- Coat cauliflower with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning the pieces about halfway through.
- While cauliflower is roasting, Stir wine, cornstarch, and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce in a medium bowl; set marinade aside.
- Stir vinegar, hoisin sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and remaining 2 tsp. soy sauce in a small bowl; set sauce aside.
- Give reserved marinade a stir to reincorporate cornstarch and add roasted cauliflower to bowl; toss to coat.
- Meanwhile over medium heat add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in wok. Add dried chiles and peppercorns and cook, tossing, just until fragrant (be careful not to burn), about 30 seconds. Transfer chiles, and peppercorns to a plate.
- Return cauliflower to wok with a slotted spoon; discard excess marinade. Add scallion whites, serrano chile, ginger, garlic, peanuts, and reserved sauce and cook, tossing often, until fragrant and cauliflower is tender, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a platter and top with scallion greens. Serve with rice alongside.
Adapted from this recipe.