Kung Pao Cauliflower

Roasting the cauliflower adds an even caramelization, but feel free to do this all on the stove top for one less dish.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 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)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. While cauliflower is roasting, Stir wine, cornstarch, and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce in a medium bowl; set marinade aside.
  5. Stir vinegar, hoisin sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and remaining 2 tsp. soy sauce in a small bowl; set sauce aside.
  6. Give reserved marinade a stir to reincorporate cornstarch and add roasted cauliflower to bowl; toss to coat.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Transfer to a platter and top with scallion greens. Serve with rice alongside.

Adapted from this recipe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s