Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pan-roasted cauliflower with ginger - Chinese style

I first made this dish (or some variation of it) when I was in high school. Its a nice side dish for a desi-chinese meal and one that is actually good for you. The usually bland cauliflower is perked up by ginger, sambal oelek and plenty of caramelized onions. We had this with some chicken manchurian and fried rice.

1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and separated into florets
1 medium onion, sliced
3 spring onions, chopped
2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp sambal oelek or chili paste
3 thai green chillies, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock or 1 tsp bouillion powder diluted in 1/2 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch diluted in 3 tbsp water
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil


Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat and add sliced onions. Keep stirring and cook until onions are light brown in color, i.e. they are caramelized. Add ginger and green chillies at this point and saute 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower and keep sauteeing for about 5 minutes. At this point, add chicken stock or bouillon powder-water combo. Bring to a boil and cover and cook until cauliflower is cooked but still retains some crunch. This should take about 5 minutes or so.

Remove cover and taste the dish at this point. You may need a little salt depending on how much salt the chicken stock had. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and add cornstarch-water mixture. The sauce will thicken at this point. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, renove from heat and garnish with spring onions and the sambal oelek/chili paste.

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