By adding lots of crunch to vegetables, they become more appetizing. Texture is the first key. Toss crunchy veggies in a thick sticky sauce and they become exciting. Flavor is the second key. Keeping those two things in mind, I made this chili honey cauliflower as a side dish for us omnivores in the family.
Unlike leafy vegetables, cauliflower can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge. The reality these days (since 2020, in fact) is that it isn’t wise to go out unless absolutely necessary. So, vegetables that stay good until the next trip to the market or the grocery take precedence over ones that need to be consumed immediately.
How do we store cauliflower in the fridge? We cut off the leaves, wrap the whole head, uncut, with paper towels (to absorb moisture) and put the package in a plastic bag that we leave partially open.
For the sauce
To complete the dish
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- cooking oil
- finely sliced scallions to garnish
Make the sauce
- In a small sauce pan, mix together the soy sauce, Sriracha, honey, garlic, corn starch and two tablespoons water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick and clear.
- Lower the heat and simmer for another two to three minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice and sesame seed oil. Set aside.
Fry the cauliflower florets
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the starch, flour, salt and pepper.
- Stir in enough iced water to make a thick but still pourable batter.
- Dump the cauliflower florets into the batter and mix to coat each piece well.
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- Over medium-high heat, cook the battered cauliflower one by one into the hot oil and cook, flipping midway through the cooking if necessary, until lightly browned and crisp.
- Scoop out the cauliflower and drain on stack of paper towels.
Finish the dish
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in the sauce and toss until every floret is glazed and shiny.
- Transfer the chili honey cauliflower to a serving plate or shallow bowl (or in individual bowls or plates).
- Garnish with sliced scallions and serve.