During my formative years my parents would take me along with them when celebrating their anniversary. They would frequent one of two places: a local upscale Chinese restaurant or a Steakhouse that sat on the harbor. I had my go-to orders at both, Sweet and Sour Pork being my pick at the former. As I grew older and opted to make wiser choices, I dove in to trends like “Meatless Monday.” I took the opportunity to play around with creating veggie versions of some of my favorite dishes, and have been very happy with the results.
1 Head of Cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets (should yield about 6 cups)
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 Sup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1/2t Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup of Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons Cold Water
1/4 Cup Thinly Sliced Scallion, as garnish
1 Tablespoon White Sesame Seeds, as garnish
Serve with prepared white rice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a standard sheet pan with foil and lightly grease.
- Combine cauliflower florets and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large resealable bag, seal and shake until well coated. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper, seal and shake.
- Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cauliflower and fry, tossing to cook on all sides, for about 5 minutes. Transfer fried cauliflower to sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cauliflower starts to get crispy.
- While the cauliflower bakes prepare the sauce: add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, and ketchup to a medium sauce pan and stir over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together corn starch and cold water until fully dissolved. Add slurry to sauce pan, reduce heat to low, and stir until thickened.
- Transfer roasted cauliflower to a large bowl and combine with half of the sauce, to start.
- Toss until cauliflower is well coated, add remaining sauce and toss. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
- Serve with rice.