KFC – Korean Fried Cauliflower
A tasty vego alternative to the meat eaters fav. Best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer and topped with kim chi or pickled daikon. This recipe is finger-licking good in the best kind of way.
What You Need
1/2 Cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets
2 cups Cornflour or potato starch or rice flour
1 tbs Sea salt flakes
1/2 tbs Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs Ginger, minced
3 eggs whites OR 2 tbs of oil for a vegan alternative
Neutral oil for frying such as grape seed or rice brand
5 garlic cloves, minced
3-5 scud or birds eye chillies, minced (optional)
1/2 cup of corn syrup or glucose
2 tbs Rice wine vinegar
2 tbs Brown sugar
2 tbs Gochujang (Korean chilli paste), or a good slurp of Sriracha
1/4 cup soy sauce
Toasted sesame seeds
Finely slices spring onions
Toasted dried whole chillies, chopped (optional)
Toasted peanuts (optional)
Optional: serve with kim chi - recipe here
What To Do
1. Begin with the glaze. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick wok or pan over a medium to high heat. Add the minced garlic and chilli, sautéing until fragrant around 30 seconds or so.
2. Add soy sauce, corn syrup or glucose, vinegar, gochujang or Sriarcha. Stirring with a wooden spoon let it bubble away for a few minutes and thicken slightly. Add the brown sugar stirring to combine then remove from the heat. Set aside.
3. Blanch your cauliflower for 30 seconds, and refresh in cold water, dry thoroughly. Whisk your egg whites to soft peaks if using then add the black pepper, salt and minced ginger, or add the spices to 1-2 tbs of oil. Using your hands give the florets a good mix being sure to get the spices sticking to the surface.
4. Heat fryer or oil in large pot to 160C.
5. Place the flour in a bowl, toss each floret one piece, use your hands press the flour into each piece to ensure it is thoroughly coated especially into the florets. This’ll help get more crunchy bits.
6. Fry the cauliflower in batches for 6-8 minutes or until a deep golden colour and crispy. Times depend on how big your cauliflower pieces are. Be sure to not over crowd the pan to ensure your cauliflower gets nice and crispy. Drain each piece well before placing on a wire rack to rest for a few minutes.
7. Bring the oil up to 180C. Fry cauliflower in batches once again for 1-2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Drain well.
8. Reheat the sauce and toss the cauliflower through the sauce using a spoon to ensure every piece is well coated. Place in a bowl garnish with sesame seeds, spring onion, additional chilli and peanuts if using. Enjoy!
Gochujang is available from Asian grocers and definitely worth the extra effort getting your hands on it. The chilli paste is made with glutinous rice flour and fermented soybeans that add a more-ish umami/savoury flavour.