General Tso’s Cauliflower
Why we love it:
- 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
- 2 cups Water
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- Fresh Ginger (a ½” knob, grated or minced)
- 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1⁄2 cup Vegetable Stock
- 1⁄2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1⁄3 cup Rice Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2⁄3 cup Cornstarch (divided)
- 1 cup Flour
- 11⁄2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 1 head Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 11⁄2 cups Canola Oil (or vegetable oil, or more if it makes frying easier)
- 1⁄2 bunch Green Onion (optional)
- 1 teaspoon White Sesame Seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or more or less)
Combine the rice, water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small pot and bring to a boil. Stir well, then turn heat to low. Cover tightly and steam for about 17 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Turn off heat and gently stir. Cover and let it rest until you’re ready to serve.
Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, tomato paste and whisk. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons of cold water and when it’s dissolved, stir into the main sauce pot. Add the red pepper flakes, if using. Bring to a low boil. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring often until sauce has thickened.
Whisk the remaining cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and remaining salt in a medium bowl. Add 4 eggs and ½ cup of water and whisk until smooth. The batter should be thick enough to cling to the cauliflower and coat it but stay loose enough to easily drip off (thin out with more water if needed).
Chop cauliflower into 1 - 2” florets. The leaves and core will also taste great in this recipe, chop them up too. Stir into batter and fold to evenly coat.
5. BELL PEPPER
Dice the bell pepper into small pieces and set near the stove.
Pour canola (or vegetable) oil into a heavy bottomed skillet to make it deep enough so it will cover the cauliflower pieces about a quarter to halfway. Heat the oil over medium heat. Drop a small bit of batter in the oil to test it – when it rises to the top and bubbles, the oil is ready.
Lift the cauliflower florets from the batter and let the excess drip off before gently setting in the oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, then flip, repeating sides several times if necessary until you get a nice golden-brown exterior. The additional frying time helps make it a little crunchier and ensures a soft interior. Remove golden florets and set on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath to help keep it crispy. When done, add the bell pepper to the oil and cook for about 1 minute. Remove to a bowl.
Toss all of the fried cauliflower and bell pepper in a bowl with the sauce (enough just to cover).
Sprinkle with green onion (if using) and sesame seeds for serving. Spoon over rice.