Saturday, January 30, 2016

Taiwanese Cauliflower (with a secret ingredient!)

There are only a few vegetables that I can truly say I detest, and cauliflower makes list. That is, until my mother-in-law proved to me that Taiwanese recipes can make even chalky-tasting cauliflower redeemably palatable.   Here's what you need to cook up this great east meets south blend recipe -- hint (there's a secret ingredient!)

3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 cauliflower head
1 tablespoon dried scallops  (This is the secret ingredient! You can also substitute dried shrimp)
Chili Soy Paste

1. Slice cauliflower into individual stalks, rinse with water to clean and set aside to let dry in a strainer.

2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet over high heat
3. When hot, add minced garlic.
4. When garlic is browned (usually 3-5 minutes), add cauliflower
5.  Cover skillet and turn down to medium high heat. Steam for 5 minutes.
6. Remove lid and add dried scallops and drizzle with chili soy paste to taste (usually 1-2 teaspoons is enough).  Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each is a good starting place).  Mix ingredients evenly.  Add more oil if pan is getting too dry to prevent burning.

The secret ingredient that makes this dish spectacular?  It's not so vegetarian after all.  You can get dried scallops at most Asian grocery stores.
7. Cover skillet and steam for 5 more minutes.

8. Remove lid and add green onions.  Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Onions should remain bright green and crispy.
9. Remove from heat and enojy!

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