As we are nearing the end of cauliflower season, I suddenly can’t get enough of this cruciferous vegetable. I’m doing all sorts of things with cauliflower: baking it with breadcrumbs and cheese, making it into soup (tasty recipe coming soon!) and even frying it in this recipe for Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce. While cauliflower is pretty healthy (a great source of Vitamin C and K), I’m taking it and making it semi-unhealthy by frying it. While it may not be super healthy for you, it is so incredibly crunchy and flavourful and pairs perfectly with a dipping sauce. It is sure to impress all of your friends and family and definitely has the potential to become a signature recipe!
I had a version of this tasty appy during a recent work trip to Ottawa, Ontario at a fabulous Asian restaurant called Datsun. They have great Asian fusion vibe, tasty cocktails and a wonderful appy/small plates menu. Of all the tasty dishes that my work colleagues and I tried that night, this fried cauliflower recipe was my favourite and I knew that I would have to try to recreate it at home. I would have to say after a few frying mishaps and lots of adjustments to the spices in the dipping sauce and batter, I can definitely say that this recipe come close (or is even better :O) than what I had in Ottawa!
As I have alluded to, there are two components to this recipe: the fried cauliflower and the dipping sauce. For the fried cauliflower, I opted to fry the cauliflower florets in sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is a great option for frying as it has a high smoke-point and contains lots of heart-healthy fats. Peanut oil is another great option to use for frying as well, and I would recommend using this oil if you don’t have sunflower oil on hand. I also opted to coat the cauliflower florets in tempura batter since it’s very light and cooks quickly in hot oil. This light and airy texture of the tempura batter comes from using sparking water, which creates fine bubbles making the batter puff up when fried. You can really use this tempura recipe to fry and vegetables or meats that you want- just adjust the cooking time as appropriate.
Once the cauliflower florets are golden brown I toss them with salt, black mustard seeds, curry leaves, jalapeno slices and cauliflower- which really puts this dish on a whole other level! While it is good on its own like this, the dipping sauce really makes it special! The dipping sauce is a combination of curry powder, sauteed onions, garlic, yogurt, coconut milk and lime. I love the spiciness of the curry powder against the smooth and cooling yogurt, coconut and lime- very south-east Asian. You can use this sauce with chicken, beef, fish, and other vegetables and it will taste amazing as well!
Try out this recipe for recipe for Fried Cauliflower with Coconut-Curry Dipping Sauce at home and let me know how you like it in the comments below! Enjoy everyone!
Of course please remember these general safety precautions when frying food: 1) make sure to use a large pot when frying and to only fill it less than halfway up with oil (or else it can bubble over which can be super dangerous), and 2) use a deep fry thermometer to ensure that you have the right oil temperature throughout the cooking process. If the temperature drops too low, it will make your cauliflower soggy and if it is too hot, it will burn. The sweet spot for this, and most, frying recipes is at 350 degrees F.