So, remember way back, when I posted the cauliflower “rice” dish? And remember my lamentations over how “authentic American Chinese restaurant food”, which has been engineered by tiny taste fairies and subsequently executed (as per tiny taste fairy instruction) by happy Asian families across America, is so. F**king. Hard to reproduce?
Well, having tried a version of cauliflower fried rice and it being-although tasty-not Chinese take-out good, I still had yet to find a recipe that captured what only tiny taste fairies could create. And I settled. That’s right: I gave up. I satisfied myself with less.
The trigger you ask? What instilled that fire? That passion? That drive to seek out what I truly wanted…nay! What I deserved?!
I had leftover cauliflower and a fierce fire in the belly for some fried rice. I’ve also always prided myself on being resourceful.
So I set out in search of a worthy recipe…or at least some ideas that I could stitch together into a worthy recipe. When I embark on that search, I usually look for:
- Recipes with
- A large number of reviews with
- Most of those reviews being high
- Bloggers who
- have gone through several trial-and-errors and,
- Are in search of the same flavor profiles that I am
Luckily, I found the latter—which means less work for me. And let me tell you; these girls get just as excited as I do upon discovery of such elusive culinary secrets. They did their homework for sure, and this is what they came up with (which, like every really complicated-tasting, hard to replicate dish, is actually quite simple):
- Soy sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Oyster sauce
- Onion and garlic
And here’s where I deviated:
- I didn’t have sesame oil, so I used sake.
Not that sake tastes anything like toasted sesame oil…but it is something common to Asian stir fries and something I knew I would like. I also knew from my own experience that the intensity of the soy and oyster sauces needed to be cut by something, and that something was not the equally intense sesame oil. Would it have been tasty with the oil? These ladies seemed to think so—and he’s probably right. But I didn’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store just for toilet paper and sesame oil.
And it seems the end product turned out exactly as I wanted it to. The sake added a little sweetness and sufficiently cut the salty depth of the soy and oyster sauces. And that complicated flavor Waltz inside your mouth? It’s just a combination of the onion, garlic, soy and sake. The unctiouness of the butter mellows everything out and brings it all together, like an experienced mediator with a plate of cookies.
½ head of Cauliflower
Glass of water
1-2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil or non-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons White onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
¾ cup Vegetables of choice (I didn’t have peas, so I used broccoli, carrots and bamboo shoots)
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
1 ½-2 tablespoons Sake
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon Butter (I use Kerrygold because it’s grassfed…and Irish. Mostly because it’s Irish and I love their accents)
- For any stir fry, it goes without saying that it’s good practice to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready (or any baking project for that matter…but when I’m baking, it’s called mis en place because I’m fancy)
- Cut the cauliflower into manageable chunks that will fit into your food processor and process until rice-like.
- Combine the soy and oyster sauces and sake.
- Preheat a skillet (I used non-stick) with the cooking spray/1 teaspoon of oil to high
- Crack your egg right into the skillet and scramble. Once dry, remove all that you can from the pan.
- Add a bit more oil/cooking spray and sauté your veggies. Have some water on hand to add as needed to the veggies to help them along (adding 2-3 tablespoons while sautéing helps steam them and speed up the process). Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the butter, then the cauliflower and egg and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the sauce mixture, salt and pepper to taste and sauté until the cauliflower and vegetables are tender.
- Make sure you taste at this point to determine whether you need a dash of more soy sauce, oyster sauce or sake. Or butter. You can always add more butter.