Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sweet and Sour Cauliflower

I saw this original recipe on the Washington Post's website, and knew I wanted to try it.  It also worked out that I had a head of cauliflower in the refrigerator and most of the other ingredients were pantry ingredients I already had on hand.  Score!  I made some small changes so that I didn't need to buy other ingredients and also adjusted the amounts/times on a couple other things.  Here's my version of the recipe with the changes in italics.

Makes 4 Servings
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more as needed (I would reduce the amount of sugar the next time)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (I used soy sauce instead)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup cornstarch (I would just use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch)
  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I would reduce to 2 tablespoons)
  • One 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • 4 small red radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

I put the rice to cook in my instant pot first.  Then I started on the cauliflower, trimming it down to florets.

Afterward, I tossed the florets with the oil in a mixing bowl. The original recipe also called for adding in 1/3 cup of cornstarch here but I didn't feel like that was needed at all. I would leave it out and reduce the oil to 2 tablespoons. Transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until the cauliflower starts to brown. I did it for 20 minutes instead of the 15 minutes in the original recipe.


While the cauliflower cooks, make the sauce.  Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, ketchup and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until smooth. Taste, and adjust the sweet/sour balance as desired by adding more sugar or vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time. (I would start with half the sugar next time and add more only as needed.)

Once the cauliflower has been cooking for 20 minutes, take it out to stir.  Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and put back in the oven to cook for another 5 minutes.

After the five minutes is over, take the pan back out of the oven and pour the sauce over top, stirring to coat. Put it back in the oven to cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Spoon over the rice and add the garnishes. 

I sadly didn't use any of the garnishes since I was trying to avoid buying additional items.  But it was still delicious!  We ate this for two meals in a row and did not mind the repetition one bit.  I'm sure it would be even better (and more colorful) with the garnishes.  In addition to being tasty, it was easy to make and easy cleanup since it was all cooked on the one baking dish.  I am definitely adding this to our rotation.  Even just the sweet and sour sauce seems pretty versatile and I would think it could be used in any stir-fry.