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Kung Pao Cauliflower Print

Kung Pao Cauliflower

Kung Pao Cauliflower

Makes 4 servings


For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp, plus an extra 2 tsp. set aside, of soy sauce

For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

For the Cauliflower

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, finally cracked
  • 3 spring onions, dark-green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 30g unsalted, roasted cashew nuts
  • Sea salt




  1. Stir the wine, cornflour, and 1 tbsp of soy sauce in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Stir together the vinegar, hoisin sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and remaining 2 tsp soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok, or a large frying pan, over a medium to high heat. Cook the cauliflower for 9 minutes, tossing occasionally, until browned in places, and beginning to soften.
  4. Give the reserved marinade a stir to reincorporate the cornflour and add the cauliflower to the bowl, tossing to coat. Continue to toss occasionally while you cook the bacon.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook the bacon and remaining 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in the wok for approximately 5 minutes, stirring often, until the bacon is browned and crisp. Add the peppercorns and cook for about 30 seconds, tossing, until fragrant.
  6. Return the cauliflower to the wok with a slotted spoon, discarding excess marinade. Cook the cauliflower for about 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until charred in spots, crispy, and tender. Add the scallion whites, chilli, ginger, garlic, and cashew nuts, and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing often, until the cauliflower is tender. Add the sauce and cook for about 1 minute, tossing, until the sauce coats the cauliflower. Season with salt.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish and top with scallion greens.

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