DRY POT CAULIFLOWER
The Pot Is Empty. We have eaten cauliflower innumerable times in Chinese restaurants. When we go out to dine, this is the veggie we order. With a bit of spice, saltiness, and the addition of pork belly, we learned that cauliflower could be wonderfully delicious.
HOW COME CAULIFLOWER IS DESCRIBED AS A “DRY POT”
This meal is known as Dry Pot Cauliflower for a reason (gan guo cai hua). A little wok with a tiny chafing dish flame is typically used in restaurants to prepare dishes like this.
There was a thin layer of sliced onions at the bottom. To avoid the cauliflower from becoming overcooked, the onions are caramelized in the sauce over a small flame as you eat. This is a pleasant surprise after the meal.
Since I don’t own one, I can’t test this out for you, but if you do, why not add a layer of finely sliced onions on the bottom?
Because there are so many different types of dry pot dishes, you may already be familiar with them––dry pot chicken wings, dry pot beef, and dry pot frog legs are all examples. China includes a part on the menu where you can select from a variety of options.
Before we get started, I’d like to make a final point. The cauliflower I used in this recipe seems a little out of the ordinary, don’t you think? Beijingers refer to it as “organic cauliflower,” although I have my doubts about its organic status. Taiwanese cauliflower is another name for it in other Chinese produce stores. Fioretto, karifurore cauliflower, blossoming cauliflower, and sprouting cauliflower are some of the other names I’ve come across online.
Small flower buds adorn this cauliflower cultivar’s tall, light green stems. It has a more pronounced flavor of sweetness and herbaceousness than a typical white cauliflower.
As a bonus, I feel that it’s more flavorful and sauce-friendly than conventional cauliflower because it’s less dense and softer.
This recipe calls for any kind of cauliflower, so feel free to experiment!
- 450g of cauliflower
- 225g of thinly sliced pork belly (bite-sized pieces)
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 4 slices of julienned ginger
- 3 scallions (2-inch lengths)
- 3 dried chopped chilies
- ½ of a red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- Get the pork belly ready. Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine to marinate the meat. Place aside. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces after washing it.
- Oil is heated in a wok that is set to medium heat. For one minute, cook the garlic cloves. Cook for another minute after adding the ginger and chilies (if using). Turn increase the heat, add the pork and cook until the flesh becomes opaque.
- The cauliflower and red bell peppers should then be added. 1 minute of stirring. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes after stirring and covering. (Since I want my cauliflower softer, I cook it for 2 minutes.)
- Remove the lid, mix in the scallions, and then serve!