Day 4: Chinese + Vegan!

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In an attempt to change things up a bit, today I tried out this new “Kung Pao Cauliflower” fusion recipe! Kung Pao Chicken is a very famous and popular Chinese dish that you can find at restaurants or especially fast food chains. It’s sweet, yet slightly mild sauce is what usually attracts most people to it. I stumbled across this Kung Pao spinoff dish using cauliflower instead of chicken and decided to make it, curious to see if a newer, more eccentric product would still taste amazing. It did…

After around 40 minutes of cooking, the cauliflower was done! It’s a super easy dish because essentially all you’re doing is seasoning it once, putting it into the oven, taking it out, and then repeating with different ingredients. Aside from when I forgot to toss and stir the florets in the oven about halfway through, everything went fairly smoothly. The cauliflower turned out crispy on the outside, yet soft and seasoned on the inside. Due to my earlier mistake, the sauce unfortunately got a little burnt, but I solved that by making another batch on the stove! The dressing ratio is so well thought out. You have all these really strong ingredients like soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil, but they all kind of keep each other in check. The one thing that maybe could’ve been tweaked was the sweetness. I would recommend maybe adding 1/4 teaspoon less brown sugar to the sauce so that you still get that “Kung Pao” experience, but aren’t overwhelmed by the intensity of it. As stated by the title above, this dish is vegan, so I can see it being a great side or appetizer for a potluck or a family dinner. It’s extremely fast and easy to put together, which gives you the leeway to make a lot. So that’s it for today! If you like Chinese food or specifically, Kung Pao Chicken, totally give this dish a try! While it doesn’t seem like it would “work” or taste great at first glance, I’m sure you’ll be surprised after just one bite. Thanks for reading and I will see you tomorrow for the final day!

Recipe: https://www.howsweeteats.com/2019/08/kung-pao-cauliflower-or-my-new-favorite-dinner/

 

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It was my first time cutting cauliflower into mini florets, so I kind of just poked and hacked at it until the pieces seemed small enough 🙂
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Seasoning the raw cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper for the first round in the oven
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Adding the sauce to the previously baked cauliflower for the second round in the oven
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When things are going so well, especially for your first time, how can you complain about the food?
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The second round of sauce before adding heat

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Auntie Polly says:

    Wow! Very impressive Nate! I’ve printed a couple of recipes from your blog posts this week already! Cooper said the berry cake one looks yummy! I love cauliflower and will give this a try too! Great job!!!

    Like

    1. n8chen says:

      I’m glad you’ve taken interest to some of the recipes! I’m sure that Uncle Ed, Emily, and Cooper will enjoy eating them!

      Like

  2. Aunty Tracie says:

    Bravo, Nate! So excited for you as you experiment in the kitchen each day. I really like how you are trying different forms of cooking and baking. Your food writing will surely flourish as you discover how flavors are made. I once worked at a garlic restaurant and attempted to make their popular mushroom pasta many times. It never tasted the same even though I thought I followed all the steps and used the same ingredients. Years later, the retiring chef said that I needed to brown the butter at the end before drizzling it on the pasta! What a difference! I would never have appreciated this tip if I had not tried it on my own in the kitchen. So, I hope you continue to make new discoveries and even mistakes (those are the best teachers). Seeing you enjoy cooking encourages me to push past quarantine cooking fatigue these days. Stay curious and keep cooking!

    Like

    1. n8chen says:

      Hey Aunty Tracie,
      Thank you for writing such an encouraging comment! This makes me want to cook even more! Maybe I’ll do another rapid blog series in the future…

      Like

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