Honey and Garlic Cauliflower
Taken and adapted from Kirbie's Cravings
FOR THE MAIN
1 cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
panko bread crumbs
cooking oil spray
2 eggs, whisked
2 spring onions, finely sliced
FOR THE SAUCE
4 tablespoons honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp onion powder
6 tbsp water + 2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread panko crumbs in a thin even layer across the surface of the baking sheet. Spray panko crumbs with cooking oil spray and then bake for about 5 minutes until golden brown.
2. Set whisked eggs aside in a small bowl. Line another large baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Dip cauliflower in egg mixture and then shake a few times so that excess egg drips off. Then place into sheet with panko crumbs. Cover cauliflower with panko, pressing the crumbs gently against the cauliflower to help them stick. Place coated cauliflower on empty prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all cauliflower is coated.
4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is cooked and the coating is a dark golden brown.
5. While the cauliflower is cooking, make sauce on the stove. In a small bowl, completely dissolve cornstarch in water and set aside. Add all sauce ingredients to a saucepan, except the cornstarch and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and mix all ingredients together. Add some water to dilute and then then add cornstarch water to the sauce. Stir immediately to dissolve cornstarch into the sauce. Let sauce come to a simmer, stirring to make sure the cornflour doesn't make the sauce go lumpy. When the sauce is ready, drizzle over the cauliflower. Garnish with spring onion.
Things to note:
This was my first attempt at a proper Pinterest-inspired vegetarian meal, and it turned out pretty well. I think it was quite clear that the cauliflower was acting as a substitute for chicken but, in the same way as with previous recipes, I found it was necessary to ignore this for fear of disappointment. This is not going to be sweet and sour chicken.
The cauliflower did not coat as well as expected in the breadcrumbs because it isn’t a very sticky surface, so I would try and coat it with more egg before the breadcrumbs next time. I also found it to be crunchier than expected given that it was not cooked prior to baking, so I would try to leave it in the oven for longer than the given 15-20 minutes. I did actually try to leave it in the bottom of the oven while I completed other parts of the dish, but the baking paper caught fire and I was forced to remove it…
In other news, I think this sauce was far too saturated. In hindsight, I should have pre-empted this when I saw it contained 6 tablespoons of honey. When making this next time, I will maybe only put in 4 tablespoons and adjust the other ingredients accordingly, add some water to dilute it, and then add cornstarch paste to thicken. I ended up making enough sauce for a second batch, so this should still make more than enough for one portion.
I served this will rice and stir fry veg to make a very nice Asian-style meal. I’m slowly starting to discover that meat doesn’t have to be at the centre of every meal, although still battling to feel satisfied. I’m going to be going out of my way to try a lot more new vegetarian recipes in the hope of conquering this. Onwards and upwards!