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Seasonal eats: Cauliflower time 番茄炒花菜


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Just curious, how do you most often prepare cauliflower in your home? It's a versatile vegetable which can be roasted, steamed, stir-fried and so on. 


I sometimes "dry fry" 干煸 it, as in this recipe from a year ago. Seasoned with ham slivers and cumin seeds 孜然: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/57449-dry-fried-cauliflower-干煸花菜/?tab=comments#comment-445668



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The only way cauliflower is eaten in our house is as cauliflower cheese. 


There has been somewhat of a shortage of cauliflowers this year, the weather is to blame. We never see the leggy type, just the firm heads.


It has become a popular substitute for mashed potato for people trying to lose weight, not sure about that myself, its very easy to end up with watery cauliflower if overcooked and not drained properly and so would make very sloppy mash.


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56 minutes ago, Shelley said:

The only way cauliflower is eaten in our house is as cauliflower cheese. 


Do you mean you melt cheese on top? That sounds good. Do you make it in the oven? Is there a particular kind of cheese that works best?


I didn't know about cauliflower instead of potatoes for people trying to lose weight. 

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Cauliflower cheese is made by cooking the cauliflower till it is just done, soft but definitely not overdone. let it drain well.


Make a  white sauce, add lots of grated cheese, usually cheddar, stir well,  put some of the sauce on the bottom of an oven proof dish, add the drained cauliflower and pour the rest of the cheese sauce over, make sure it is all covered well.

Grate some more cheese, sprinkle generously over the top, and some bread crumbs to add a crispness to the top, put in the oven till golden brown or under a grill if no oven available. If it is all still hot you could just use a cooks blowtorch to brown the top, but the best is slowly in the oven to let the cauliflower absorb some of the sauce.


Serve hot on its own as a main meal or as a side veg. We always have it as a main meal, one biggish cauliflower does 2 people very well.




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“Cauliflower rice” is the trendy weight loss dish with cauliflower these days. Just grate/shave the cauliflower and fry it up like you would cooked rice. Seriously. Search for that and you’ll get a lot of hits. It can be quite good if done right. 

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23 hours ago, ChTTay said:

“Cauliflower rice” is the trendy weight loss dish with cauliflower these days. Just grate/shave the cauliflower and fry it up like you would cooked rice. Seriously. Search for that and you’ll get a lot of hits. It can be quite good if done right. 


Interesting. I had not heard of doing this. Is it popular in China? Or only in the west? 


OK, I just found a recipe using grated cauliflower. Made like 炒饭 fried rice. Includes green peas, carrots, and corn. Looks real tasty. I might even try it. 



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  • 2 years later...

First, thank you for so many recipes!


Second, I’d like to share a recipe that has been passed down through my family. I absolutely love this dish. I can’t imagine a better recipe that involves cauliflower and tomatoes. It’s one of my top 10 favorite recipes for vegetables. It's also one of the simpler dishes that I make.


28 oz Cauliflower

28 oz Canned Tomatoes

7.5 oz Chinese Sausage

Cooking Oil


I hear that canned tomatoes are actually higher quality than fresh tomatoes (most of the time?). I hear that whole tomatoes are better than diced tomatoes, because they are less processed. But, feel free to use fresh tomatoes. If you do, you'll need 32 oz of fresh tomatoes. You’ll also have to add 0.5 tsp salt, because canned tomatoes have added salt, which happens to be just the right amount of salt for this recipe.




1. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.


2. Chop the tomatoes into dices.


3. Cut the Chinese sausage into slices, 1/4 inch thick.


4. In a dry wok, stir fry the Chinese sausage. Cook it until the fat is translucent and then until the slices are slightly tanned on both sides. While leaving the grease in the pan, take the Chinese sausage out of the wok and set it aside.


5. Since cauliflower soaks up a lot of oil, add a generous amount of oil to the grease in wok.


6a. Add the cauliflower to the wok and stir fry. Lightly sprinkle salt to help bring out more of the flavor of the cauliflower as it cooks.


6b. Continually check that there is enough oil. When there are only small drops of oil at the bottom of the wok, add at least a tablespoon of oil. The bottom of the wok should never be dry of oil. Otherwise, the cauliflower doesn't cook right.


6c. Cook until the cauliflower is translucent.


7. Add the Chinese sausage back to the wok.


8. Add the diced tomatoes to the wok. Mix.


9. Cover the wok and simmer to allow the tomato juice and Chinese sausage flavor to soak into the cauliflower. Mix occasionally. When the cauliflower is pinkish, it’s done. This takes a while.


10. Serve with white rice. Perfect combination! Yummy!

Edited by MTH123
Fixed formatting by adding a bunch of line breaks.
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Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve never even been good at checking my personal email every day. People in my personal life who need to get ahold of me right away know how to do it through old-fashioned ways, lol.


I forgot to mention that the reason I wanted to post this particular recipe is that none of my Chinese and Taiwanese friends throughout my life have ever even heard of this dish. But, everyone I’ve made it for has really liked it. I should also have mentioned that it was my favorite vegetable dish growing up, so I may be “a little” biased about it, lol. I’ve had it many hundreds of times. I still have it at least a dozen times a year.


I hope you try it and like it too! If you have any suggestions for improvement, including both ingredients and cooking techniques, please let me know! I can tell that you’re the kind of person who can improve a recipe.

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