Sometimes you just need good Chinese food. I mean I’ve never met an egg roll I didn’t like, okay that’s not entirely true, I have. But I digress, I didn’t even make egg rolls for this. I should have, but I didn’t. What I did do though was turn cauliflower into Kung Pao Chicken so there’s that. As I mentioned, in my intro I have been on a search to turn all my favorites into plant based eats and still feel like I’m nomming on the real thing. Because let’s face it, if it doesn’t taste good I’m not eating it and I’m certainly not making it for any of my friend or sharing with you. I’ve had some fails and some wins. I’m marking this one as a win. Just fair warning, this one is a bit time consuming so maybe hold off for the weekend. I began prepping this during my lunch break and then finished cooking after work. Worth it!
I can still remember the first time I had Kung Pao Chicken. I was with my Mom at a random little spot in our hometown. I laugh now about how she told me not to eat the peppers, but I did and set my mouth ablaze!!!! From that moment, kung pao chicken became my favorite. The light crispy breading, tender chicken, sticky spicy sauce – I was done. So let’s talk about why this is a bit of a time consuming thing, Tempura batter. Tempura batter is literally three ingredient, shifted flour ice cold water and eggs. That’s it. But in order for you to get that light fluffy coating the batter has to stay cold, even after you’ve coated something in it. Once I made the batter and coated my cauliflower florets in it, I put them on a parchment lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer until I was ready to put them in the oven and before they went in I gave them a good coating of cooking spray. Of course you can fry these or use and air fryer but seeing as this was the first round, I went with the oven. You are going to bake your florets on 450 for about 20 to 25 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to make the sauce and your fried rice.
The sauce wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. This is what you need:
- low sodium soy sauce
- hoisian sauce
- toasted sesame seed oil
- brown sugar
- chili sauce
Simmer everything in a pot until combined through and extra sticky. Now let’s work on the fried rice. I used, brown rice, peas, corn, peppers, carrots, edamame, onions, soy sauce and JUST EGG. If you have leftover rice from something you’ve made during the week this is a great time to use it up. Add all your ingredients to a pan with a bit of oil. All your vegetables should be roughly the same size. You want to let it get brown on one side before you begin mixing it up, then add the JUST EGG to the middle and scramble through.
By now your sauce should be ready and so should your cauliflower. Take out of the oven and coat in the sauce. Plate (or bowl) up. Put a little of your fried rice on the side and your kung pao cauliflower on top. You can splash your rice with a little extra soy sauce if needed. Your cauliflower is going to be crispy outside and nice and tender inside. This meal will not disappoint, and don’t be surprised when people come back for seconds. Enjoy y’all!!