Kung Pao Cauliflower
I freaking love everything Kung Pao … so when I stumbled across this fabulous recipe for Kung Pao brussel sprouts, I knew I wanted to try it. But as I was thinking it over, I thought … hmmm, wouldn’t cauliflower be better with the intense Kung Pao sauce than Brussel Sprouts?
So, to test out my theory, I included a bit of both veggies in this recipe. At first bite, I thought I liked the cauliflower better … but then I thought gosh I do like the Brussel Sprouts too … hmmm, it’s really hard to decide which is better. I had another bite … and another … and finally I had to make myself stop so I would have some left for the photos!
My conclusion, really, is they are both good. I really like the two mixed together the best–that way you don’t have to choose. Why should you have to?
I seriously love this vegetarian take on Kung Pao because my complaint with many Chinese restaurants is they don’t give you any veggies with the meat! (This may sound weird to those of you who are meat eaters, but I really love my veggies … and my body craves them … and yeah, since they help me stay skinny, veggies are my friends.)
For those of you who really love meat but are trying to squeeze in some extra veggies: this recipe is very satisfying and it strangely tastes meaty even though there is no meat in there at all! I think it’s the heartiness of the cauliflower and brussel sprouts that tricks your brain into thinking you are eating meat. The crunchy peanuts on top provide protein to add to the illusion.
If you like spicy Chinese food, you are going to LOVE this recipe!
- 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower
- 8 oz. brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 - 5 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped fine
- 1/2 of a medium onion, peeled & chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled & finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
- 4 - 6 dried chile de arbol
- 6 Tablespoons soy sauce (use GF soy sauce for gluten free)
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon corn starch + 1 Tablespoon water, whisked together to make a slurry
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or line with a silicon liner.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, removing the core, and trim the brussel sprouts, then cut them in half lengthwise. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower and sprouts in half of the oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, then toss again. Lay the veggies out onto the prepared baking pan in a single layer and set in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are browned and starting to crisp up, stirring once in the midst to get even browning.
- While the cauliflower and brussel sprouts are roasting, prep the sauce: heat the rest of the oil in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and ginger root and saute until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the chile paste and cook for a few minutes until the mixture is darkened.
- Stir in the dried chile peppers, soy sauce, honey, water and vinegar. Stir and cook for a minute, then slowly stir in the corn starch slurry, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat until the veggies are done.
- Toss the roasted veggies with the sauce over medium heat. Heat until hot, then serve over rice (or plain) with a sprinkling of chopped roasted peanuts.
For a gluten free dinner, use gluten free soy sauce (tamari sauce).
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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