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Monday, February 8, 2016

Vodka Tempura Cauliflower with Spicy Ginger Dip, Maple Soy Reduction (Vegan)

Inspiration:  Vegan Super Bowl snack - instead of chicken wings!

Different plating for entertaining

Spicy Ginger Sauce:  Makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup (240ml) of vegan mayo
  • 2t of sriracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1t of seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1t of algave syrup (can be replaced with maple, corn syrup or sugar)
  • 1t of soy sauce
  • 1t of fresh ginger, minced or grated with a micro plane
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  

Soy Maple Reduction:  makes about 2T

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) of soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup (40ml) of maple syrup
  • 1t of minced or grated fresh ginger
Place soy sauce, maple syrup and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a low bowl and allow to reduce until it has thickened to a syrup (about 6 -7 minutes).   Drizzle over the spicy ginger sauce.  This is also great served with sushi

Tempura Cauliflower:  for one medium cauliflower - serves 6-8  

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 cup (240ml) of packaged tempura mix (or 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of rice flour)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of cold vodka (makes a lighter batter)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) of cold seltzer water (also helps make a lighter batter)
  • a few ice cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying (I used one 946ml bottle of peanut oil - enough so the florets are completely immersed)

How to make it:

Start by cutting the cauliflower into bite-sized florets (about 1 inch - 2.5cm in diameter).  You will have to cut the large florets in quarters to get them all the same size.

Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring the water to a boil.  Add the florets and blanch them for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and place them under cold running water to stop the cooking.  Allow them to drain completely and then pat dry with a clean dish towel.

Place the oil in a deep pot and bring to a temperature of 400°F (200° C) over medium high heat.  You should have about 3 - 4 inches of oil in your pot.

Place the tempura flour mix (1 cup - 240ml)  in a medium bowl and form a well in the middle of the bowl.  Add the cold vodka (1/3 cup - 80ml) and the cold sparkling water (1/3 cup - 80ml) and whisk gently pulling in the flour into the centre of the bowl.  If you feel the batter is too thick, add some additional sparkling water.  The batter should be thin but still stick to the cauliflower.  You can also test it with a few florets and adjust as you go.  Add 2 or 3 ice cubes to keep the batter very cold.  

Dip the florets in the tempura batter and gently place in the hot oil in batches of 5 or 6 florets or more depending on the size of your pot.  Cook for about 1 minute (you will see the batter begin to colour)  and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain off excess oil.  Season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper as soon as they come out of the oil.  Continue with this process until you have cooked the remaining florets.

Serve with the spicy ginger dip drizzled with the maple soy reduction.  Enjoy!

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