Sweet Teriyaki Cauliflower Bites with "Fried" Rice
Get your veggies in with this one. It has the flavours of the Chinese fast food I used to love without the MSG, sodium, fat, refined & processed sugars and oils. I don't really eat vegan meat substitutes, occasionally it is fun to try new products but generally I like to keep those more processed foods out of my diet as I eat whole foods & plant based. That is why I love using cauliflower as a meat substitute, when you batter and bake it, it has a surprisingly "meaty" texture. Coat it in a good sauce and you have yourself a meal even meat eaters can get down with. I made this for a non vegan friend the other night, and he went back for seconds... always a good sign. I use buckwheat at the flour in the batter because of its nutritional properties, which you can read about here. It is also gluten free, but it does have a pretty distinct flavour so you can you can swap it for all purpose flour.
FOR THIS RECIPE YOU'LL NEED
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non dairy milk
- large pinch salt & pepper
FOR THE SWEET TERIYAKI SAUCE
- 1/2 cup unsweetened canned pineapple with juice
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- small pinch red chili flakes
- 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp warm water
FOR THE FRIED RICE
- medium grain rice (75 grams or 2/3 cup per person)
- 1/2 medium white onion very finely diced
- 150 grams firm tofu
- 1 cup mixed frozen veggies, I use a mix of corn, carrots, & green peas
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3-4 tbsp soy sauce
- large pinch black pepper
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 4 tbsp green onions
- Preheat the over to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a non stick silicone mat.
- Wash and cut the cauliflower head down into bite size florets. In a large bowl combine the flour, water, non dairy milk, salt & pepper. You want the batter to be runny but thick enough to stick to and coat the florets. Using your hands dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter letting the excess drip off before placing on the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the florets are coated. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until crispy and dark golden brown.
- Meanwhile, begin making the sweet teriyaki sauce that will coat the florets by combining all ingredients in a food processor and processing until combined, scraping down the sides if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference, you may want to add more maple syrup for sweetness, more chilli for spiciness etc.
- When the florets look crispy and dark golden brown, remove from oven and carefully place into a clean frying pan or wok, pour half the sweet teriyaki sauce on top of them and use a spoon or your hands to give them an even coating. Place the sauce covered florets back onto the baking sheet and bake for another 20 minutes turning them half way through.
- Once the cauliflower is back in the oven, use this time to begin making the rice. Simply follow the directions on the rice packet and then in a separate frying pan add diced onion, with black pepper and 1/4 cup of water on high heat. Turn heat down to medium once the water starts to boil, adding more water to prevent sticking if necessary. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- To the onions add the mixed veggies, tofu, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes before stirring in the fully cooked rice.
- When the cauliflower is finished baking, add it back to the wok/frying pan with the remaining sauce and cook for another 5 minutes to thicken up the sauce & heat it through. Top with sesame seeds, and plate it with the rice. Garnish with green onion and serve!