Char siu sauce is the important thing to sticky caramelized cauliflower

To guage from a trio of produce-forward cookbooks printed this season, char siu and pork are present process a aware uncoupling.

The staple of Cantonese-style barbecue appears to be turning into a well-liked approach so as to add taste to crops, as Andrea Nguyen, Hetty Lui McKinnon and Maggie Zhou exhibit in “Ever-Inexperienced Vietnamese,” “Tenderheart” and “Chinese language Homestyle,” respectively. Zhou suggests you make plant-based barbecue pork buns “identical to a dim sum restaurant utilizing my char siu sauce and mushrooms.” McKinnon writes of her recollections of consuming Hong Kong-style roast meats as a toddler in Australia and the way she now likes to marinate slices of eggplant in a “aromatic, fruity,” char-siu-style barbecue sauce, and add it to salads or tuck it into steamed bao.

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Nguyen’s char siu medium is cauliflower, which she makes use of to stuff sliders or pile onto banh mi. She additionally makes use of the sauce to glaze pulled jackfruit for related makes use of. However isn’t char siu Chinese language, not Vietnamese? In Vietnam, she writes, small bao crammed with Cantonese barbecue have lengthy been in style, whereas extra lately, “individuals have been making larger buns for Taiwanese-style gua bao.”

Get the recipe: Char Siu Cauliflower

All the above dishes will ultimately make it onto my dinner desk, however I used to be instantly drawn to Nguyen’s Char Siu Cauliflower, principally out of an attraction to the sticky, caramel-like edges I knew (with the assistance of a photograph) the cauliflower would achieve throughout its high-heat roasting interval.

The secret’s to chop the cauliflower into massive wedges. Nguyen’s methodology for that may be a keeper: You employ your knife to separate the cauliflower’s stem with out slicing via all of the florets and making a flurry of tiny items that wouldn’t be capable to face up to the time and temperature wanted for this char siu magic to occur.

And occur it does. The consequence was so good that whereas Nguyen began me off fascinated with all of the other ways I’d wish to eat it, I ended up not eager to do anything however … eat it. Subsequent time I’ll strive a sandwich or a salad or a grain bowl, however that first time, all I wished was cauliflower, chew after chew of cauliflower.

Get the recipe: Char Siu Cauliflower

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