Korean-Style Popcorn Cauliflower
Our favorite vegetable is pretty darn versatile. Case in point: Korean-style popcorn cauliflower, which is lightly fried and then tossed in sticky gochujang-honey sauce. Hellooo, dream appetizer.
½ cup gochujang
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cool water
Oil, as needed for frying
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
Sesame seeds, for finishing
Minced chives, for finishing
1. Make the Sauce: In a medium pot, stir together the gochujang, soy sauce, honey and water. Heat the sauce over low heat until it barely simmers. Keep warm.
2. Make the Cauliflower Nuggets: Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a large sauté pan. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers on the surface and reads about 350°F on a thermometer. (Or you can test the oil with a piece of cauliflower: If it bubbles and stays at the surface after you drop it in the oil, then you’re good to go.)
3. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Whisk the eggs in a large, shallow bowl.
4. In another large, shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, black pepper and cayenne.
5. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the cauliflower florets into the egg until they are well coated. Then dip them into the flour mixture and toss well to coat. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
6. Working in batches, fry the cauliflower until the pieces are evenly golden brown, 6 to 9 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and drain on the prepared paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
7. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the sauce and toss until well coated. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and chives.