Friday, May 22, 2015

Burmese Cauliflower Salad

Baked Cauliflower Salad
There was a main dish already prepared for dinner today and a cauliflower in the fridge that needed to be used up. The first thing that comes to mind when I think cauliflower is the Indian Alu Gobi, but it was too complicated at that late hour. 

Then I remembered coming across a Burmese recipe for a roasted cauliflower salad that was very easy and doable at short notice. 

So here is an adaptation of that recipe which, for my taste buds, used too much shrimp powder, fish sauce and lime juice. So I toned down those ingredients and ramped up the garlic also because I wanted to give vegetarians the option of omitting shrimp powder and fish sauce. The black sesame seeds used as a garnish was replaced with deep-fried flat beans (Burmese: pe hlaw kyaw) because I was out of sesame seeds.

Uncertain what it would taste like, I was pleasantly surprised how very good this tasted. Hubby took a second and third helping, so it may be a frequent item at our dinner table!

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
salt to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder

1 small red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1 green chili, diced
1 generous handful cilantro, diced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp. dried shrimp powder (optional for vegetarians)
2 tsp. fish sauce (optional for vegetarians)
salt to taste
deep-fried flat beans (pe hlaw kyaw) for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Toss cauliflower florets with next three ingredients and spread in a single layer on a baking pan.
  3. Bake at 400*F for 15 minutes, turn florets over and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Remove cauliflower from oven and transfer to a mixing bowl, along with remaining ingredients, except fried flat beans.
  5. Toss until well combined, adjust salt to tast and garnish with deep-fried flat beans.
Serve as a side dish with steamed rice.

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