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Sichuan Dry-Fried Cauliflower
The Mandarin term for dry-frying, sometimes called dry-searing, is gan bian. It’s essentially a two-stage cooking technique. A protein or vegetable first is parcooked in oil until the surfaces are browned and any moisture on the exterior has evaporated. The food then is stir-fried with aromatics and seasonings that reduce and cling to the browned surfaces. The resulting dish is more or less sauce-free. Green beans are the vegetable most often cooked in this manner, but in our version we use cauliflower. Sichuan peppercorns provide their resinous, tongue-tingling heat, while optional árbol chilies add a more direct spiciness.
pound head cauliflower, trimmed
cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
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