Sichuan Dry-Fried Cauliflower | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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When stir-frying without a wok, a low-liquid approach helps deliver bolder flavor

Sichuan Dry-Fried Cauliflower

25 minutes

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.




Don't use a head of cauliflower larger than 2 pounds. The skillet will be too crowded to get the browning that's essential to the dish. Also, for proper browning, don't stir the cauliflower for the first several minutes after adding it to the pan, and once the Sichuan peppercorns are added, stir only every minute or so.

25 minutes

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