Stir-Fried Cauliflower | Bong Cai Xao

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Recipe

Cook the cauliflower until it’s tender but still in possession of a little crunch. You could add a splash of sesame oil just before that last toss for a delicious variation. Or try cooking broccoli florets the same way. This is usually served hot, but I also like it at room temperature or, if I have any left over, cold.–Nancie McDermott

LC The Year Of The Cauliflower Note

A lot of folks are proclaiming this to be The Year of the Cauliflower. Hmmm. Whether that’s a natural outcome of the paleo craze, a surge in the number of seasonal greenmarket goers, or a fluke, we can’t say for certain. If we had to guess, though, we’d say it has something to do with the complex, almost caramelized taste of this slightly sweet, slightly sour, entirely savory recipe.

Stir-Fried Cauliflower Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 smallish head cauliflower, broken into florets (4 to 5 cups florets)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro or mint leaves


  • 1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. To test if the pan is ready, add a pinch of garlic; if it sizzles at once, the oil is ready.
  • 2. Add the remaining garlic to the pan and toss to coat with the oil. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 1 minute, being certain to expose all sides of the bumpy florets to the hot skillet. Carefully and quickly add the fish sauce, water, sugar, pepper, and scallions and cook, tossing often, until the cauliflower is tender but still pleasantly crunchy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or mint, toss one last time, and remove from the heat.
  • 3. Transfer the cauliflower to a platter or shallow serving bowl and serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.
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