Monday, February 22, 2010

Fried Cauliflower

Fried cauliflower was the featured appetizer at a very chic restaurant I visited recently (and I wasn't paying the bill!). It was absolutely delicious, so I set out to re-create it at home. I was quite successful, and this is now my favorite way to eat cauliflower. Unfortunately, it is not the healthiest way. But it is a vegetable so that counts for something!

The amounts here are based for a small head of a cauliflower, or half a large head, so just adjust them accordingly to what you have.

First, cut the cauliflower. You want to make cut slices

so that they will lay flat in the skillet.

You'll probably have some pieces that break, or ends that won't work, or florets that are too small to slice. Simply put all those in a storage container, and use them to make roasted cauliflower or steam it or something else!

Once all the cauliflower is sliced, you'll need to blanch it. This will ensure that it is tender enough after it's fried. Add the cauliflower to boiling water

and let it simmer for about 3 minutes. Pour the cauliflower into a strainer and immediately shower it with cold water so that it stops cooking.

Now prepare the dipping parts. First, whisk an egg with a couple drops of water til light and fluffy.

Pour the bread crumbs into a bowl.

I used panko for this - panko are Japanese bread crumbs that fry up beautifully, nice and crisp. I added a bit of Italian seasoning to mine.

Pat the cauliflower dry with paper towels.

This is an important step - the drying - because you want the egg mixture to adhere to the cauliflower, so you need it to be free from water.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When it starts to pop, dredge the cauliflower through the egg,

then the breadcrumbs, being sure to coat both sides.

Lay the pieces in the skillet, close together so you can fit a lot in!

Let them cook for about 2 minutes or until golden on the underside, then flip them over. A small fork works best for the flipping.

Cook 2 minutes on this side, then remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Keep these pieces warm while you do the next batch. I find it best to wipe out the skillet between batches, otherwise you may set off the smoke alarm. (!)

Salt to taste, and then serve hot!

Get more inspiration at Meatless Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Seasonal Sundays.

Fried Cauliflower

1 small head cauliflower
1 egg
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Oil for frying

Cut florets from cauliflower head, then slice each floret. (Reserve small florets or broken ones for another use.) Bring a large pot of water to boil, then drop in cauliflower slices and allow to simmer for about three minutes. Remove to a strainer and run cold water over the vegetables in order to stop the cooking process.

In a small bowl, use a whisk to lightly beat the egg along with a couple drops of water until fluffy. In another small bowl, combine the panko and seasoning.

Heat the oil in a skillet until hot, then dredge the cauliflower through the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place in the oil-lined pan and repeat with additional slices until the pan is full. Let cook about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel. Season with salt and serve hot.


  1. Looks really good. Thanks for posting it on my Meatless Mondays. I have two caulflower recipes and since I love cauliflower, this is a good start.

  2. YUM! I grew up eating this dish only with cornmeal for the batter. DEEE-LISH!

  3. I love cauliflower and this looks sooooooo good!

  4. This recipe might make me give in and eat cauliflower! :-)

  5. That looks really, really yummy!


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