Szechuan Fried Cauliflower

Szechuan Fried Cauliflower

For those of you that believe you don’t like cauliflower, I can almost guarantee that it’s because it’s been served to you as a boiled lump of blandness; perhaps smothered in melted cheddar if you’re lucky.

I use the word “lucky” quite loosely there.

But there are so many ways to cook vegetables – why torture yourself? Like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is only boring and/or disgusting when it’s cooked badly. Roasted or fried, it’s damn delicious. Trust me.

I tend to eat these Szechuan fried florets as a snack, along with some crispy cauli leaves, but they’d also be good as a starter!

I’m going to be honest – the Szechuan paste was out of a packet. I used one from Asian Home Gourmet just because it was there, in the cupboard (and had been for a while). But you can do whatever you want: make your own, use a different brand… it doesn’t really matter. The important point here is that cauliflower is nice when you fry it with spices. That’s all.

Serves 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • 50g packet of Szechuan spice paste (or equivalent)
  • 1 tbsp oil


Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Don’t throw away the stalk or the leaves – the stalk can be used in soups and the leaves can be roasted and eaten another time.

In a bowl, rub the spice paste all over the florets until they’re coated evenly.

Heat some oil in a large pan and then shallow fry the cauliflower on a medium-high heat until tender (just keep prodding them with a fork!) If you have to do it in batches, that’s fine too.

Serve immediately.


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