Gobi Manchurian

Post hoc ergo proptor hoc. That the fire occurred the morning after making it is not important. Gobi manchurian causes grease fires.

(The morning after is, after all, the more fiery moment.)

Non-Wheat Gobi Manchurian (adapted from Sailu's Kitchen)

2 medium cauliflower heads

Breading 1 cup nonwheat biscuit mix 1 1/3 cup water 1/4 finely chopped jalapeno 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger 1 large clove finely chopped garlic

Stir Fry

2 tablespoons sesame oil

the rest of the jalapeno, chopped

whites of several green onions, chopped

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped

Sauce 4 teaspoons soy sauce 5 tablespoons tomato sauce 3 teaspoons vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon chili powder

Chop cauliflower into florets about 1 inch square. Soak florets in salt water. What does that mean? I used probably 3 teaspoons of salt. Who knows if it does anything. Finely chop jalapeno, ginger, and 2 cloves of garlic. In a large mixing bowl combine all breading ingredients. In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Chop the whites of a bunch of green onions off and chop them into roughly 5mm pieces. Fill a wok about 3/4 inch with high-temperature oil. Heat oil to ~350 F, if you have a thermometer. Otherwise try heating it for five minutes, then test it every minute or two with a dollop of breading. It should bubble a lot, and brown fairly quickly. What specifically does that mean? I don't know. In any case drain the florets thoroughly and dump them into the bowl of breading batter. Mix them around until they're evenly coated.

Then deep fry as many as will fit in the oil at once. Turn them over with a very long utensil every couple minutes (the oil is not deep enough to fry them evenly). Break apart any that stick together with the same long utensil. Don't let them get cuddly. When they are golden brown (is anything ever not supposed to be golden brown when it's done?), take them out with the giant utensil, without taking too much oil with them, and put them on a paper-towel-covered plate. Repeat this paragraph until there are no more florets to fry.

Pour the oil into a very very dry container that will not die from the sudden heat. Then pour the sesame oil in the wok. Stir fry all the ingredients under, yes, you guessed it, the "Stir Fry" title. For a few minutes. I didn't do this. I forgot. I just put the stir fry ingredients in with the sauce. Which is next: pour the sauce into the wok. Stir it constantly for about five minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water, and let it come to a boil again. Then dump in all the deep-fried florets and coat them with the sauce. The question here is: to immediately remove them from heat, or to fry them in hopes of making them crispy? I went in between, frying them for only about a minute, and they came out soggy.

13 February 2011