¼ cup Korean fermented red pepper paste (gochujang)
2 tablespoons Japanese apricot syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
Batter and Cauliflower
½ cup potato starch
½ cup flour
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
pinch ground black pepper
neutral vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 pound cauliflower, cut into bitesize florets
1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
- To make the gochujang glaze: In a medium saucepan, heat the gochujang, apricot syrup, sugar, soy sauce, and water together over low heat, stirring often to combine thoroughly. Remove from heat when it comes to a boil. Set aside.
- To make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together potato starch, flour, water, salt, and pepper to a smooth consistency.
- Heat about 4 inches oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add a drop of batter to test if the oil is hot enough for frying. The batter will sizzle and start floating right away when the oil is ready.
- To fry the cauliflower: Mix the florets into the batter to coat completely. In batches, without crowding, gently shake off excess batter from the cauliflower and carefully add to the pot. The battered cauliflower will drop to the bottom, then float to the surface as it fries. When the florets look crispy all around, about 5 minutes, transfer to a plate. Repeat with rest of cauliflower.
- Before serving, fry the cauliflower one more time in batches for about 3 minutes, until pieces have a crispy texture and golden color.
- Transfer cauliflower to the pan with the glaze. Over low heat, fold gently with a wooden spoon to coat cauliflower nicely in glaze.
- Transfer glazed cauliflower to a plate and garnish with pumpkin seeds, if using. Serve warm.
Yield: 4 servings