Dear blog readers, you may have noticed that SybDive is now, officially, Midge in the Kitchen – new name, but it’s the same blog about food, fun, and everything in between. And now, onto today’s topic…
These days, everyone has developed a taste for twice-fried and sauce-drenched Korean fried chicken thanks to Bon Chon Chicken and a number of other Korean franchises and one can’t blame them: the crunchy skin is irresistible and the meat within is tender and flavorful. The dish is so popular that seasoning maker McCormick has even developed a combination breading and seasoning mix to help the chicken-mad get their fowl-fixes at home.
However, we’re right smack in the middle of the Lenten Season and , for many Filipinos, the beach is beginning to beckon. (I’m not one of them, you know; I hate the summer and anything related to it!) As a result, there’s a need to cut down on meat – but that doesn’t mean your cravings for everything Korean and deep-fried will go unsatisfied. On the contrary, there is a delicious way by which vegetables can take the place of the chicken in your favorite treat.
I saw this on Serious Eats last week: a recipe for Korean Fried Cauliflower from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. It was a way to cheer up his vegan wife who, prior to going veggie, was a die-hard Buffalo wings addict. Lopez-Alt’s version battered up and deep-fried cauliflower florets before tossing them with the sauce of his choice. The verdict: tasty and definitely addictive little clouds of veggie crispness.
Since I wasn’t really up for whisking my own batter and mixing my own sauce yesterday, I decided to use a ready mix – McCormick’s Korean Fried Chicken kit in bulgogi – and the end results were stunningly tasty, if not rather aesthetically pretty to look at.
Just follow the directions for making the batter, chop up a large head of cauliflower into 1-inch florets and toss them in the batter, deep-fry in oil, and toss in the sauce that comes with the kit. Chop up some spring onions, scatter them over the finished fritters, et voila: Kore-Cauli bites! These were so good, that I think I’ll try the same procedure with eggplant and potato strips and shiitake mushrooms the next time I make these veggie-good treats.