As we welcome the new temperatures of spring, the prospect of beachside picnics and evening BBQ’s grows ever closer – but we’re not quite there yet! Why not try out an inventive new recipe that offers a sensational fusion of seafood and succulent meat that likewise can be served up on a napkin or paper plate?
The exquisite Cauliflower Rice Cake with Poor Man’s X.O. Sauce is just that.
Featuring a tender and flavorsome inside, enclosed within a crispy outer shell, the subtly sweet-tasting rice cake achieves the desired lightness of a summer dish yet succeeds in being pleasantly filling – one cake will go far! Served with a Chinese X.O. sauce bursting with an array of tangy flavors, the dish is an enchanting alternative to serve up this season.
You Will Need:
Poor Man’s X.O. Sauce
3 tbsp (30 grams) Chinese dried shrimps
8 medium-size (12 grams) dried shitake mushrooms
2 tbsp shaoxing wine, or sherry
1/4 cup water
Approx 3/4″ square (30 grams) Chinese ham, or prosciutto ham
4 cloves garlic
2 small shallots
3 small red chilis, diced
6 small dried chilis, whole
1 tsp ground paprika
3/4 cup (165 grams) vegetable oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
Cauliflower Rice Cake
3/4 cup (100 grams) white rice flour
1/2 cup (70 grams) sticky rice/glutinous rice flour
2 tbsp (20 grams) Chinese dried shrimps, finely chopped
2 links Cantonese dried sausauge (la chang), diced in small chunks
About 3 cups (270 grams) cauliflower florets
2 cups water + 1 tsp salt
2 ~ 3 tbsp vegetable oil for browning
Ground white pepper for dusting
- TO MAKE THE POOR MAN’S X.O. SAUCE:Mix dried shrimps, dried mushrooms, shaoxing wine and 1/4 cup of water in a bowl, and microwave on high for 1 min (stopping/mixing once in between). Let sit for 10 min until the mushrooms are plumped. Strain the dried shrimps and mushroom, andkeep the liquid. In a food-processor, grind the dried shrimps, mushrooms, Chinese ham (or prosciutoo), garlic and shallots until finely ground. The texture should be like extra fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the ground mixture into a pot, along with diced chilis, dried chilis, ground paprika and vegetable oil, and the reserved shrimp/mushroom liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium-lowheat,and continue to cook while stirring for about 20 min, until all the moisture has completely evaporated. If there are any foams or bubble on the surface, skim them off.
- Now add the oyster sauce, brown sugar and ground white pepper, and continue to cook for another 5 min low medium-low heat. Turn off the heat and let sit for at least 2 hour before serving. Can be stored in an air-tight jar inside the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER RICE CAKE:Combine white rice flour and sticky rice flour in a large bowl, set aside. In a skillet, cook chopped dried shrimps and diced Cantonese dried sausage, along with 1 tbsp of oil and 1 1/2 tbsp of water (the water helps plump up/soften the dried shrimps and sausage) over medium-high heat, until the water has evaporated and the ingredients are slightly browned. Set aside.
- Bring 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt to boil, then cook the diced cauliflower florets (make sure they are small) for about 5 min until soft. WE NEED the cooking water, so remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon and set aside. Let the cooking-water cool down to just warm to the touch(if it’s too hot, it’ll completely cook the flour). Then first add 3/4 cup (170 grams) of the cooking-water into the rice flour-mixture, and whisk until it becomes a loose batter (consistency like melted ice cream). Add 2 tbsp more cooking-water to adjust if needed. Then mix in the cooked cauliflower, dried shrimps and sausages (with all the rendered oil) until evenly incorporated.
- Heat up 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a 8″~10″ non-stick skillet over medium-high heat (to avoid extra dish-washing, cook the dried shrimps/sausage in the same skillet). Add the batter and distribute it evenly across, put a lid on so the center can be cooked through, then cook until the first side is golden-browned. Flip the rice cake *(or if you find it easier, flip it into another heated skillet with another tbsp of oil), and brown the other side as well (also with a lid on). Dust with a bit of ground white pepper and serve immediately with poor man’s X.O. sauce.
Instead of one big rice cake, you can also make several mini ones to serve as a summer snack!