Indochinese Gobi Manchurian (Stovetop, Oven, or Air Fryer)

1 pound cauliflower cut evenly into 1 to 2 inch florets
2 tablespoons corn flour
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4+teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons oil

Sauce Ingredients
2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar optional

Other ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 small green chili sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon garlic minced
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/2 cup scallions white part chopped
1/4 cup green scallions chopped finely
1/2 cup water

Steam the cauliflower using either Instant Pot or Stove top.

Using Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot insert and place the trivet inside. Put the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and place the basket over the trivet. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the pressure release valve to sealing. Steam for zero minute followed by quick release. Open the Instant Pot and take out the cauliflower florets. Allow to cool.

Using Stove Top: Boil 6 cups of water in a large pot. Place the cauliflower florets in the hot boiling water for 2 minutes. Carefully take them out of the water making sure to drain all the water out. Allow to cool.

Next, make the batter to coat the cauliflower. In a medium mixing bowl mix cornflour, all-purpose flour, salt & pepper. Gradually add little water making sure that the batter is not runny.
Add the steamed cauliflower florets to the batter and gently mix to coat them with the batter.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet or pan over medium heat. Slowly add a batch of battered cauliflower florets to the oil. Note: I only add half of the cauliflower at a time so they are not too crowded.

Fry for 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through as they start to turn golden brown. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the cooked florets from the pan to a platter lined with a paper towel.

Pan-fry the remaining cauliflower. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Transfer the fried cauliflower to the platter. Set aside.

Make the Machurian sauce, toss in the cauliflower & garnish
In the same pan, add white part of the chopped scallions, ginger, garlic and green chili. Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat and then add chili sauce, soy sauce and ketchup. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add vinegar, sugar and mix well.

Next, add water and cook until the sauce comes to a gentle simmer and starts to thicken about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the pan-fried cauliflower and gently mix in the sauce coating cauliflower florets evenly. Cook for another 1 minute. Turn the heat off, garnish with green scallions and enjoy hot.

Notes:
How to use Air-fryer instead of panfrying to the cauliflower:
Use a perforated parchment paper liner and coat it with oil.
Line the steamed & batter coated cauliflower in a single layer in the CrispLid / Air Fryer Basket.

Brush or spray the cauliflower with oil. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Turn the cauliflower over, brush with oil again and continue to cook for another 5 mins. You will have perfectly crispy cauliflower to use in the Manchurian recipe.

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