Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Cauliflower with tribal salt, raisins and peppers

Alexander Ong
Betelnut Pejiu Wu, San Francisco

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1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 cup vegetable oil

Cauliflower, raisins and peppers
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
2 tbsp. golden raisins
2 tbsp. natural raisins
3 rings sliced from a red-ripe Fresno chile
1/2 lb. cornstarch
16 fresh curry or basil leaves
Tribal salt (recipe follows)


For marinade: Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

For cauliflower: Place cauliflower florets in a non-reactive bowl, such as glass or stainless steel. Pour marinade over cauliflower, mix well and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Drain marinade from cauliflower and dredge cauliflower, raisins and chiles in cornstarch. Fry until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Do not crowd!) Add curry leaves right before cauliflower is done. Using a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower mixture from oil and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Season to taste with tribal salt.

For tribal salt: Combine 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 tbsp. Szechuan or black peppercorns (toasted and crushed) and 1/4 tsp. five-spice powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Use leftovers as you would table salt. Especially delicious with other fried foods, such as french fries and fried chicken.

Serves 4

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