Make Ahead

Cauliflower with Nam Pla Minnow

October  7, 2010
Author Notes

Nam Pla Minnow (fish sauce and lime) is a sauce that flavors Thai home cooking-- from fried egg to a shredded green papaya salad. This recipe is part Momofuku (his roasted brussel sprouts), and part my own creation. - edamame2003 —edamame2003

Test Kitchen Notes

We loved the contrasting flavors and vibrancy of this Thai-inspired cauliflower dish, whose garlicky fish sauce and lime juice dressing really packs a punch. Don't worry if the panko falls off the cauliflower while cooking; think of them more as a breadcrumb topping rather than a batter. We added our dressing to the cauliflower while it was still in the pan, which helped mellow its assertiveness, but you can add it in the serving bowl as well. – Lauren —The Editors

  • Serves 2 or 4 as an appetizer
Ingredients
  • Nam Pla Minnow
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 bird chili peppers (seeds removed)
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (minnow)
  • 1/8 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
  • Cauliflower
  • 1 cauliflower head (cut into florets)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Drop cauliflower in boiling water for 30 seconds and remove. Drain and let cool.
  2. Thinly coat the cauliflower with flour/black pepper, then through the beaten egg and dredge through the panko.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the cauliflower--about 8 minutes (until browned and crispy). Remove and set aside.
  4. For the sauce:
  5. In a mortar, pound the birds eye chili, garlic and palm sugar, until a paste-like texture.
  6. Add fish sauce and lime juice and dissolve the chili, garlic, sugar mixture.
  7. Toss the cauliflower with the sauce.
  8. Garnish with cilantro.

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I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.