Frozen Tempura Cauliflower in the Air Fryer (and Manchurian Sauce!)

Last month, I cooked some frozen Boom Boom Shrimp from Whole Foods in my air fryer, then tossed them with my home made Manchurian Sauce, a kinda Indo-Chinese fusion that is one of my faves.

Then we went out to a local Indian restaurant on Christmas Eve, and, of course, I ordered their cauliflower Manchurian, which got me to thinking…

Trader Joe’s has a pretty spiffy Tempura Cauliflower with Kung Pao sauce;

how’s about I toss that sauce and make my Manchurian? But this time, with added asparagus and red pepper slices cooked in garlic oil? I would’ve added slice red onion, too, but one of the guests I was making this meal for is anti onion, so, next time.

Garlic Ginger Paste:
•1 tbsp minced garlic
•1 tbsp minced ginger
•1/8 tsp turmeric
•1/8 tsp salt

Manchurian Sauce:
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
•1-1/2 cup diced sweet onion
•1 can diced green chiles, drained
•4 or 5 scallions, sliced – white and light green parts separated from the darker stalks
•1 tbsp minced ginger
•1 tbsp lower sodium Tamari
•1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
•1/2 cup Sweet & Sour Sauce
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/2 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp salt
•2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
•Freshly chopped parsley (for garnish)

•1 bag frozen tempura cauliflower
•Olive oil (I used garlic infused oil)
•Asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces
•Red pepper slices
•Red onion slices (in a perfect world)

The day before, grind the garlic and ginger into a paste with a mortar and pestle, then stir in the salt and turmeric and set aside.

Warm the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add ginger garlic paste, diced sweet onion, white and light green pieces of the scallion (save the dark green slices to garnish in the end), and sauté for eight minutes or so, until the onion is tender.

Add the green chiles and fry for another minute before adding the minced ginger, Tamari, vinegar, salt, Sweet and Sour Sauce and the seasonings.

Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture until the sauce has thickened a bit, then set aside to cool, then stash in a covered container in the fridge until needed.

When ready to make your Manchurian, heat your air fryer to 400º (some air fryers do not need to be preheated, but mine does, so check you owner’s manual). Also, if made the day before, pull your Manchurian sauce out of the fridge.

Add one tablespoon of oil to a large pan over medium high heat, then add your asparagus, red pepper, and, if you can get away with it, red onion slices.

Cook, stirring every now and then, for about ten minutes, until the veggies are tender and blistered in parts.

While the veggies are cooking, arrange your frozen tempura cauliflower in a single layer on your air fryer rack, and give ’em just a spritz of olive oil.

Put the cauliflower in the air fryer and cook for four minutes, then remove the rack, turn over the cauliflower pieces, and return to the air fryer for another four minutes or so, until the pieces are golden brown and crunchy.

Once the asparagus red pepper, and onion (if your using it) are done, add the Manchurian sauce to the pan and turn the heat to low.

When the cauliflower is ready, remove from the air fryer and toss with the other veggies in the pan with the Manchurian sauce.

I would normally serve this with rice, but this time, I went with Shrimp Toast on roasted garlic naan.



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