Umami Cauliflower Steaks With Crispy Leeks |
Favourites 19
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 4


  • 4 tbsp of flavourless oil
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, rinsed and patted dry, each sliced into 4 4cm steaks
  • Asian-style salad, to serve
For the umami sauce:
  • 2 tbsp of liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp of tomato purée
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of red miso paste, blended with water to loosen
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 a lime, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp of black vinegar
For the crispy leeks:
  • 1 leek
  • 200ml flavourless oil
  • Pinch of salt
For the dressing:
  • 1 chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp of flavourless oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a large baking sheet on the middle oven shelf.
  2. Mix together the umami sauce ingredients and set aside. Place a frying pan/skillet over a medium-high heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the pan is smoking, add one steak into the hot oil at a time. Sear on each side for 2 minutes. Repeat with the other steaks, adding oil as needed. Arrange the seared steaks on the preheated baking sheet. Brush with the umami sauce and bake in the oven, basting every 10 minutes, for 25–30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the crispy leeks, trim off the dark green parts, then thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek into long julienne strips. Rinse, drain and pat dry. In a small saucepan heat the oil over a medium-high heat (it should reach a depth of about 2.5 cm) until it’s between 160–175ºC on a thermometer. Reduce the heat a little to keep the temperature steady. Add a small handful of the leeks to the oil. Fry the leeks, stirring often with a metal slotted spoon, until the oil is barely bubbling and the leeks are light golden brown, 1–3 minutes. Let the oil come back to temperature before frying the next batch.
  4. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt while still hot. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Mix together the dressing ingredients and serve the steaks with Asian-style salad, drizzled with the cooking juices and dressing and topped with the crispy leeks.

Recipe courtesy of Cauliflower Power by Kathy Kordalis, published by Ryland Peter, £9.99. Photograph: Mowie Kay.

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