Umami Cauliflower Steaks With Crispy Leeks

Serves 4
Total Time
50 Minutes
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
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a large baking
sheet on the middle oven shelf.
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 4
Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt while still
hot. Let cool to room temperature.
Step 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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