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Crispy Fried Cauliflower

Crispy Fried Cauliflower

Johnny Varah, Head Chef at The Cridford Inn in Trusham, shares his popular cauliflower starter recipe


  • 1 cauliflower head

For the batter

  • 150g carbonated water
  • 150g ale or lager
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • Plain flour (for coating)
  • Vegetable oil

For the sticky soy glaze

  • 1 cayenne chilli pepper, finely chopped
  • 5g fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100g Shaoxing Chinese wine
  • 150g water
  • 100g sweet chilli sauce
  • 10g white wine vinegar
  • 150g soy sauce
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • Cornflour slurry to thicken (mix a little water with a small amount of cornflour until it becomes like paint consistency)


To cook the cauliflower

  1. Remove the leaves and stalk, then separate the florets.
  2. Boil a saucepan of water, add the florets and cook for five minutes, then rapidly cool in ice water. Run them under a cold tap if you don’t have ice cubes.
  3. Strain once cooled and set aside.

To make the batter

  1. Combine the carbonated water and ale.
  2. Sift in some self-raising flour until the batter thickens and sticks to the back of a spoon.
  3. Set aside.

To make the sticky soy glaze

  1. Fry the chilli, garlic and ginger in a small amount of vegetable oil until it starts to colour.
  2. Add the wine, soy, sweet chilli sauce, white wine vinegar, water and sugar and bring to the boil.
  3. Slowly add the cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce slightly. It should stick/glaze the back of a spoon.

To cook the dish

  1. Batter the cauliflower florets by rolling them first in plain flour, then coat them in the batter mixture.
  2. In a frying pan, heat some vegetable oil until it reaches 180°C.
  3. Carefully place the florets in the oil using tongs. Turn them regularly for a few minutes until they are golden brown.
  4. Once cooked, remove and place on a paper towel or clean cloth to soak up the excess oil.
  5. Heat the soy glaze in a large frying pan.
  6. Once simmering, add the crispy florets and toss, coating the florets with the glaze.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe by Johnny Varah

Head Chef

The Cridford Inn


Johnny Varah, The Cridford Inn
A dish served on The Cridford Inn's Asian lunch menu

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Read Chrissy's review of the Asian lunch menu at The Cridford Inn.

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