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One-Pot Cauli Satay

The easiest satay dish you’ll ever make

Our idea of the dish ‘satay’ has been firmly shaped by what Mum made for us growing up. It was spicy, peanutty and sweet all at once. So far, so good, you might say, as this probably sounds similar to the satays you’ve tried.

However, Mum’s version didn’t feature any skewers of meat. There was chicken, but there was also cauliflower and carrots and cabbage, and it was all suspended in a light but generous sauce spiked with flavours that you’d expect from a peanut satay sauce.

This dish she simply called ‘Chicken Satay’. And even after decades, it has remained one of the most popular options at our family’s market food cart.

While customers ordered it for the promise of hunks of chicken and satay-ey goodness, my favourite part was always the cauliflower. So much so that when the lunch rush hour (which usually latest about 3 hours!) was over, I’d help myself to a portion of the chicken satay but naughtily focussed on selecting the cauliflower florets. Having been nursed in the sauce they fabulously absorbed the spiced peanutty flavours and were so satisfying on their own that I never missed the chicken.

And so this dish was born, where the satay-laden cauliflower is the star of the show. The sauce is a bit richer, the heat dialled up, and ever as comforting as the original.

Serves
2
Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ginger, diced
8 spring onions, white and green parts separated, cut into 5cm lengths
1 clove garlic, diced
3 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1½  tbsp light soy sauce
½ large cauliflower (about 430g), cut into small florets
3 tbsp peanut butter, your preference of crunchy or smooth
1½ tsp granulated sugar
200 ml coconut milk, plus a tablespoon or so for serving

Our idea of the dish ‘satay’ has been firmly shaped by what Mum made for us growing up. It was spicy, peanutty and sweet all at once. So far, so good, you might say, as this probably sounds similar to the satays you’ve tried.

However, Mum’s version didn’t feature any skewers of meat. There was chicken, but there was also cauliflower and carrots and cabbage, and it was all suspended in a light but generous sauce spiked with flavours that you’d expect from a peanut satay sauce.

This dish she simply called ‘Chicken Satay’. And even after decades, it has remained one of the most popular options at our family’s market food cart.

While customers ordered it for the promise of hunks of chicken and satay-ey goodness, my favourite part was always the cauliflower. So much so that when the lunch rush hour (which usually latest about 3 hours!) was over, I’d help myself to a portion of the chicken satay but naughtily focussed on selecting the cauliflower florets. Having been nursed in the sauce they fabulously absorbed the spiced peanutty flavours and were so satisfying on their own that I never missed the chicken.

And so this dish was born, where the satay-laden cauliflower is the star of the show. The sauce is a bit richer, the heat dialled up, and ever as comforting as the original.

GET THE METHOD →

Over a medium heat, fry the ginger and white parts of the spring onions in the oil, until charred along the edges.
Stir in the the garlic, curry powder and chilli flakes. When the mixture is dry, dark and fragrant, turn the heat to high, add the light soy sauce and fry until evaporated.
Pour in 300ml of cold water and immediately cover with a lid. Let it boil vigorously for a few minutes.
Add the cauliflower, peanut butter, sugar and coconut milk. When the cauliflower has softened, stir through green parts of the spring onions until wilted. Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk on top.
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  • Stephen Landsman

    Omg! Sooooo delish!! Thank you for the yummiest dinner this month!

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  • Rex

    This was DELICIOUS. I added a bit of potato to make it stretch a little farther; do you have suggestions for how/where to add chicken/cabbage/carrots so that it’s just like your parent’s? I am obsessed with that sauce, trying to come up with tons of variations!

    With love from North Carolina!

    • Hey there Rex! Thanks for your feedback! You can definitely add shredded cabbage and sliced carrots – I’d do this a couple of minutes after adding the cauli, as cabbage and thinly carrots won’t take as long to soften. As for chicken, simply stir fry some marinated chicken (check out a simple marinade here) separately, then add it to the satay with a few minutes of cooking to go so that the chicken warms through 🙂

  • Paul Kearns

    Hi, just made your crispy chilli beef, sticky pork and one pot cauli satay, all were yum, except the satay was more like a curry, we live in NZ but I used Chinese curry powder, do you think it would be better to reduce the curry powder and switch the peanut butter, can you suggest the best brand to use. But once again thanks for the recipe especially the chilli beef.

    • Hi there! It’s a tough one with the curry powder as the brands do really vary a lot! But I would definitely say sub in more peanut butter and reduce the amount of the curry powder. You could also add some chopped peanuts 🙂

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