Cauli 2-Ways with Nuoc Cham

The pale cauliflower never turned me on as much as his beautifully green cousin broccoli does. Always felt that the white inflorescence is rather tasteless and bland unless consummated with cheese and milk in a gratin. Recently though he has been courting me unfailingly, and I finally succumbed because he is low in fat and carbohydrates and rather high in Vitamin C, with fleeting appeal of Vitamin B and K. Besides his sensibilities, I discovered he is also pretty flexible and I can meander him in different ways, depends on the mood and time of day. His affection is beginning to grow on me and its only right that I start giving him some credit, afterall Cauli is the new black!

So here’s a recipe, with the Cauliflower done roasted and the other, blitz finely to resemble cous cous, served with a Vietnamese dressing which is sweet, sour, spicy and salty in nature, which pairs
perfectly in this salad.

Cauli 2-Ways with Nuoc Cham

Serves: 6


  • 1/2 cauliflower, divide in chunky florets
  • 1 onion, quatered
  • 2 brinjals, cut in 3-4 inch pieces
  • 1 red capsicum, cut in 2 inch strips
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice
  • 1/2 cauliflower, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup basil or thai basil, shredded
  • 1/4 cup spring onions, shredded diagonally
  • 1/4 cup coriander, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chinese parsley, shredded
  • 1 buttercup lettuce, leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari or liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp kalamansi / lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chili, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1 piece mock smoked goose, warmed and cut into cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place all the roasting vegetable on a layer. Drizzle with oil and roast for about 40 minutes
  2. For the cous cous salad. Start by blitzing the cauliflower florets in a micro processor for 2 - 3 minutes till it has the similar consistency of cous cous. Tip into a microwave bowl, cover and nuke it for 3 mins on high. Drain liquid if any and let it cool. Once cool, mix the cous cous with all the herb salad.
  3. For the nuoc cham, heat up a small saucepan with the soy, rice vinegar, juice, coconut sugar and water. Stir till the sugar has melted. Switch off heat, add the garlic and chili and allow it to infuse for 5 - 10 minutes before using.
  4. To plate the salad, place the cous cous in the middle of the platter, surrounded by the roasted vegetables. If using mock goose, spread it evenly on top. Drizzle with about 1/2 cup Nuoc Cham dressing, toss and serve.

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