Apr 8, 2021

Cauliflower Stir-Fry with Chinese Fermented Dried Soybeans 豆酥白花椰菜

Don't mistaken "dou su" with "douchi" when this recipe calls for Chinese fermented dried soybeans. The easiest way to tell these two apart is by looking at the colors. Douchi is the black one made with fermented black soybeans. Dou su, on the other hand, has a pale yellow, brownish-color, it's also the byproduct of soybeans/soy milk.

Basically, further drying the substance obtained from making and straining the soy milk leads to dou su. Some sold as tiny separated pieces, some further compressed into smaller discs that shape like a pancake. The most common way to use dou su is by searing it in oil as one way to revive the aroma, then utilize in other ingredients as a topping, cod so to speak. As for this recipe, let's use it with cauliflower.

Cauliflower stir-fry with Chinese fermented dried soybeans 豆酥白花椰菜 -


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup Chinese fermented dried soybeans "dou su"
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil/other light-tasting cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Some Sichuan peppercorn oil (optional)


Break the cauliflower into smaller florets. As for the stem at the base, peel the tough outer layer and cut the center part into smaller chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in prepped cauliflower. Cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Destem and finely chop the red chili. Destem and finely chop the scallion. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Take a wok or a pan, drizzle about 4 tablespoons of oil and turn to medium high heat. Notice that we're using more oil compared to other stir-fry recipes since dou su can absorb a good amount of oil. Add in garlic, chili, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Give it a quick stir. Cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic.

Add in dou su, stir-fry for 5 minutes or more. Lower the heat a little if needed, also add more oil if the whole mixture appears too dry. The color changes when dou su starts to absorb oil, so it'll be easier to tell if you need to add more oil or not.

When dou su is about ready and start to get a darker look, add in chopped scallion. Continue to stir-fry for another minute or so.

Add in drained cauliflower and mix till blended. Let it sit in high heat for another minute. Taste and see if more salt is needed. Drizzle some Sichuan peppercorn oil and give it a few tosses before plating. It's optional, but the Sichuan peppercorn oil will highly enhance the aroma of the final result.

The best part of incorporating dou su with cauliflower is that you see these little gaps from the floret stems, you should find many individual dou su stuck in there, which gives you more flavor when biting the florets. The cauliflower florets act like a perfect container carrying dou su with it.

Flavor-wise, it's a fun detour away from the plain old ways of prepping cauliflower. With a little kick too, thanks to the aromatics and the Sichuan peppercorn oil in the end.

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