This crispy salt-and-pepper cauliflower from Fat Choy chef and owner Justin Lee sidesteps the fuss of frying your florets without compromising on crunchiness. (Who really wants to deep-fry at home anyways?) Leave the hassle to the restaurants and instead just roast them in the oven until deeply browned.
tsp. freshly ground black pepper
cup plus 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
large head of cauliflower, cut into 1″–2″ florets
medium shallots, thinly sliced
oz. silken tofu
Tbsp. white miso
garlic cloves, finely chopped
medium jalapeños, halved, seeds removed, finely chopped
Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Cilantro leaves with tender stems and steamed rice (for serving)
Place a rack in lowest position of oven; preheat to 450°. Whisk pepper and ¼ cup oil in a large bowl to combine. Add cauliflower, season with salt, and toss to coat. Spread out cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until dark brown and crisp underneath, 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn cauliflower over. Roast until second side is dark brown and crisp, 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in a medium skillet over medium. Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until deeply golden brown and beginning to crisp, 6–8 minutes. Transfer shallots to a blender, add tofu and miso, and purée until smooth. Transfer tofu sauce to a small saucepan and set aside. Wipe out skillet.
Pour remaining 3 Tbsp. oil into same skillet and add garlic and jalapeños. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden and crisp and jalapeños darken slightly, about 4 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl. Season garlic and jalapeños with salt; set aside. Let oil cool and set aside for another use.
Place saucepan with tofu sauce over medium-low heat and cook until warmed through. Once you see a bubble or two, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice; season with salt.
Spoon tofu sauce on a platter and top with roasted cauliflower; scatter cilantro and reserved crispy garlic and jalapeño over. Serve with rice alongside.