The Western influence in this 20th-century Chinese recipe is evident in the use of evaporated milk or cream. Use of the traditional chicken fat, when combined with the milk or cream, lends an added flavor to the vegetable.
3-4tablespoons rendered chicken fat or 3-4tablespoonsvegetable oil
2-3 thin slicesfresh ginger, peeled
2-3scallions, cut into 2-inch sections, white and green parts separated
¾cupevaporated milk or light cream
Cut off and discard the outer hard stalks of the cauliflower. Cut the florets into uniform bite-sized pieces.
Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Fill the wok with water and bring to a boil. Add the salt and the oil. Plunge in the cauliflower and return to a boil. Continue to boil for 3-4 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender yet retains a bite to it. Pour into a colander and refresh under cold running water. Drain.
Heat the wok again over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the chicken fat or oil and swirl it around several times. Add the ginger, stir, then add the white scallions, and stir a few times to release its aroma. Return the cauliflower to the wok. Sliding the wok scoop or metal spatula to the bottom of the wok, turn and toss rapidly for about 1 minute, or until piping hot, lowering the heat so as not to burn the cauliflower. Pour in the well-stirred sauce, continuing to stir until it thickens. Add the green scallions. Remove to a serving dish and serve immediately.