Fried “cauli”-mari with tofu aioli

I literally only came up with this because of a conversation I had with a friend, Christy. She was making salt and pepper cauliflower, and I realized that cauliflower stems could be cut to resemble calamari! Hence the name, “cauli”-mari. But stems on their own don’t taste that good, so I opted to marinate the stems overnight in an umami broth so that they actual have some flavor to them. To serve with them, we have an aioli made with silken tofu, dyed yellow with a small amount of turmeric and nutritional yeast. The entire dish is vegan, but upon looking at it, I don’t think a lot of people would know, since it turns out that cauliflower stems make wonderful calamari rings!

For the marinade:
1 cauliflower stem
2 grams kombu
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce

Peel the cauliflower stem and slice into 1/4-inch thick medallions. Hull out the centers using a spoon or ring cutter. Rehydrate the kombu with warm water, and mix with soy. Pour into a container. Place the cauliflower into the marinade overnight in the refrigerator.

For the dredge:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
canola oil to fry with

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Dry off the cauliflower stem pieces and toss in the dredge. Fry at 330 degrees F until golden brown, draining on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

For the aioli:
4oz silken tofu
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
2 cloves of peeled garlic
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
a pinch of turmeric

Puree together until fully combined.

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